It’s January, 2015 – the start of a brand new year. We made it! This is the time of declarations and promises to change or improve upon things in our lives that fell by the wayside last year. This is the time that we resolve to do better, give more, stop doing, start doing, speak up, sit down, etc… And the list goes on and on. We usually call them New Year Resolutions and the truth is many of us, myself included, have already failed with these resolutions before January ends.
I decided this year that there would be no resolutions – I felt like I’d only be setting myself up for failure, and who wants to do that? Not me. So, instead, I have made a “To Do” list and call it just that, “Things I need to do.” I sometimes make these lists on a daily basis when I’m multi-tasking with various projects and other duties. I no longer rely completely on memory – I had to let that ego go and write things down! My “Things I need to do,” list keeps me on track and guides me – it also keeps me accountable because it’s on a big colorful sticky note in my face on my desk – screaming at me to finish ticking off this list! It works for me and I’m usually diligent about completing everything on that list.
I’ve decided to approach larger tasks and goals the same way this year. I didn’t want to “resolve” to do anything. It almost sounded like I have no choice in the matter. Instead, I wanted to see a list of things that I wanted and needed to accomplish during this year. Notice I said “during” – I didn’t specify particular dates. Unless it’s an editing/writing project that I’ve been hired to do, I’m not setting specific deadlines. What I will do is give myself a reasonable “projected” timeline to meet this goal. Yes, I have left room for procrastination, time outs and days that I just don’t feel like working towards this goal – I’m only human. But, I have decided to be realistic about what I need to do and how soon it/they need to be done.
Many times, we give ourselves unrealistic goals, expectations, timeframes and when these goals are not met, we feel as though we’ve failed. For instance, I’d love to lose about 20lbs and become more fit, but I WILL NOT lose those pounds in 2 or 3 months. For me, that’s not going to happen! However, realistically, with REGULAR exercise and LEAVING THE CAKES AND DONUTS ALONE, I can do this within 6 months or so. (Side note: I wish someone would invent a pill that I could take to make my serious sweet tooth go away forever!) I realize that I HAVE to give myself some sort of timeline destination or I will just keep extending it out.
The key is to BE REALISTIC AND HONEST with yourself and take baby steps towards making the changes that you desire – daily milestones and successes – literally one day at a time. Whether you want to change your dress size or your attitude, kick that nicotine habit or your habit from worry and anxiety, just remember: You didn’t develop those bad habits (whatever they are) overnight – be patient with yourself. If you get off track, get back on! You don’t have anything to prove to anyone except yourself. P.S…If you’re already doing wonderful things and have great habits, DON’T STOP! Bring them into the new year with you!