You may wonder why I am running a “new year’s resolution” post at the beginning of February. Well, by the end of the month of January, our best laid plans for the new year have often been laid aside. In fact, January 19th is called Quitter’s Day because 75% of all resolutions have been abandoned by that date each year. Have you given up on your new year’s resolutions already? This is the first year I haven’t yet given up on my resolutions.
After mid January, when we do remember that we had resolutions, we also remember that we haven’t done anything to accomplish them. We shrug, and keep living as we have, until another year rolls around. At least that’s how it’s worked for me. In the end, only 8% of us achieve our resolutions. I am not going to be one of those statistics this year, and I invite you to join me in standing up for ourselves. United we stand against not achieving our goals. Against not living our best lives. Yes. That’s it. We’re strong. And United.
As a middle age woman, I am all to aware of the ticking clock and equally aware that it is easy and somewhat comfortable to let my dreams fall through my fingers. At the end of the year, I am always disappointed in how little I accomplish. I want that to stop. Here. and. now.
In 2018, I started the practice of evaluating my year, and in 2019, I began reviewing my goals quarterly. Needless to say, I did better in 2019 knowing that I would be looking at my goals more regularly than I did in 2018. I did ok, but not any where near as well as I could have, had I employed a few more hacks I’ve been using pretty successfully lately. I figured that since we are good buds, I’d share what I’m doing just in case you have some resolutions near and dear to your heart that you want to make manifest this year too.
- I only have four large resolutions. I used to have lots of nebulous goals, often really big ones, and I would quickly get overwhelmed. Experts say that having fewer goals make it easier to focus, making it more likely to stay on track.
- With my large, nebulous and overwhelming goals, I failed to ask two important questions: Why did I want to accomplish a given resolution, and how was I going to do it. This year I have asked and answered these two questions.
- Because I had no idea how I was going to accomplish or at least move close to a given goal, I rarely took action. I just wished, hoped and prayed. Interestingly, when I did take action, it was shocking what I could achieve.
- This year, set deadlines for myself. A few years ago, I found a planner that allowed me to fill in the dates on my own because I left so many blank pages in the dated type (which means I did nothing or very little on those days). This year, I have a “normal” planner with day and date, a to do list, schedule and a place for notes. I work like a banshee to do the things I’ve scheduled in the day, and try to avoid letting projects slip into the next day.
- Habits have been an amazing tool for me, so when ever possible, I create a habit around goals. For example, I have a habit of doing yoga every morning. I’ve now added five simple strength building exercises to my already established yoga practice. (Maintaining strength is one of my goals this year.)
- Scheduling has also been a huge tool. I break down my goals into steps and schedule them into my calendar. On Sunday, I take a look at how I did; whether I accomplished the goals and completed my to-dos. I do so much better when I schedule my goals right into my calendar and when I see how I did each Sunday.
- Making sure the to-do’s and projects you do are in alignment with my goals. A few years ago, I volunteered to help other bloggers with their projects. My to do list was filled with tasks, both mine and theirs. Soon their requests and to dos were eclipsing mine. It finally dawned on me that doing their projects was not in alignment with my goals, rather, it was in alignment with their goals. I also did a lot of unnecessary activities I had heard would help grow my business. With analytics, it’s pretty easy to see if things are working or not, so I cut out things that don’t work and put more energy into the things that do.
- When procrastination rears it’s ugly head, I sit with it for a few minutes. I ask why I am wanting to procrastinate. In my case, it’s usually because I’m not sure what to do next on a project. Some times it’s just laziness, and other times, it means I need to re-evaluate my goals. Procrastination has a special language, and it’s important to tap into it to see what your procrastination is saying to you.
- When I am not feeling like doing something, I use my Focus Keeper app. I set the timer for 25 minutes, then take a five minute break. Some days, I don’t need it, some days I do.
- When I’m struggling with focus, I plug in my ear buds and use classical music to help tune my brain into my work.
If you have fallen off the wagon, I’m here with my hand held out; jump back on. No judgement here. In meditation, we are reminded to bring our mind back to the breath each time we notice our mind wandering off. Sometimes we spend the whole meditation bringing ourselves back. Other times, we find ourselves in the flow state, and can go on and on. As in mediation, we just have to keep brining ourselves back to our goals again and again.
Remember, it’s never too late to live your best life. If you liked this article and want to save it, just pin it to Pinterest! You can use the pin below.