I love the idea of resolutions. I love the idea of setting goals and wanting to better and improve oneself. But resolutions don't really work. According to several articles I've read, including one in Forbes, and in the report by IdeaWorks Studios, the success rate of these resolutions varies between 8% - 17%. So why do we make them? Because we all love the idea of a fresh start and fulfilling those dreams and desires that have been left on the wayside.
I believe that most resolutions are unachievable because they are too open ended and unstructured. Most people write some things down on a list, either on paper on in their head.
The lists may look like this:
1. Lose 10 (15, 20) pounds
2. Read more
3. Exercise more
4. Cook more
5. Spend less at Starbucks
But that short list is too open-ended. Instead, set goals that are easier to achieve: Even better, create a journal so that you can be held accountable for your actions.
We all seem to be great list makers... Hell, I have even been known to create lists for my lists! I find nothing so rewarding as crossing things off mine. So whether in a journal or even a weekly calendar write down your goals to keep track of your achievements. By breaking everything down into smaller, baby steps, these resolutions become smaller and more achievable goals. Or maybe break down resolutions month by month. So your resolutions may look something like this:
1. Work out X amount a week (mark down which days and what you'll be doing)
2. Start South Beach Diet (Or Atkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers) - Keep track of progress weekly
3. Read 1 book this month (Sue Monk Kidd - The Invention of Wings)
4. Send out X proposals/resumes by_______. (Write down your professional goals)
5. No more procrastinating! (See above)
6. Take 2 road trips this month and use your camera instead of the iPhone
7. Clean out closets and donate unwanted items to Goodwill
8. Clean out children's closets and donate unwanted items
9. Finish/review 2 unfinished projects
10. Do one good deed/Pay it forward.
Do the same for all 12 months. By creating very specific tasks, the mini goals will be easier to focus on, more manageable and easier to achieve... These short lists can be written on a weekly, daily or monthly calendar and therefore become visible daily. This will also help you to reach your goals. Each month you can revisit and create new goals and adjust accordingly. Another idea is to create a vision board or book instead of writing things down to offer you creative inspiration.
But maybe, instead of the typical lose weight, get healthy, get organized, exercise, learn something new, fall in love type of resolutions we vow to do something else:
Personal Goals for 2016
1. Be more self accepting. Is 10 pounds really worth stressing over? You're gorgeous as you are!
2. Pay compliments to others frequently
3. Be Gracious (Don't take your anger/frustrations out on the children, or your co-workers.)
4. Focus on the positive - the glass is indeed half full!
5. Be grateful (Don't worry about what you don't have, be grateful for what you do have!)
6. Become a mentor
7. Be selfless
8. Put your best foot/face forward
9. Don't listen to the naysayers
10. Smile often. Smiles are infectious!
We are not perfect. I certainly am not and for the past few years I've been on a journey to self improvement. Like many it's two steps forward and one step backward. When I was 44 I vowed that I would be my all time healthiest at 50. I have a year and a half to realize that goal. While it's a big one, I think I can do it. I work out regularly, 3-5 times a week, time permitting, and have been for the past 5 years. Somehow, 10 pounds have managed to sneak on over those years as well. My doctors "blame" middle age but I refuse to use that as an excuse. And while, I think I look perfectly fine with these 10 pounds, I'm really not comfortable in them.
So, personally, one goal this year is to maintain my fitness routine and to lose the damned 10 pounds. It's only 10 and I do think it's completely doable.
Add yoga to my repertoire. I tried it for the first time late this past fall and I fell in love. I love how I felt - strength and calm and flexibility. Yoga will complement my health regime and it will also help me to keep the inner peace. I'm always battling with myself in regards to my life's decisions, success and the children as well as the daily stresses and financial struggles. I will work hard at trying to achieve inner peace.
Be more present for my children. I'm here with them but we're all so busy, head in laptops and phones and other devices. We need to reconnect and go on more outings together on a regular basis and when home we need to bring out the board games. My oldest will be in college in a year and a half. We are running out of time.
Be less critical of myself. It holds me back. It always has.
Be more self accepting. I am a good and kind person. I'm giving and selfless. I need to focus more on those traits than those I see as faults.
Get better at self promotion. I need to learn how to brag a little - if only to grow my career.
Accept compliments. See above. Same as self promotion. I'm not good with compliments. But thank you, really.
Take Chances. I'm terrible with this. Many are.
Step out of the comfort zone. It's something I force myself to do regularly. I need to keep working on this and it will never come naturally for me. Good things never came to those sitting on couches, eating out of the Haagen Dazs container while watching Scandal!
Self acceptance. I am who I am. I really like who I am don't want to change that.
Stop comparing myself to others. I think we all do this to a certain extent.
Personally, the greatest and most difficult task at hand. Learn to not push others away. This may be my greatest weakness and my greatest challenge yet. I have a very small circle of friends whom I truly trust. I am sure that this is all a result of my divorce. Like many who've travelled down the long, windy and obstacle-filled path of divorce, I lost a lot of friends and learned that many I had trusted had betrayed me. Also as a result of my divorce I tend to distance myself from those I date if I feel things are getting too serious. I tend to pull away or push away. I've pushed too many good people away over the past few years. Some I have regretted. If it's not right, that's one thing... I won't ever settle or stay in a relationship out of comfort and convenience, but if there's potential I need to do my best not to push away something potentially good because it scares me
And yes, I still do want to read (books) more, use my camera more and my phone's camera less, write more for me, and become better at promoting myself and my work!
There's a lot more I need to do and work on, but let's take it one baby step at a time!
Happy New Year!
What are some of your goals, dreams and aspirations?