New Year - New plan!
New Year's resolutions have never sat that well with me, the idea of squeezing in every ounce of all the so called naughty stuff you can right up til midnight before the year closes off and then suddenly morphing into "the new improved super you" as soon as 12.01am rolls over on the new annum just doesn't seem too realistic. Who can relate to those foretold instant sayonaras to bad habits, the "just this last one" indulgences and the champagne soaked intentions to turn your life around once you've scored your moonlit end of year pash? Sound familiar?
Well I call "bullshit". And look - I'm not pointing my sticky chocolate covered fingers at everyone else here without a mirror held up to my own face. "May as well eat this last chocolate now and start the year with an empty box and no temptation" rings all too clearly in my own ears I can assure you. But as I quietly steal a bit of precious new mama time til our 4 month old rouses again soon, I am feeling pensive and realistic about what 2018 will mean for me, for us as a family and for you guys.
So in a nutshell before there's movement in the nursery, here are my thoughts:
Rather than beating yourself up for perhaps already feeling unfulfilled about some of those rash statements that were thought up at 11.55pm on the 31st December about what you will stop, start and continue to do this year, instead take some extra time to feel your way into 2018...
Let it soak into your bones over these first few weeks of the year as your holidays subside and the routine kicks back in.
Think back on the year that's just been and really be honest with your thoughts:
- What worked for you in 2017?
- What brought you joy?
- What made the cockles of your heart warm and fuzzy?
- Who did you enjoy spending time with? Who didn't you enjoy spending time with? Who brought your mojo to a crashing halt?
- What are you proud of? What are you celebrating?
- What would you like to change?
- And also what was missing?
Then have a think about where to from here:
- What are the things you'd love to achieve this year?
- Who do you want to spend more time around?
- What would you like to brag about at the end of this year?
- Who do you want to spend more time around? Who lifts you up?
- What would you like to be celebrating? Picture it in your head. What does that picture look like? Who's there congratulating you? Get specific and focused on what that looks like.
- What really matters to you? What would you be sad about if it didn't change by this time next year?
Test the goals you've set out in your head (or out loud if that works for you) against your current reality.
Ask yourself a series of questions:
- What IS your current reality right now?
- How authentically are you living?
- Who are you aiming to please? Why do you want to achieve these things? Is it for you or for someone else? If it's not something that will align with your core values then revisit the goal and make a new one. Test that out again - is this new goal going to serve you and help you live authentically?
- What needs to change from what you're doing now?
- What's a realistic and appropriate time-frame for you to achieve these goals? Is that really feasible? If you set goals that are unrealistic based on your current reality then you set yourself up for disappointment.
eg. My husband would love to be out cycling for 2 hours every day when the mood takes him but with a 4 month old baby at home, no family support in Sydney and him starting a new business it's currently unrealistic. Like-wise, I would like to be able to write more often at the moment with a book high on my list of goals for 2018 and also help more women by seeing some clients. But both of us have had to adjust our goals at least for the first half of this year as some days we don't get more than a couple of half hour blocks of time to ourselves with this hot weather meaning short naps for our little girl. But we have accepted that most babies don't have a routine as such until 6 months old. By re-shaping our goals and accepting our current reality, the judgment and disappointment drops away and enjoyment of our present reality becomes more organic.
Set some initial action steps that you will need to take to get you moving on your way to achieving your goal:
- Write down the steps that immediately come to mind that you think you'll need to get to where you want to be. Start small, again realistic smaller steps will get you going. When you break down your bigger goals this way, they become less daunting, less like a mountain in front of you.
- When you get stuck, ask yourself again, what else could I do? Spend some time thinking about them, don't get frustrated and toss it to the side... take some time out to let it permeate and then revisit the ideas.
- Once you start ticking off some of these smaller action steps, you'll gain momentum and start seeing some progress which will help you to stay in the flow and keep moving forward.
- You've probably heard the saying "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." Think of your goals this way. You probably won't achieve them overnight but if you break them down into some simple bite-sized actions that you could start this week and jump in, you'll see progress and action and results will breed more motivation.
Help yourself to stay on track along the way:
- Set targets, even small ones so you can use them as checking-in points to make sure you're staying on track. You can see your progress and help to stay motivated to achieving your bigger goal. eg. by such and such a date I will have done x,y, z.... "
- Bring other people in on your plans if you need, to help you stay on track. Who might you need to include in your plans to help you get there? Who can you ask to ring you on your set date and check-in with whether you've achieved what you wanted to? Friend, family, coach, colleague - whatever works for you.
- Celebrate the wins along the way, reward yourself when you complete a certain action step. For example, if you're saving up for something special then allow yourself a small reward when you've saved half of your goal for instance or treat yourself to a nice dinner out, a pedicure, a massage etc once you've achieved half of the steps towards reaching your goal. The reward will feel so much sweeter since you have worked towards it.
Once you start you'll gain momentum, start seeing some progress and help yourself to get and stay in flow.
Good luck! Happy goal setting and I look forward to hearing all the exciting things you're creating to make your 2018 one that you love.
Live the life you want!