Hey, everyone and Happy New Year!! After a couple of weeks off enjoying some downtime with friends and family through the holidays, I’m back with a post and a link (see below) to a new Straight From The Heart(land) Podcast episode in a new year - 2019!!
So, I’ve been thinking all about New Year’s Resolutions. Do you like them? Do you make them? Or better question, do you keep them?
I’ve always hated goal setting. I’m just not much of a big picture thinker. It’s hard for me. So, having someone ask me what my goals are for the next five years or asking myself what I hope to accomplish makes me want to curl up in the fetal position. (Which, in case you were wondering, isn’t the best starting position for conquering the world….or my storage closet.)
The other thing working against my goal setting is my perfectionism. I set way too lofty of goals that are entirely too large in scope to accomplish. And then when I continually fall short of accomplishing those goals, I give up entirely. It seems there’s no middle ground when it comes to me and resolutions…all or nothing, baby!
Until recently, that is.
In the past couple of years, I’ve tried to rethink the whole resolution and goal setting business. I’ve tried to steer away from my weak areas and the sticky trap of perfectionism and move more into a manageable, grace-based approach.
Because setting goals can be a good thing. Statistics show that we are far more likely to accomplish something if we’ve written it down and thought through steps for getting there.
I know that’s true for me. I’ve had goals in my mind for years and had good intentions of accomplishing them. But, because I never wrote the down or, heaven forbid shared them with someone, it was far easier to go with the flow and get around to it later….which usually resulted in getting around to it NEVER.
So, I’ve found a happy medium in goal setting by sticking to these simple rules:
First, I immediately cut my list in half. Instead of 10 new initiatives, how about five? Or instead of an elaborate plan, a more simplified approach?
Second, I remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect. A small step taken, even imperfectly, is still better than nothing. As today’s podcast guest reminds us, “Done is better than none.”
Finally, I try to keep my goal setting fresh by setting up monthly goals instead of yearly. Staying focused is hard. Keeping with something for twelve whole months can feel impossible (cue: fetal position). But, doing something for 30 days seem doable.
A small task or habit for 30 days is something I have the time and attention span for. The monthly goals can be random and unrelated to one another. Or you can take a larger goal and split it up into monthly chunks. This can be a great way to feel that sense of accomplishment each month (because we can all use some positive reinforcement along the way!) and an even great sense of accomplishment at the end of the year having reached a larger goal you never thought possible.
So, for all you fellow resolution avoiders….I hear you. It’s tempting to stay curled up in the corner until January is over and everyone’s resolutions aren’t all up in your face.
But, what if you took one small step today? What if you wrote down a goal that’s only been in your head until now? That’s it: you wrote it down. Good job! You took your first step and maybe tomorrow you’ll take another step in that direction.
Just know, it doesn’t have to be elaborate or perfect. Small, manageable goals can take you a long way in 2019. And I’ll be cheering you on each step of the way.
PS: Want to check out my podcast interview with Erin Port of Simple Purposeful Living? Click HERE.