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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why I Still Haven't Set Any Resolutions or Goals for 2014




If you made new year's resolutions, are you still working towards them?  Resolutions work well for some people, and if you're sticking to yours, then that's great!  Good for you!

But many people give up on their resolutions within a few days.  But then we beat ourselves up for not succeeding.  And then make the same resolutions next year.  The cycle continues, year after year, without very much actual change or growth. The thing is, resolutions are usually "all or nothing", and that makes them hard to achieve. 

This has led many people to set goals instead.  I like goals.  Good goals help you see and measure your progress along the way.  They give you something to shoot towards so you aren't wandering aimlessly through life, year after year, lamenting about how quickly time flies.  You can break goals down into smaller goals, which help you achieve them, and feel good about yourself along the way.

My problem is that I set too many goals usually.  And I pack my days so full of tasks, designed to help me achieve my goals, that I can't possibly finish everything.

But then I get discouraged.

What I've Done Before and Why it Hasn't Worked


I tend to focus on one area of my life at a time, rather than a bit of everything.  For example, I'll get on a decluttering and organizing kick and spend days or weeks focusing on that.  Then I'll have lots of projects to blog about so I'll spend lots of time on blog posts for awhile.  Then I'll get frustrated because I haven't really cleaned the house lately, so I'll take a few days to get that done.  In the middle of that, I'm trying to build a business, I have a family that needs me, I really should lose weight, and I'd like to read more.  

And I get overwhelmed... yep... it's true.  And then I feel guilty because I'm sharing tips on this blog so you don't feel overwhelmed, but yet I'm not modelling it. 

So every January when I see people sharing their goals for the year, I flip flop between being excited at the possibilities a new year holds and being overwhelmed at trying to fit any more into my already crowded life.

I hear other people's goals and I get excited and think, yes, this year I want to read tons of books, eat better, exercise, and spend more time with family and friends, all while living in a clean, clutter-free, and organized house, and giving my best time and energy to my family!  I should set goals to help me achieve those things.

But then I wonder how I can juggle all those goals without feeling overwhelmed or defeated.  The very thing that should be helping me, causes me stress.  Then I read another blog about setting goals and I think, if I can just make better goals, then I can achieve them.

And the flip flopping continues.

What I'm Doing Differently This Year


So now it's the middle of January.  How do I make this flip-flopping cycle stop?  You've heard about insanity right?




It's time to do something different if I want different results this year!

I've seen the "one word for the year" idea the last couple of years and I decided that might be a way that I can actually focus on one thing, rather than several things.

During a little cry-fest to my hubby recently, the word that kept coming up was "Balance".  I need more balance in my life.  Not the balance-beam gymnastics kind of balance {although tightrope-walking might be a good analogy!}.

I mean balancing these types of things:

  • My values and priorities
  • The expectations I have of myself and that others have of me
  • The dreams I have for myself and my family
  • And the time and energy I devote to each of these things

I need to make choices every day to balance all these things.  So that by the end of the year I can look back on 2014 and know that I've become a better version of myself and stayed balanced as I did :)

I still plan to set some goals in each area of my life (so I'm shooting towards specific targets and not just drawing circles around where my "arrows" end up to feel better about myself!).  Like my 365 Items in 365 Days Challenge!  But I'm going to work really hard on being balanced as I do.




How I plan to be more balanced


Here's what I'm going to do to help me maintain balance, while still working towards my goals:

  1. Lay out what my values and priorities are
  2. Based on those, set a few goals in each area of my life (spiritual, personal, family, financial, home, business, and blog)
  3. Break each goal down into smaller, measurable goals that I can spread throughout the year
  4. Create a master list of actions I can take to achieve each of those smaller goals (this can still be added to or revised throughout the year)
  5. Schedule some of these actions as "appointments" on my calendar throughout the year to help keep me on track (so I don't fill up that time with other, less important things and end up in December frustrated that I didn't achieve my goals)
  6. For the rest of the actions, each week choose a few items from the master list to work on.
I think by doing it this way, I'll be able to see my progress (I LOVE crossing things off lists!), and I'll be able to accomplish things in a more balanced way.  This way I'll be devoting time and energy to all my goals throughout the year.


Spread Goals Out


I usually try to bite off a lot of things all at once in January.  It's a new year and I'm pumped full of motivation.  But then I get discouraged part way through the year.

So this year, I'm trying to only introduce one or two "new" routines to create or things to focus on each month.  I know it usually takes 3 weeks of consistently doing something to make it a habit.  So by introducing new habits gradually, I think I'll be more successful in maintaining them.  And by the end of the year, I'll have established at least 12 new routines, instead of attempting to establish a bunch in January and giving them up throughout the year.

For example, I want to be healthier by the end of 2014 than I am now.  For that to happen, some of the routines I need to establish are:  eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, drink more water, and get more sleep.

If I try to do all those things at once, I'm pretty sure I'll be successful for awhile, maybe even a good chunk of the year, but based on past attempts, I'll likely give up most of these habits by the end of the year.

So I'm going to focus on them one at a time.  I'll set specific goals, such as a number of servings of fruits and vegetables to eat each day, or a number of glasses of water to drink, or a time to go to bed each night, or a number of minutes to exercise each day (gradually increasing each one from where I start).

Then, once one routine is firmly in place and becomes second nature, I'll focus on the next one.  I plan to do that for other areas of my life too (family, blog, business, home, etc.).  I think I'll be more balanced and successful this way.  


Celebrate Along the Way


The other thing I need to do as I strive for balance, is to not beat myself up as much.  I'm not typically a "joy is in the journey" person {when we go on road trips I'm all about taking highways to get where we're going as quickly as possible, not taking back roads or stopping to enjoy the views along the way!}.  But by regularly reminding myself of my word for the year, I'm going to celebrate my progress in being more balanced.

As I gradually improve in each routine I set, I'll stop to recognize that progress before I move on.  It's not all-or-nothing success.  It's growth.  It's a journey.





I hope some of these tips will help you achieve your goals this year!  And if you have any other tips on being balanced... I'm all ears :)


Have you set goals for 2014?  How are you doing with them?  Do you need to change your thinking about goals like I did?  Which of these tips do you think will help you most this year? 



Happy organizing!



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2 comments:

  1. So... I am totally in love with this idea. I don't think I would choose the word balance for this year for my needs, but I will come up with something after pondering it.

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    Replies
    1. You can choose whatever word is best for you Crystle! I did a lot of pondering for mine too :)

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