I’ve had great success so far this year with my “non-resolutions”. I haven’t lost a single pound, but I have been much more organized, I’ve gotten out the door on time, and I know where everything is! I know a lot of people aren’t paper-oriented. God knows I’m married to one of them! But, a schedule has been a great help. Here are some things I’ve done and learned.
1.) Break out. There may be many things holding you back. Mine, personally, is fear of failure. I don’t want to start something if I don’t think I’m going to be wonderful at it. Well, this blog is not the best in the world, but you know, I try. And I enjoy it! I didn’t start one for two years, because I was afraid. I didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t know what to write about. I didn’t think anyone would read it. I was wrong. It was super easy! The hardest part was truly knowing what to write about. That’s still the hardest part! Right now, there are about 4 other things I want to do and I am just having to break through the fear of the unknown in order to get them started. Actually, one just needs times, which is sparse, but if it is meant to be, it will happen! I have had to work myself up to these little things. It’s pitiful, but I really do fear failure!
2.) Be flexible. I may have it all down on paper, but things don’t always happen the way they should. I try to keep my morning routine as it’s written, because I know how much time it takes to get a certain Beanster ready, even if all I have to do is dress him! Everything is packed the night before, except a few lunch items, so all we have to do is pick it up and walk out the door. However, in the afternoons, things can get a little hairy. Poopy diapers show up just as we get home, or while we’re running errands; the hubby doesn’t get home until later, so dinner gets put off; the laundry doesn’t get dry and put away before bed time. Guess what. IT’S OKAY!
3.) Give yourself some grace. The first couple of days, I freaked out a little, because I felt like I was already breaking a “resolution” if I didn’t clock in and out with everything. I wasn’t. It all got done, but life happens and pencil can be erased. You have to forgive yourself if you don’t get it right the first time. After you are flexible about your goals, you have to forgive yourself for the mess-ups, both intentional and unforeseen. If you overeat on the chocolate today, reduce the intake of chocolate tomorrow! Or…work out a little longer. Forgive and move on.
4.) Start small. I read a blog the other day about cutting grocery expenses. A person always went over their budget. The suggestion was not to cold-turkey cut your budget and expenses, but trim by 1-3% every month. That’s the way a lot of goals are met. Cold-turkey is difficult. I know. As a former smoker (only for a few years), I could NOT quit! Yes, I didn’t smoke as long or as much as some people, but it doesn’t take long to form that habit. If it wouldn’t have been a habit, I might not have smoked as long as I did, eh? Well, I had to wean myself off. I only had 1 on the way to work, 1 at morning break, 1 at lunch, 1 at afternoon break, and so on. A couple of days later, I waited for my break, then found something to do instead of smoke, like walk up the hill to the Starbucks (which was a bad decision…). Eventually, I quit all-together. BUT, I had set a goal for myself. My husband-to-be had proposed and I told myself I didn’t want to smell like an ashtray at my wedding! It made it a lot easier. I went day by day, and put one more hour in between each cigarette. When I could go all morning without one, I counted it as a win. I had to celebrate each little victory. After all, it was a success.
5.) Celebrate! Life can be pretty drab sometimes. We can beat ourselves up most of the time, if we let ourselves. We can tell ourselves we’re not pretty enough, handsome enough, good enough, rich enough, smart enough. Well, (cliche’) enough is enough! It’s time to celebrate the small victories in our lives! Now, when I lose 5 pounds, I’m not going to celebrate with a double bacon cheeseburger and fries and a shake, but I may allow myself a tiny bowl of ice cream (as wholesome as I can get it) or something equally as awesome! These little milestones can keep us on the track we have laid out and encourage us to keep going.
6.) Keep going. Guess what! When you reach your goals, set some new ones! Life isn’t about quitting (unless it’s smoking or something…), it’s about reaching your goals. No one ever said you had one set of goals and once you reached them, you quit. No. Ask any retiree who has lived a long, full life after work – they didn’t quit working! Many of them are still out there doing, caring, being. Life just keeps on going. Set a new goal and go for it!
I hope you have all had a great week so far, whether you’re frozen in the north, or sweating it out in the south! Peace and love.