By Kate A From Women Lawyers News • January 31, 2019
Just yesterday I was thinking about all the things I want to accomplish this year - 2019 is going to be a big one!
If you’re also setting goals or if you made resolutions for the new year, keep something in mind - people often set new year’s resolutions starting January 1st. Let’s think that through a bit. You’ve just made it through the holiday season, countless parties and events, a hectic year-end at work, visits with family and friends, and new year’s celebrations. You’re just coming up for air. You’re tired. You probably feel like you need a break. This is the moment we choose to hold ourselves responsible for knocking a new goal out of the park. What?!?
We haven’t yet had time to think our resolutions through – Is your goal specific? (E.g., “I will go to the gym twice a week and yoga once a week.” versus just “I will work out more.”) Have you broken it down into steps? (E.g., “I will choose a gym by the 15th, sign up by the 20th, buy new sneakers on the 22nd, and start going by the 25th.”) Do you have a plan? Have you figured out how you’ll make it easier to tackle that goal? (E.g., “I will go before work so I’m not too tired, and I will set out my gym clothes the night before.”) Are you being realistic about what you can accomplish and how quickly?
When January starts, we often feel the need to rest and recover (but we think we shouldn't need to because we just had holiday time off). For many of us, there's also that cold winter weather that makes you want to hide under the covers, and it's tough to fight biological sleepiness when it gets dark so early. This is not a time to ask more from our brains by simply will-powering our way through new goals. We need a plan, to set ourselves up for success. Setting new goals is great, but if we pursue them before we have the time to plan them out or the energy to see them through, we may end up falling short and disappointed early in the year.
We tend to make this worse by taking on too may changes at a time. Instead, you’ll often get better results by locking down small changes, bit by bit, before moving on to new ones. Think about how many changes you can realistically juggle at one time, then choose which are most important to start right away. You can even spread out new habits over the new year, instead of piling them on at once. For example, you could plan to tackle a new goal every other month, giving yourself time to form habits to support the previous goal before you move on to the next one.
So, if you've been hard on yourself about kicking off new goals now that January is almost over, go easy on yourself. Today (or this weekend) is a good day to stop, breathe, refresh and think through your goals, and tomorrow (or Monday) is a good day to move forward with your plan - as I like to say: February 1st is the new January 1st.
We're coming for you 2019!
Let's do this,
PS - I've been wondering, do you struggle with setting goals and following them? Is that something you'd like help with? Click here to give me a "Yes!"