If your New Year’s Resolutions have already slipped from your daily activities, keep reading. There are always ways to get goals back on track.
How did we do with our New Year’s “Revolutions”? Did we work on them every day? Did we forget? Did something happen to knock us off course?
We all run into obstacles. Life takes weird turns. We get the stomach flu, a huge project gets dumped on us, files corrupt and five hours of work has to be redone. It’s always messy. But we pick ourselves up and start fresh every day. Sure, our goals might get derailed for a few days while we catch up. But then we grab that do list and start again.
It’s easy to become discouraged if we’ve stalled. But instead of turning off the engine, crank it up again. Why should major goals only be set annually? Use the start of each month to take stock. Where are we now, and where are we going?
ONE ‒ Reassess the Situation
Is there anything specific that kept you from hitting your goals? Perhaps it turns out that you really cannot live on six hours of sleep. Perhaps the new schedule you set for yourself was impossible when put into practice. No matter how big our dreams, reality is a different thing altogether.
If you planned on hitting the gym every Saturday morning, but it turns out it is too busy and filled with loud people you cannot stand, you’re going to have to change your plan. Don’t fight your instincts, find ways to work with yourself. If you hate cleaning the kitchen, do it first thing in the morning when you’re not really awake and don’t notice as much.
Go through your plans and see what has been preventing you from hitting your goals. It might turn out that you prioritize other things. If socializing with your friends is much more important than going to the gym, maybe you can talk your friends into doing something fitness related. Feed two birds with one seed.
TWO ‒ Make Weekly and Monthly Deadlines or Goalposts
Saying that you are going to complete a project by the end of the year is too abstract. You will blink twice, notice it is November, and freak out. Break the project into at least 10 pieces, and schedule deadlines throughout the year. Or if you have a very busy week, divide everything up by day, and try to get most things done before end of day Thursday. Give yourself a little extra time for when things get stuck ‒ something always will.
When you’re on deadline, stay on track. You may NOT derail your train of thought!Click To Tweet
THREE ‒ Make It Visual
One of the best ways to stay on course is to have a visual sign in our line of vision every day. It can be a note beside our computer, or on the bathroom mirror. It can be a bracelet, watch, or ring that now signifies, “Do This Thing” every time we glance at it. I have a habit of marking symbols on my hand or wrist in marker or eyeliner. (Marker likely isn’t good for you ‒ don’t do that.)
FOUR ‒ Get Some New Tools to Help you Stay on the Rails
Sometimes it’s great to get some new tools to go with your new habits. Maybe you need a new notebooks that fits into your purse. Maybe getting into the habit of setting more reminders in your phone will help you. Test drive some things that work for you.
Thing.do ‒ It’s sort of like the pomodoro technique, but you’re asked specific questions that really motivate you, and clarify why you are doing this thing in the first place. While the timer is ticking, you’re held captive. You can do nothing but your assignment. Go go go!
Weekly Email Inspiration ‒ Join the IHaveASecret.com email list for updates on how to live a bigger life. This weekly note can remind you to take stock of how far you’ve come this week, and to sit down and make your plan for the next week.
Evernote ‒ I cannot rave about this free app and website enough. It syncs with your phone, iPad, and laptop. You can type a note while on the subway and don’t have a connection, and it will sync up when you get above ground. You can dictate notes while you are walking. You can clip photos, articles, and tag all of your notes for fast retrieval. This program holds my life together. Bonus points ‒ there is a jolly green elephant to help you remember!
Hey Beeps ‒ This is a free app that you can set to make a tiny ping noise anytime you like. I have mine set to ping every thirty minutes between 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. This forces me to take stock of how far I have gotten down my do list so far, and pushes me if the end of the day is coming. This clock-watching might be very annoying for some people, but it prevents me from falling down a research hole for three days straight.
FIVE ‒ Forgive Yourself When Life is Messy
If you visit your grandmother’s house and she made your favorite pecan chocolate fudge pie for dessert, you are having some. Do NOT feel any guilt. Grandma loves you. The diet can always be restarted tomorrow.
There are times in life when you have to go with the flow ‒ it would be rude or wrong not to. That’s okay. You can skip a writing session if your friend is in crisis and really needs to meet up with you for coffee to vent.
As much as we need daily goals, sometimes it is better to look at things by the week. If you cannot exercise on Tuesday, you can do more on Monday and Wednesday. It will all even out in the end.
SIX ‒ Don’t Get Too Caught Up in the Numbers
If you vowed to write 1000 words a day, and you are at 950 but it’s half an hour past your bedtime, let it go. If you are two minutes short of your goal on the treadmill, but you are getting dizzy, that is close enough. Most of the time, 95% is still pretty much hitting your goal. Hardly anyone complains if a train is only one minute late, they are glad it arrived at all. Enjoy the ride.
You may also enjoy New Year as a Catalyst for Change and How To Plan a Great Week.
If you’d like more help with goal setting, planning, fighting anxiety, and reinventing yourself, please check out my new ebook.
Never Be Yourself – You’re Better Than That.
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