Happy New Year!
Traditionally, this is the time of the year when many of us reflect on the last year and our lives in general.
We think about what we want to see happen in the new year and what we want our life to look like. All of this reflection usually leads to goal setting. While setting new goals is usually exciting, it can also be a little intimidating. Adding new things to our lives means we need to make space for them and that’s usually easier said then done.
One of the main reasons people have a hard time keeping their resolutions after the new year is that the goals they’ve set are usually unrealistic. Even the most disciplined person on the planet is going to have a hard time meeting a goal that is so lofty, the odds of winning the lottery are better than achieving the goals they’ve set.
For example, if you only have thirty minutes a day to exercise and it takes twenty minutes to drive to the gym, setting a goal of going to the gym five days per week is a recipe for failure.
No matter how good you are at setting realistic goals life can cause us to get off course or make necessary changes. Last July, my husband and I packed up our house, put most of our things in storage, and moved into temporary housing while we sold our home. We have been living in a a 600 square foot house with our three dogs for about five months. I am happy to share that we will be moving into our new forever home at the end of this January. And yes, our dogs will finally have a nice big yard!
We are very happy with our decision to move and have zero regrets. However, the past six months have reminded me that different seasons in our lives can require us to spend our time differently. It’s not a bad thing, it just means that we may have to give ourselves a break and not get upset if we aren’t meeting all of our goals exactly the way we planned them on our calendars.
When we first moved into our tiny and low maintenance beach house, I had it all laid out in my mind that I was going to write my book, finish my on line classes, and launch a new product for my business. What I didn’t take into account was that I was in charge of over seeing the sale of our home, settling us in our new area, house hunting, doing all of the paperwork, and working with the consultants. Needless to say, I was much busier than I anticipated and had set unrealistic goals for myself. There were moments I felt like a complete failure in my business.
Fortunately, I coach people on how to set realistic goals as part of my personal training business so I was able to give myself permission to put some things on hold. I didn’t give up on the goals, I simply reset the timeline.
I reminded myself that we were moving, house hunting, and purchasing a new home so I needed to stop focusing on the things I was unable to do and should focus on the things I could do instead. For example Instead of finishing all of my classes sitting in front of my laptop, I listened to them while driving and doing other things like exercising. Will I need to go back and watch them to pick up things I missed? Yes. However, do I have more knowledge than I did before? Yes!
This year, I’ve decided that when it comes to my goals I’m going to focus on what I know I can do and I’m not going to stress or beat myself up about the things I can’t do right now. I’ve decided to give myself a break and I recommend you do the same. Focusing on what you can’t do can paralyze you. However, when you focus on what you are able to do momentum begins to occur.
Maybe you aren’t able to devote six days a week to your exercise routine just yet, but you know you can start with twenty minutes three times per week. Those three days per week are going to take you way further than doing nothing at all or waiting until you have more time. It’s really important to take care of your health. It’s also important to remember that doing what you can stress free is way better than feeling guilty about a workout you aren’t able to fit into your day.
None of us can or should neglect our current responsibilities so if we want to add something new I believe it’s important we do so with thought and care. I also believe we should prioritize things based on our values, self care, and what we want our life to look like. Those are very important things to think about when setting new goals.
Here’s to a healthy, happy, and super productive 2018!