I’m not big on New Years Resolutions because they never stick. That being said it IS hard for me not to make grand gestures of change, but I have found that they never work for me. Anytime I declare I’m going to make a 360-degree change it never lasts more than a month. In the last couple of years, I have learned to 1) make small changes that will build upon each other, 2) get up and try again… no matter how many times it takes and 3) have grace for myself when I (inevitably) fall short.
I encourage you to do the same. For each goal that you have, pick a small habit and work on them one at a time. Do you want to be healthier next year? Awesome, but if you declare that you are going to eat only healthy food and that you are going to exercise every day, it is VERY unlikely to happen (kudos to anyone who can actually make this type of resolution stick). Instead make a decision to make healthier choices when you can, or to put something good in your body before you eat that yummy treat.
This goal worked great for me this year when I lost 20lbs. Of course, I did just get over a very scary health crisis which helped kick-start the weight loss, but the biggest results came from small changes, built upon over time. I didn’t completely give up carbs, but I did limit them, or I made better carb choices like a sweet potato instead of a white potato or eating an apple before I went for the chips. I didn’t give up chips… I just ate an apple first.
This is just a small example of some positive changes that I made without depriving myself which never leads to anything good. Now that I feel I’ve made this a permanent habitual change I will move on to something else. I plan on getting back into fitness a bit this year, but I won’t jump right in with exercising for an hour every day. My plan is to do 10 mins of yoga at least 3x a week. Once I master that consistently I will add on either in duration or frequency. Before I know it I’ll be back to doing full hour classes at my local yoga studio.
I used weight loss and healthy lifestyle as my example because it’s a popular one and because we can probably all relate, but my goals for this year are a little different. I want to take back control of my time. I am a procrastinator, BAD… but it’s not because I spend my time goofing around, it’s because I put TOO much on my plate. I’m better this year than I was last year, but I am still nowhere near where I need to be. So my word for the year in 2019 is
It is a reminder to be more aware of how I spend time in my business, to think (realistically) about how long things will actually take, to be mindful of spending time with my kids and my husband and most importantly for myself. I want to feel like I control my time, not that my time is controlling me.
Now I’ve already made commitments for 2019 that are going to have to be fulfilled but I don’t need to take on more than I can actually handle. So here are my big goals and small steps.
Less time on Facebook
I waste so much of my day commenting on things that aren’t doing anything for me. They aren’t moving my business forward and they certainly are not adding anything positive to my life. I know I can’t give it up completely because I need it for work and because I do like the platform and being able to stay in touch with loved ones who are far away but I don’t need to be as reliant on it as I am. I plan on limiting personal use during ‘business hours’ so that I can also achieve my second goal which will be having specific times that I am in business mode and leave the rest of my time to be 100% present with my family.
- Set specific times I will work on social media tasks, including Facebook I will set a task and get in and out within a specific time. It will not be an open tab on my screen all day long to distract me.
- No more just scrolling through my feed during business hours. I don’t need to go looking for things to comment on.
I’ll see how those two things go and I will master them before I move on to more, I may even modify my expectations depending on how well I do. I also know if I don’t allow myself some time to do what I normally do that I will just fall back into old habits. I’ll eventually also limit my personal use outside of business hours in the same way. Ideally, I would like to spend no more than an hour a day on Facebook and to be less reliant on it.
Separating business and family/personal time
I am often not really present for my children and my husband, I’m always thinking about work; what needs to be done now, what new projects I want to take on, returning messages, etc etc. I don’t want to do that anymore. While I love my business, I cannot let it consume my life. My family needs to be my top priority.
- Off the computer by 4pm (with an optional hour at night if need be after the kids go to bed)
- No more saying yes to every opportunity- I will be more selective
- Schedule tasks in advance with realistic time limits and not take on more than I can feasibly do in a day
Once I have that down I will work on having one day completely off per week with NO screen time. My ultimate goal is to dedicate no more than 5 hours/5 days a week to my business with specific big launch times that may require more time.
I will continue to build on the health goals I’ve already been working on and add these other small steps into my days. Once I feel those small steps have become actual habits that I consistently do every day, I will add more small steps.
What are some things you want to change in your life? Can you break them down into small steps that you can build upon? If you are afraid this won’t work I highly encourage you to read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Also, think about how many times you’ve failed at those big grand gestures and that slow and steady always wins the race!
Comment on or share this blog post with your word of the year and why you chose it.