Good Sunday morning ladies,
As it is almost New Years Eve and resolution time I wanted to share a sampling of a chapter out of my book that will be coming out in March 2013. In my book there are two How To chapters, the partial chapter I am sending you is about how to set goals (you all know how I feel about having and setting goals).
I hope you enjoy and take some of the steps to ensure YOUR New Year Resolutions STICK this year.
ps. I call my box the Pleasure Box and I have mine in my kitchen STILL, it’s been almost a year and a 1/2 since starting it. I go to mine to with excitement to see what I have accomplished so far and to see what I intend for my future. I look forward to sharing my resolutions for 2013 with Jimmy on New Years morning and striving toward the achievement of them.
New Year’s Resolutions again. All of us at Your Turn understand, through our own experiences, how challenging life is. We are expected to take care of our families, be good friends and employees and be beautiful, healthy, fit, thin, oh, and happy, too. Yup, we try to be all that, and when we fail at any one of the beautiful, healthy, fit, thin and happy parts—we give up and go back to giving all we can to the family, friends and career portions of our lives.
At Your Turn we know so many women out there “giving it all they got” and we want to help. Studies say the top three personal-goal resolutions involve either increasing financial security, getting more organized or improving health and fitness. Your Turn is all about the health and wellness thing, and Got Goal? is your answer to any flavor of New Year’s Resolution.
Making resolutions is the easy part, right? A huge percentage of us make them every year. Keeping resolutions however, is the hard part. How many times have you re-made the same resolution?
Plenty of excuses arise, but failed resolutions boil down to one thing, routine. In Leif Enger’s “Peace Like a River” Reuben says, “worry died, as usual, at the hands of routine.” The same can be said about Resolutions. Our comfy familiar routine knocks them out cold.
Why Do We Make New Year’s Resolutions?
We like to share them: Not only are we encouraged to establish resolutions at this time of year, but we are also regularly invited to talk about them.
We don’t want to feel left out: The very idea that we might miss out on something everyone else is benefiting from will convince us to participate in any number of things. Having a specific time of the year for making resolutions brings out our “me-too” tendencies.
Many a resolution is made within a group, possibly on the eve of the new year. We make a resolution to go along with the group, however we don’t actually mean it because we haven’t thought about it long enough and haven’t made a plan on how to achieve it. Often 10 to 30 days later, we can’t remember what that resolution was, and chances are neither can anyone else in the group.
Inspiration lives in symbolism: The fact that an entire year lies ahead sets up another reason for the popularity of this tradition With the entire year ahead, the months stretch out before us forever and the possibilities abound. We have an endless supply of days in which to accomplish our goals. December 31st seems like the incarnation of “Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.”
We want to be our best selves: We want to be in better physical condition, learn something new, and have more joy in our lives. We want to heal something that has been hurting us, emotionally or physically, or we want to break a detrimental addiction.
Why Do We Fail to Keep Them?
We have poor methods of making them:
The key to keeping resolutions is linked to making the right resolutions in the first place.
- Set SMART goals, ones that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. When thinking about or making your resolutions, put them through the SMART test.
- Break up longer-term resolutions into shorter time frames, creating a step-by-step action plan.
- Make the goal with an accountability partner, human or animal. If someone else is going to be counting on you to show up, you are more likely to do so.
We make wishes instead of resolutions: A resolution works only if you are willing to make it happen. Remind yourself that this is where you are heading—not want to be heading.
We don’t treat resolutions with the care they deserve: Our daily routines typically don’t include any attention to goals beyond our daily to-do lists. Our current media environment overloads our brain with all that is happening now and we get caught up. We even treat our trash better than our resolutions. The trash has its own place. Where do we put our resolutions?
Follow the “Got Goal?” Method for Success.
First, write out your daily routine for Monday, Tuesday, etc. For Understand that your current weekend routine is your comfort zone regardless of its positive or negative effects on you, your health and your life. Like the feel of a polished wood plank, you slide along your routine with little thought or resistance.
Now write out the routine you will have and envision yourself acting out that new routine.
Are you going to stop going to the bar after work on Tuesdays? If so, then where are you going to go? Are you going to go home, the bookstore or a coffee shop? Can someone you know meet you for a while at your new spot? Maybe you are going to add going to the gym before you go to work in the morning. If that is the case, then who goes to that gym in the morning, what do they do, can you join them? Maybe you don’t know anyone who does that. Ask your friends about their friends. Ask the manager if he/she knows anyone who goes at that time. Maybe you can get in contact with them. Are you planning on setting aside two hours a week to becoming organized? If so, what are you going to organize first? Make a plan in segments or stages. Maybe debt is the issue you plan to address. Don’t plan to cut out cable, coffee stops, drinks, and date night all at once. Figure out which would be the easiest to change. Instead of cable, get Netflix. Instead of going out to dinner, plan to make something special at home. Instead of movie night out, have movie night in. Too many cuts or changes too rapidly will not be sustainable. Too much of a shock to your old routine—your comfort zone—will have you running to old ways.
Dress up your resolutions: Write your resolution on nice stationary. Add little notes to yourself as you move forward toward the accomplishment of this resolution.
Give them a place to live:
Put them in a box. What speaks to you? What texture brings you to a place of joy when you run your hand across it? Is it baked clay with just enough raw so it feels like earth? Is it the fresh feel of wood, polished to a shine with a gold latch at the front? Add a fragrance that will remind you when your goal should be accomplished. Enlist all your senses.
Success Story From a Working Mother
January 1st, I decided on a few small simple things to do to lose weight. First on my list was to bring a healthy lunch to work instead of grabbing something from the deli nearby. Each morning I used to focus my routine on getting the kids up and out. I am not a hungry-first-thing-in-the-morning kind of woman, so I tended to forget to eat. I would forget about making my lunch, too. My beautiful wood box and everything I had written down about my weight loss and my routine was in our bedroom. At the end of the day I would look at it as I climbed into bed and think, “Shit!” I didn’t take my lunch to work today and didn’t even think twice about scarfing down fries and a huge diet Coke. The first week of my resolution hadn’t gone as intended.
Week 2, I changed my morning plan to an evening plan and put my resolution box in the kitchen. After dinner had been cleaned up, I immediately began making my lunch for the following day. I also decided what I was going to bring for my on-the-go breakfast. I actually had to make a note to myself to grab the bags from the refrigerator. I taped that note on the front of my purse so I would remember it just as I was about to leave the house. This made a big difference.
By week 5 I didn’t need the reminders. I had it down; it was my routine. I was ready to add another component to my plan. In my box, I looked over my list of stages. I had changed my lunch and breakfast habits. Done. Now on to the next.
I stopped by the gym and looked to see if there were any exercises classes I would be interested in. Come to find out there was a biking class, spinning.
On Sunday night of week 6, I put some exercise clothes in a bag along with a towel and my makeup kit to freshen up after. I put a note on my purse to remember my bag. I had already asked my employer for 30 extra minutes during break, which I would make up on the days I didn’t go to the gym at lunch. I was ready Monday, and I went. My new note to myself was to pack my gym bag on Sunday night and Tuesday night. I put a note on my purse too to ensure I remembered my bag.
By week 9 I had a solid routine. Not only was I beginning to notice the weight I was losing, but I also felt odd on the few days I didn’t attend the class. This routine became my new normal. I put my box back in the bedroom because now I enjoy tending to it when I’m relaxed at the end of the day.