This year didn’t start out the way I had planned. I had big plans for ultra efficient productive creative time for the first week of the year. I had resolved to start the year with a bunch of blog posts already piled up waiting for release and all my workshops and the marketing of the workshops mapped out and mostly written. I was finally going to clear the clutter from my own office and start the year fresh and shiny.
Instead, I have had a terrible cold. So, all that creative time was spent on the couch, watching movies and blowing my nose, and trying to nap. I’m finally feeling a little better and so all my plans are pushed about a week. I will be back on track by the end of the month. Fresh and shiny by February.
How about you? What is your excuse? I’m not trying to be harsh, I just know from experience that most of my clients give up on their resolutions as soon as an obstacle presents itself. Instead of adjusting the plan and the expectation, they just give up.
Keep in mind that resolutions, goals, prioritizing, fresh starts, all depend on forming a new habit. Forming new habits takes time. They have to be absorbed and integrated into your days, mind and body. So, here are the most frequent stumbling blocks and what you can do about them to actually benefit from your resolutions.
Too Big A Change – Resolving to do something that is just too much, too fast, too intense is just overwhelming. Overwhelm leads to shut down and nothing will change. You know it’s too big if just thinking about it makes you want to cry, or freeze.
Instead, try reframing the change from an all at once, perfect all the time scenario, into something you will strive to achieve. Turning it into a learning opportunity takes some of the intensity out. It becomes trial and error and try again. So vow to get better at or good at something.
Getting organized is the perfect example of this. Don’t think you are going to organize the whole house all at once and thinking it will stay that way. Instead, strive to put your toys away every day, and horizontal surfaces (desk, counter, coffee table) cleared once a week, and go through one area at a time.
Needs Set Up – This one is a failure to plan. When you don’t have the right tools for the job, or the appropriate time in the schedule, or the cooperation of others involved, it will feel like a fight. It is impossible to keep at something when you feel beat up after doing it.
Instead, take a step back. Do the planning and the set up. Modify the plan so it’s realistic and doable. Set yourself up for success, what is the minimum amount you need to do this thing? Knowing that will allow you to keep going despite obstacles. Create a checklist and get it done. Just don’t get so caught up in perfect planning.
You want to lose weight and be healthier but don’t know how to fit the treadmill and juicer into the house much less squeeze realistic time into your schedule. So, you “diet” then have a snack and say it didn’t work. This time, try getting rid of all the unhealthy snacks in your house, and then not buying more. Find your running shoes and take the whole family to the park for some fun running around.
Not Tied To Your Values – You need your foundation in place to build on. Trying new things because you should, or because everyone else is doing it will only make you resentful and you will look for any excuse to stop.
Instead, take the time to know what you stand for. Once you know that, all change will be easier. Decisions will be easier. Long lasting results will be yours.
Saving money is hard when you should or when it’s for some nebulous future that might or might not happen. However, if one of your values is helping others and you tie saving to tithing it becomes a joy. It’s about putting your oxygen mask on first so you can help others. Save yourself so you are available for others.
Now that you know these tricks, look at your resolutions again. Do the ones that you have already abandoned fall into one of these categories? Take that step back, replan, reframe and stand for something!