Mid-January often makes us feels like the dirty snow that has been around for awhile. We were once lovely, full of hope and promise, but the winter, our schedules, and our to-do lists have turned us into a dirty, pile of frozen muck that looks less like a photo on a holiday card and more like the scene for the latest post-apocalyptic sci-fi show. So too, go our resolutions—those goals that filled us with hope and energy—may have lost their allure and luster right now and we have tossed them aside. Or if we haven’t completely abandoned them, they may be weighing on us like a backpack full of frozen icy, dirty snow.
If any of us are going to arrive at spring still on-track with our goals and resolutions, we need to figure out ways to manage them and manage ourselves and our lives as we work toward them.
Here are a few suggestions—
First, reassess—did you set a reasonable number of goals or does the list go on forever in your quest for perfection? You may need to hone your focus on one or two that make the most sense for you right now.
Next, have a hard talk with yourself to understand the motivations behind your goals. Do you have realistic expectations of yourself? Are you trying to be the best version of yourself or a pale version of Scarlett Johansson or Matthew McConaughey? Are these goals for YOU or for someone else?
Now, have a gentle talk with yourself and figure out how you FEEL about your goals? Are they exciting to you? Do they ring true to who you are and who you want to be in the world? Setting goals that help you live up to your own realistic expectations are more manageable than setting goals in a quest to live up to someone else’s expectations.
Now, take yourself in hand as you would one of your closest friends and figure out how to set things up for success. Do some problem solving and design your environment to help you succeed.
Trying to work out every day? Do you put it in your calendar? Do you have your gym bag packed and ready to go when you leave in the morning? Is there a way that you can ‘bribe’ yourself to get on the treadmill or go to that class—music, movies, going with a friend, a massage at the end of the week?
Trying to eat more healthily? Have you cleaned out your cupboard and refrigerator of all those things that derail that intention? Have you purchased healthy foods you enjoy?
Trying to be better at time management? Are you using the word ‘no’ enough? Are you noticing what distracts you and doing what you can to constrain those distractions? Are you setting up systems that help you organize your time and your stuff?
The bottom line—set yourself up for success and make it EASY to succeed. Forgive yourself if you slip up and then recalibrate and get on track again. At the beginning of each day, make sure you have scheduled at least ONE thing that will move you a little closer to your goals.
It’s time to reenergize about the goals that you set this year. . . Sure, you may have gotten off track by now, but that doesn’t mean that you must abandon the goals that you set three weeks ago. Keep moving forward—even if your pace is slow. Forward movement has momentum and a steady, slow pace will get you farther than you might think.