Goals, Already?

Yes, it’s not even Christmas and I am already talking about goals. I’ve mentioned before that for me I review my goals throughout the year, yet some people focus on the beginning of the year and the changes they want to make.  And it’s never too early to start planning for the New Year.  In fact, beginning now may even make a positive impact on your upcoming holidays.

Who is it that you want to be? How are you different from that idea?  Is it something you can actually change? I would love to be someone who doesn’t have a chronic disease, yet I have no control over that.  On the other hand, I am adamant that it does not control my life.

Supposedly one of the most popular goals of the New Year is to get into shape/ lose weight/ or other diet and health related goals.  Being organized is often up there as a popular goal. And we have all heard the dire statistics on how well we as a whole follow through on our goals, especially at New Year’s.

There are several reasons that we don’t make much progress on our goals: too abstract, too many, too dramatic a change, and the list goes on. This is a prime reason that it’s a good time to start thinking about what your goals will be – giving yourself time to let it float around in your brain and percolate.

Let me cover some basic ideas and I am sure they are out there in cyber space aplenty:

  1. Get specific. If you want to lose weight, come up with a plan on how you will work on that. If you want to be more organized, define one area that matters most and focus on that specifically.  What steps are needed to accomplish this goal? Do you need to schedule time to exercise? Do you want to check the dining room table twice a day and spend time clearing it if things are accumulating?  What do specifically want? Set the guidelines for yourself.
  2. Choose one goal to start with.  If we divide our attention to many different goals, we’re likely to do none of them.  You can always add a new goal after a month or so of success with the first one.  Remember, on average it takes 30 days of doing something consistently for it become a habit – whether that’s exercising or keeping the dining room table clear.
  3. Start with small changes.  Our routines are hard to change, we’re used to doing things in very specific ways, and switching how we do them is uncomfortable and hard.  I’ve heard it compared to ruts in a road, it’s hard to get out of the rut and to not end up back in those ruts.  Our brains are used to us behaving as we always have, and to suddenly be trying to make large changes – it’s unsettling.  This is also where recognizing the ways you are successful can help, then making some modifications to become more successful.

One of my goals for the coming year is to monthly tackle one room in our house and review it and the things in it.  I’ve recognized how easy it is for things to build up.  I don’t always appreciate the decor as the years pass since I too can become “blind” to it.  I want to be surrounded by things that inspire me and especially not bogged down by things that aren’t relevant to me anymore. It will also keep the space relatively fresh, and I won’t stop seeing things out of habit.   Also, at the monthly level it will give me time to tweak some systems if they need it before we’re on to the next room.

What’s one thing you want to be different next year? You can make it happen, I believe in you.

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