I don’t know about you, but I’ve started a lot of Januarys in a slight state of panic or at least a low grade of anxiety. Instead of being excited for what’s ahead, I feel like I didn’t do enough the previous year, and I am facing another year… what will I do, what do I want, how can I help and other questions swirl in my head.
I am not good at setting goals, and this is a big reason I have this panic. I’ve mostly allowed my days and life to flow with a semblance of structure but no real plan behind it or goals to shoot for. I fear failure. If I don’t set a goal, I cannot fail. But, it’s time to switch that around in my head. Not setting the goal is failure. Failure is not fatal. We learn much more from failing than we do from succeeding, but I can’t allow fear of failure to hold me back from setting true goals and intentions for my year. If I don’t accomplish the goal, it is not the end of the world, and it is not failure.
Don’t be afraid of setting the goal.
I call myself a reformed perfectionist. Life isn’t perfect, and I’m not perfect. Along the way, I must have decided there’s no reason to set goals in this imperfect world. Life will go as it will. Just flow. Well, the biggest problem with not setting goals and lining up reasonable expectations is your days end up being a blur of things you sort of got done, got started on but didn’t finish, and it’s all vague at the day’s end as to what you accomplished. The mind likes goals. Without them, it does not know what to do. So, it just floats around from one small task to another, which leads to another before the first two got done, etc.
Start with a task list.
I may not be great at setting goals, but I can make a task list. I am working on creating them again after years of just flowing with each day. The way I see it, getting back into the habit of writing a task list will lead me into the habit of being a better goal-setter. Can I call that my goal for the year? Being more comfortable setting goals!
Learning from last year’s success.
Last year, I started eating better, drinking less and exercising regularly, which I blogged about here. I set an expectation that I would work out Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and, for the most part, I stuck to it. That workout schedule is specific, but I gave myself room to pick a different day or not go at all if it didn’t work. That’s not failure, that’s called being flexible and reasonable. If I had not set a schedule, I would not have been consistent and I would not be where I am today with my wellness. So, I’ve proven to myself that goal setting, or, at the very least, creating a schedule propels you forward.
2020’s New Habits
Last year’s success gives me a fresh perspective, and I’m excited. I want to start a few new habits, as a result. As I start each day, I will tell my day how it is going to go. I stole this idea from a celebrity interview I read, and I like it. My day will not always go in the way I intend, but I can at least begin with an intention. Second, I will identify my Top 3 “To-Do’s.” Of course, the list is always much longer than three tasks, but if I have a top 3, the odds are much greater I will have a day in which I feel accomplished. We do what we can with each day. One day at a time, one task at a time. Third, I will continue my three days of fitness, and time with my family will be a priority over time on my phone. Life won’t end without my “like” or comment.
At the end of my day, I’d like to take a few moments to list a few things in my mind for which I am grateful and celebrate what I accomplished, regardless of how small it is. Lastly, I want to spend a few moments being quiet and listening. Being receptive gives me the opportunity to be guided this year and open for what comes.
Thank you for reading this. Let’s tackle this new year and new decade with gusto and energy. Wishing you great things in the New Year!