In just 4 days we will be turning the page that holds another year in the books and moving into 2017. Part of me is so ready to be done with this year and part of me is like, wait what?!
I still remember last New Years morning when I was sitting in my living room processing the past year and getting ready to travel to China for a couple weeks. It seems like that was just a couple months ago but it was actually 12 months ago!! I’m honestly still catching up with the time, wondering where August went. Despite that, January is literally around the corner! And I am excited because I feel like I have begun to see that each year in my life is defined by something and I’m excited to see what next year will be defined by.
Time can feel slow in the moment, especially when we are going through something painful, but in a blink it’s gone.. So before you move into this New Year I want to just help shape the way you prepare yourself for the ride it will be, because when have we gone through a year and done all that we said, and it went exactly as planned? Probably never, so here are some ways to set yourself up for success in 2017.
For the last 5 or so years in the month of December I have taken time to sit down and look at an overall perspective of my year, I simply look at the patterns the year was defined by, and watch the path I took to end up where I am. But then I dive deeper. I begin to look at each month and see what I allowed to be a priority in that month. I break it down and see the steps I took and the ones I missed, the opportunities that I let pass by and the moments that I kicked fear in the face and moved forward.
See I am a visionary and a dreamer but I am also an analytical person, so as easy as it is for me to see my end goals and the bigger picture I must see the step by step. If I don't I would get lost in the big picture and feel overwhelmed by how I would ever achieve that.
Many times as January starts to roll around we get into creating these high-standard resolutions that we want to achieve and then want to see results asap.
But that's not how change works.
It's a slow process of simplifying the big picture into daily steps. This is how not only resolutions are achieved but a lifestyle is created.
So every January I hear about someone's New Years resolutions that they have made and, as mid-January begins to roll around, many of those same people I see resorting back to their same old ways of life. I know how frustrating it is because I used to do it myself until I realized that I wasn't thinking practically about how I was going to implement those resolutions in my life.
I don't think people are incapable of change but many times we create goals that are actually realistic but we don't set ourselves up for success in the beginning. We don't give ourselves time to grow into this new way of living or thinking. We just set the standard and try to do a military halt on our previous life style.
It's easy to say, "in this next year I want to lose 10 pounds." But when we begin to see that this means getting up earlier, limiting some of our favorite foods, working past the sore legs and tight arms, and continuing even when we don't see instant results, many times we give up. We get frustrated and say forget it.
But the thing is we must get past the over-night results we want to see and become okay with the process of change.
So how do you do this?
SMART goals; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. Look I am a practical person, a lay-it-out kind of person and if I do not see step for step the process, it’s out the window.
For every large goal, resolution, or big-picture idea you have try setting up to 10 simplified goals that can be measured weekly. Check in at the end of the day with yourself, then at the end of the month, evaluate how you did, if you didn’t give it your best you have another month of evaluation.
This is how change is implemented, through simple steps and evaluation. It takes time and energy but how much do you want it?
The moments in 2016 that you were disappointed in a decision you made or wish you actually finished that project you were working on, what did you learn from that? Is it that you didn’t give yourself enough time throughout the day, was it the pressure from those around you, identify where your triggers are that cause you to give up and tackle that this next year. It’s not about New Years resolutions, its about creating lifestyle resolutions.
And you don’t have to wait until the 1st, start now, write it out if you have to. Just do it!
Everyone wants to see change in some area of their lives, so instead of waiting for the right moment, just do the work and start, you won’t regret that you did.