How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Have you forgotten them or have you made progress? March is a great time to spend a few minutes checking in with yourself – here are some questions to ask:
How am I doing? Whatever your answer – be honest and try very hard not to judge yourself. It is too easy to give up just because you haven’t made as much progress as you would like (or no progress at all). If you are doing really well, celebrate that. If you are not, pat yourself on the back for revisiting your resolution and continue with the other questions listed here.
Am I on track? Hopefully, when you made your resolutions at the beginning of the year, you also made a plan to achieve them. No matter how simple (“stick to two cups of coffee each day”) or how complicated (“start a business”), if you have a plan, then you know if you are tracking to that plan or not. If you are doing really well, celebrate that. If you are not, pat yourself on the back for revisiting your plan, adjust as necessary, and continue with the other questions listed here.
What issues are standing in my way? Any plan, goal, or resolution is going to have challenges. What can you do to make the going easier/more productive/more effective? For a lot of people, the size of the resolution is the problem. Big steps are easy to delay. Break down your goal in to as many micro-movements as possible… even if you only write two sentences a day, eventually your novel will be complete.
Are these still the right resolutions? Let’s remember that everything we learned in our business classes about sunk costs, nimble business models, and responding to a changing market place also applies to our personal lives. If your resolution isn’t working for you – don’t beat yourself up, just stop doing it. Create new goals that address your life now, and better yet, the life you see yourself living in 2016. Then get excited about moving in that direction.
Are you noticing a theme? This post is a great example of teaching what you most need to learn (Richard Bach never seems to get enough credit for saying that). I am extraordinarily good at beating myself up for not perfectly completing each step of my plan, or for not creating the perfect plan, or for not being ahead of the plan, etc etc etc. The best way I have found to break that habit is to CELEBRATE. Celebrate small steps of progress. Celebrate your flexibility when there is a change in plan. And celebrate how well you bounce back when you miss a step. I’m not saying we all deserve participation trophies for showing up at work each day, but for those of us who have spent years beating ourselves up over imperfection, training our brain to be comfortable with the process of working towards a goal is an incredibly useful skill.
Need some resources? (of course you do):
A little inspiration from Twitter: https://twitter.com/hashtag/habits
http://lauravanderkam.com/best-of/ – I’ll be doing some posts on her work in the future, but her “best of” page is a great way to browse through her content.
http://gettingthingsdone.com/fivesteps/ – David Allen… because he literally wrote a book called “Getting Things Done.”
http://blog.kimberlywilson.com/2006/06/hip-tranquil-chick-podcast-36-hip.html and http://blog.kimberlywilson.com – I’ve followed Kimberly Wilson for almost a decade. She won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m continually amazed by how much she accomplishes each week and by her business savvy, despite the girly/yoga persona she has created.
Where else do you look for inspiration? How do you stay on track with your resolutions?