So. How are those New Year’s resolutions going, now that we’re a few weeks into the new year? Are you scoring 100% success on the goals you set? If so, huge congrats to you! Take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back and give yourself a gold star (really – I do this sometimes)! But this post may not interest you – yet, anyway. Come back in a month or two if you need to.
For the rest of us – the ones who are coming close but not quite nailing it the way we want to, or those of us who are really struggling to meet our goals, or even those who don’t remember what their goals were – I have a couple of reassuring thoughts to share. They’re ideas you are probably already aware of, but sometimes we need someone to remind us . . .
- Reevaluate. Consistently and frequently re-evaluate your goals. I do this every couple of weeks anyway, and again at the end of the month, to keep myself from getting too far off track. If you’re really frustrated and your goals are so overwhelming at this point that you don’t even want to review them, it’s likely that you have overestimated your time and capacity for meeting your goals. Take a deep breath and remember that it’s okay! This is totally fixable! Tell your ego to hush and let you think . . .
- Reclaim. Make sure the goals you set are your goals, not goals you think you should set because of outside influences. Be careful that you set goals that you can take full ownership of, that you are motivated to work toward; and know your “why” behind each goal or set of goals.
- Resize. Consider downscaling the goal. Breathe. It’s okay! Downscaling takes courage for some of us! It’s easy to be caught up in the “new year, new you” mindset and be overly ambitious right out of the gate, then look at our goals and think we must have been crazy for setting them or feel completely overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel. Don’t give up! It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing.
For example, if I set out to read one book per month but school is taking more time than I anticipated this semester, or work has gotten crazy busy and looks like it’ll stay that way for a while, I might need to set a goal of one book every two months. Or maybe I simply need to let myself off the hook for that January book, read what I can, and try again next month. This is not the same as quitting!
- Reset. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, set your chin, square your shoulders, and start working toward your shiny new/newly revised and more achievable goals! (Andpat yourself on the back for adulting like a boss!)
- Reflect. Set a reminder on your calendar or your to-do list (or both!) to come back and review your goals regularly, as it works best for you. Maybe it’s monthly, maybe quarterly, or more often if you need to (and can do so without slipping into perfectionism). It’s easier to make tiny adjustments than huge ones, so don’t go too long without checking in with your goals for making your hopes and dreams become reality! And you may even want to bookmark this post or save it somewhere for future reference.
- Reach out. If you’re struggling with goal-setting and/or maintaining your goals and you want some help, contact me for a bit of coaching to set you on the right track for your unique needs!
Remember: there is no shame, only wisdom, in recognizing you’ve overestimated your time and/or capacity for the goals you’ve set, or that life has changed and so must your goals. By doing this, you can set yourself up for a happy year-end review that enables you to congratulate yourself for learning to set achievable goals, learning to be flexible without breaking (quitting), and making trackable progress toward your long-term goals, rather than having that twinge in your gut when you have to chalk up another year of not effectively moving in the direction in which you want to take your life.
Image Credit: ShortStatusQuotes