Friday, January 6, 2017
My "Not New Years" Goals
I've never been much of a New Years Resolutions kinda person. I have occasionally set a goal or two, but rarely have I kept up with them. I think that far too often our goals are too big or too boring or too far outside our normal, current lifestyle, that we just can't keep up with them.
But those of you who know me personally know that I am a planner. And I do love goals. And Excel spreadsheets. And notebooks. And journals. And Kanban goal flow boards. And sticky notes. And, and, and.....
I actually really enjoy setting goals, but I have found that to be successful with my goals, they need to be bite sized, and typical New Years Resolutions seem to just be big things, without the baby steps. If I want to set a goal to workout 6 days a week, it usually has to start with setting a goal to regularly exercise two days a week, then to bump it up a day, and so on and so forth. If I want to read aloud one new book each month to my children, I start with something like reading aloud for a few minutes twice a week. Bite-sized baby steps to the rescue.
I think my hesitancy to set New Years goals lies in the premise that there is something magical about a certain day or month of the year for starting new things. It communicates that goals are to be made in January, and not March or September. It communicates that if we "fail" at our goal, it's probably not the right time to redo our goal and keep pushing...because it's not the new year. It communicates that we should only specifically look to improve our lifestyle, health, habits, etc. one time a year.
We miss the mark sometimes (okay, a lot of times). Our lofty goals may have been too big or not right for us and we fail. And there is NOTHING wrong with failing; it's how we learn. But if we keep our minds set to only create new goals and try new things once a year, we may let failure end at failure. We may not do anything with our failure, or adjust our goals, or try again.
So no New Years' Resolutions for me. Instead, I'll let you know the goals that I'm currently working on, as well as the goals I'm setting for myself in the near future.
Here are a few of my current goals:
*Work out 5 times per week. I'm crushing this because I found something I love that motivates me to get up and go (see my previous post). Not only do I go five times a week, but a couple of those days I go to both an afternoon and evening class. A mini goal within this is to attend 1 Brazillian Jiu Jitsu class each week (this is newer to me, and not my favorite compared to the Mixed Martial Arts, but still fun and I can learn some great skills here). Considering how six months ago I *maybe* worked out twice per week, and I now work out 5-6 days a week, I have had some awesome success with this goal. I attribute success with this goal to 1) finding something I love and look forward to doing, and 2) great trainers and friends to train with. It's made this goal one in which I don't even have to "try" to accomplish anymore.
*Meal Plan more effectively. Those of you who have followed my blog for a long time would be shocked to find out how poorly I've been doing at meal planning lately. It's especially awful since we are often out late at various martial arts classes or gymnastics classes and then come home to no food. So....I am currently working at being just a little bit better at meal planning. One of these mini goals is to keep things like cooked rice, chopped lettuce, and other quick-meal type stuff my family likes in the fridge. But really, my crock pot misses me. And I miss it. So back to meal planning we go!
*Read two books aloud to the kids each month. Okay, so this one took some major baby stepping. Also, I had to have grace for the times when my kids just really weren't interested in the book at hand. Last month we read Peter Pan and The Little House in the Big Woods, and we are currently almost done with The Three Musketeers. For some odd reason, I have found that I feel especially "accomplished" with our homeschool day if I've spent time reading aloud to the kids. Not sure why. You'd think that finishing Math and English would leave me feeling accomplished, but nope-it's reading aloud. And so, that's why this goal is an important one to me. It's good for the kids but also gives me as a homeschooling mom a sense of accomplishment that I so desperately need sometimes.
*Read more personal enrichments books. Notice how I don't have a set number for this...it's because I've been there, done that, and it never works. So now I just keep on my mind that it's something I value and want to regularly do. I am currently reading through both Rich Dad, Poor Dad and The Millionaire Next Door, both of which I find incredibly eye-opening and interesting. Following these books, I'd like to read Wired to Eat by my new friend Robb Wolf, who is a health expert and author of the New York Times Bestselling book, The Paleo Solution. Also, he is super awesome and is super nice when he kicks my butt at jiu jitsu. We don't eat Paleo in our home, but I'm becoming more aware of food and its affect on my body, and am really wanting to learn more.
So, there they are...a few of my current, "not New Years" goals. They aren't resolutions, and they don't start or end on a certain day. They are things that I believe will enrich and enhance my life. No New Years Resolutions for me! And I'm perfectly happy and fine with that.