Happy 2016! It’s a new year and a time for new beginnings. Many of you make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, read more, quit smoking, exercise more, drink less, save more money, stop accidentally flashing your lawn men (or maybe that’s just me!), you know, the usual stuff.
Do you usually keep your resolutions? Most of us don’t. What can we do that will help us keep them? According The New York Times’ article Want to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions? Consider the Consequences of Failing, it’s important to first set realistic goals. So no, odds are you aren’t going to look like a Victoria Secret model by the end of the year. If you’ve figured out how to do that, send me the plan—now! My husband and probably the lawn guys will appreciate it. You also have to be specific, have a plan for reaching those goals. As a writer, it’s especially important to set goals. I sometimes set specific page goals for the day and for the week. Do I always make them? No, but if I don’t set any goal, I’m almost guaranteed to meet that one. Meaning, I don’t get crap done. So I give myself a goal, but I also give myself a little wiggle room. And finally, the NYT said if you want to keep your goals/resolutions, it helps to consider the consequences of failure. If you don’t lose weight, it could lead to a heart attack or diabetes. If you don’t save money, you may have to work longer before you can retire. It’s very important for me to meet my writing goals or I won’t make my deadline. That makes my publisher unhappy, and I feel like I’ve let them down.
But remember, if you don’t reach a goal, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back in there and try again, even if it means starting over. Remember, you’re not a quitter until you quit. One thing I’m doing is looking at the goals I set last year. Some of them weren’t all that realistic. This year, most of mine are more attainable. Instead of “only eat a few carbs” I’m moving to, “eat a few less carbs.” And this year, I’m giving myself more rewards. It just won’t always be a box of chocolates.
So, what are some of your resolutions? Anyone else need to stop flashing your lawn guys?
Oh, and because I’m asking you to share, I’ll share a few more of mine.
1. Exercise at least five days a week.
2. Eat less processed food.
3. Take more time to appreciate the good things: Friends, family, career successes.
4. Find something to laugh about every day. We should all have that one on our lists!