Yep, another year has come and gone. And now we are in 2016. Many of us have high hopes for the new year: Wipe the slate clean; get our ducks in a row; this is the year; get all my items on the to-do list done, cross off the things on my bucket list… We have the best intentions, but for me when I say a grand statement like “THIS YEAR I’M GOING TO DO IT! it honestly doesn’t motivate me to do everything I actually want to do, it just propels me into thinking I have a huge mountain to climb. When I think about that mountain, I realize it’s pretty big and I have a long way to go. I want to get it done as quickly as possibly, so I go full speed ahead. Below is an example of what happens:
My intention is set. I want to lose weight in 2016. So I buy a tracking steps thingamagig. I pump myself up and buy a new walking outfit and sneakers. I’m ready! I tell myself I want to do 10,000 steps a day beginning on January 1st (even though on December 31st I estimate I took 215 steps…the entire day.) Even so, I am committed to DOING THIS because that’s what I told myself I was going to do. Other people around me were doing 10,000 steps and they were fit, so that’s what I’m going to do. If they can do it, I can do it.
So what really happens? I buy the outfit, shoes and tracker. I set out on my 10k. After a half hour or so I’m tired, I start to sweat, my heart is pounding, I’m thirsty and I’m more tired. I get a big blister on my toe, my calves hurt and I’m hungry. What am I nuts? I can’t do this. I’m not in shape. I’m failing. This was stupid of me to try. I am a failure. I’m a loser. bla bla bla
So from now on, starting in 2016, I’m going to start off the year with attainable, specific goals that I can actually commit to. How different would my motivation level be if I set the goals like this instead?
My intention is set. I want to lose weight in 2016. So I will buy a tracking steps thingamabob. I pump myself up and buy a new walking outfit and sneakers. I’m ready! I tell myself I want to do 10,000 steps four times a week eventually, but beginning on January 1st I’m going to walk 1000 steps because I probably only took 215 steps the entire day yesterday! That’s a reasonable goal. Once I am walking 1000 steps for a week or so I will increase it to perhaps 1500 steps four times a week. I will keep on increasing until I hit the 10k step mark.
As I read this I’m not so overwhelmed and anxious. I am not setting myself up to fail by setting unattainable goals. Even though I ultimately want to get to the 10,000 steps, it is better for me to challenge myself in increments when I am physically and mentally ready to do so. I will even make myself a reasonable timeline to hit each milestone.
So as 2016 begins, think of breaking your goals into bite sized chunks rather than the whole enchilada. Some ideas to consider:
- Preparing your will
- Getting more organized
- Increasing your social life
- Concentrating on how to grow your business and income
- Getting life and/or disability Insurance
- Adding more fruits and veggies to your diet
- Writing your book
- Learning more about web services
- Attending a church service
- Booking a weekend getaway with family or friends
- Specific ideas to go outside your comfort zone
- Saving money for that dream home or vacation
- Looking for another job
- Reading more
- Making family time a priority
There are so many things we can work on to improve our lives and they all start with that first step. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to get it all done in a week. When you pace yourself and do small tasks, at the end of the year you will be AMAZED at how much you have accomplished. So set your heart driven goals, make that phone call, research a topic, put down that computer device and play a board game with your kids, send an email requesting information, ask for a referral, go to the store and buy a bin or extra hangers, spend some time in the produce section, join match.com, put a vacation change jar on the counter, check the want ads, ask a close friend who they use for the service you’re looking for. Then once you make that step, build on it and take the next. THIS YEAR YOU CAN DO IT, ONE STEP AT A TIME!
Bring on 2016 and watch your life soar!
Gayle Suzanne, Coach, Author, Motivational Speaker
Thank you for making me your trusted choice.