As we start a new year, it’s natural to plan ahead and set some goals or resolutions. If you are like me, you are guilty of recurring resolutions – the same few goals that pop up over and over again, year after year. Maybe it’s eating better, losing weight, spending more time with your kids or not wasting money on frivolous items. Whatever they may be, there are always a few that don’t get done – but why?
The biggest hurdle to my success is time. I work full-time, raise two kids, live on a ranch with a bunch of animals to care for and race cars when I can fit it in. I don’t have time to do half of the stuff I want to do, let alone most of the stuff I don’t really want to do. We stretch ourselves so thin these days that it’s nearly impossible to check every box on our to-do lists.
Secondly, motivation can be an issue. There are times when I am gung-ho to do something, but come to a crashing halt when I realize the gravity of the task at hand. For example, I’d love to have a pretty kitchen free from debris, children’s drawings, mail and lightbulbs, but the reality is that I’d rather poke myself repeatedly with a fork than clean out the junk drawer.
So how do we tackle these recurring resolutions? To start, be realistic – figure out what you want to accomplish and then ask yourself if it’s really doable in the current landscape of life.
- Make a list. Write a list with all of your current, unmet goals, as well as the new ones you’d like to add. Now get real. I mean really real, and slash that list. What is just never going to happen? Slash it. What will take more time that you’re willing to give? Gone.
- Prioritize. Once you have paired your list down to manageable goals, prioritize them. Number the items based on importance and the time investment required. If you still find yourself with too many, slash the list again.
- Tell people what’s on your list. It’s amazing how much accountability comes from sharing your goals with others. Say them out loud and often – you might even find someone who wants to tackle the same goal along with you!
- Identify what’s different this time. What about your current circumstances will lead to a higher or lower likelihood of accomplishing your goals this time? For example, my husband just started his deployment and will be gone for most of the year. That means less time and money to get things done and finding a whole new source of motivation.
Regardless of your goals, a little realism and planning will go a long way. Good luck!