To Resolution or Not to Resolution..
Staying the same is kind of boring…easy and comfortable, but boring. It just so happens to be that time of the year when we all are thinking about how to be even more spectacular (I happen to think we all have some spectacular in us at this very moment). So I will just put it out there that I am not a fan of NYE resolutions. Often made spur of the moment and out of excitement (or pressure) they are often not changes we are truly committed to (fingers pointed in this direction). Which then means they are forgotten or pushed aside with the reality of everyday life and then later used as a weapon to beat ourselves up. At least these are my observations in my very scientific study of myself, family, and friends.
“I don’t call them New Year’s Resolutions, I prefer the term ‘Casual promises I make to myself that I am under no legal obligation to keep” – Funny e-card
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans” – Peter F Drucker
Now with that said anyone who knows me knows that I am definitely a fan of goals and making life changes. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to make positive changes in their life. These changes can be small like learning a new skill/hobby or trying an activity outside of a comfort zone. Or they can be a big change like moving, changing jobs/careers, going back to school, ending or starting a relationship. But regardless I believe that life changing decisions have to be tackled when you are ready, not because the calendar flipped to a day with a new ending digit.
Anytime is good for change..
Only you know when you are truly ready to tackle a change. Because let’s be honest, changes or new challenges are hard. If they were easy concepts like resolutions would not exist. And if you do take the plunge before you are ready the commitment and smart decision making are difficult. Knowing you are ready doesn’t mean you have all the answers, know the final outcome of the change, or that you are not nervous as heck. But instead it is a feeling of peace that you have this, you can do this, regardless of how it turns out you will land on your feet a better person on the other side (with maybe a few more tough lessons learned than you anticipated), and some excitement that you are beginning a new journey. Regardless of the size of the change, no one knows when you are ready except you.
From the time the idea of taking a pause on my 20+ year career came up until the time I actually did it, took 2 years. Two years of wrestling with the idea, rationalizing all the possible outcomes, talking with my confidants until I was blue in the face (and they wanted to run the other direction when they saw me). But I knew when I was ready and when I was at peace with the decision. I know the moment I thought “If I don’t do this, I will regret this when I am at the end of my life.” I knew that with 100% certainty even though I was scared to death and I didn’t have all the answers for how it would turn out (apparently my crystal ball is still on backorder). And I have been committed, I am all in 100% through all the fun days and the not so fun days. And I can measure what a better person I am for following through on my commitment but only when I was ready.
“Be patient. You’ll know when it’s time to wake up and move ahead” – Ram Dass
“And suddenly you know…it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings” – Meister Eckhart
“You gotta know when it’s time to turn the page” – Tori Amos
Starting Change – Building a Plan
The other intimidating thing about change is that it can seem so big or overwhelming. Good news: because change really happens slowly that means you have time! Time to tackle it one step at a time. As a self-confessed type-A personality I am a big fan of plans and I LOVE the sense of accomplishment of checking an item off the list. Look at your goal and break it into chunks that you can actually manage. Then each time you accomplish one you can move onto the next. It’s the best way to actually get moving.
So for example last year one of my goals was to start a blog because I love to write and I needed a creative outlet. For several months I stared at that goal written down in my planner and wondered how to even start. I knew nothing about setting up a blog, writing a blog, or even how to publish it. And it sat there for several months while I focused on other things which were also on my goal list. But it was always in the back of my mind. So finally in July my moment arrived when I was ready to tackle blogging and commit. So I broke it down into smaller goals to make it manageable:
- July: Research blogs, read about them, find blogs I like and observe them, make notes of why I like them.
- August: Research blog platforms and templates and choose an initial design
- September: Watch tutorials, take webinars, and start setting up my website
- October: Start writing content and get feedback from a few people
- November: Keep writing and learning more about the capabilities and setup of my website
- December: Start to publish my blog
And then each week I had an even smaller goal to support the monthly goal. It took me 6 months of work before I publicly publish my first blog. But I did it at a pace that fit in with the rest of my life, was achievable in pieces, and each month I could check off another item. And even when the time came for me to publish that first blog I was nervous as a snowball in summer because even though I had worked so hard on it I was making myself vulnerable in new ways. I was more open to feedback and criticism, but I also believe as painful as it can be which also is the only way I will continue to grow and get better. But I also feel a burst of pride, joy, and accomplishment when I publish a new post. Even if it’s only my family and friends that read it out of obligation.
“You need a plan for everything, whether it’s building a cathedral or a chicken coop. Without a plan you will postpone living until you are dead.” – John Goddard
“A goal without plans is just a wish” – Antoine de-Saint Exupéry
So my resolutions or goals are constantly evolving but I know what I am starting off 2018 focusing on. So in the interest of holding myself accountable I am sharing:
- Launching my rental business
- Finishing the renovation of our new investment property
- Defining my list of services and offers for my guests that will differentiate me (because I never want to be another “me too” in anything I do)
- Building out my blog to support my business endeavors and to continue to get joy from the creative outlet.
- Character Building
- Practicing patience with awareness (seriously no one on this planet is more impatient than I am)
- Learning to collaborate more positively and effectively with my hubby on our new business venture (you would think that by now he knows my ideas are thoughts are always the right ones)
- Spending more time with my family (the hardest part about living so far away from them)
- Fostering the relationships that are positive influences in my life and letting go of negative ones (I am really bad about investing in the wrong relationships)
Note: I reserve the right to change or modify my resolutions/goals as my story for 2018 unfolds and I learn more.
Something new I started in 2017 was to pick a word that I wanted to focus on with my thoughts and actions. I learned about this in my voracious reading of achieving a balanced life and it just resonated with me and I loved the concept.
- Breathing (word #1):
- Definition: to pause, as for breath; take a rest
- My first word because I needed to learn to stop, take a breath, release stress, and learn to let go and move forward. And hence the name of my blog thanks to the creative genius of my sister.
- Presence (word #2):
- Definition: The state or fact of being present, as with others or in a place.
- And then my word evolved into the idea of being present. I was epicly bad at being in the current moment, I was missing out on so much, and that was not fair to me or the person I was with.
- Intention (current word):
- Definition: Purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct
- I have recently felt ready to tackle a new word and this is the one that comes to mind over and over. I want to approach the things I choose to spend my time on with intention. Not waste it on things that don’t bring me joy, happiness, or closer to accomplishing a goal.
I have become much more deliberate in the way I live my life over the past year instead of just letting it happen to me. The result has been more joy, control over my life story, deeper sense of accomplishment, and eagerness for each day. No matter where you are in your life, my wish for you in 2018 is that you are also experiencing life with the same happiness or that you are tackling the changes you need to start your journey there.
Happy New Year!!
P.S. As always I love to hear from all you guys about how you choose and tackle your resolutions and life changes. Your tips, tricks, and things that give you confidence to move forward. I love finding new ideas from others that I can use!