I don’t know about you, but as soon as the Christmas presents have been opened I’m in, I wanna sort out mode. Major sort out mode! It often doesn’t happen for a few days. I prefer to have a morning free to sort out. I’m not very good at doing chores in the evening. That’s my excuse. More on that later.
This time of year inbetween Christmas and the New Year has most of us reflecting on the past year and thinking about the next. I don’t believe in New Year resolutions. One day is as good as the next to start on something new (or the 3rd day after a new moon according to the lunar cycle). There’s never a right time, sometimes you just have to start. Somethings work out, others take a different path, some just come to a dead end. You learn, you observe and you grow even if it’s not how you thought’d you grow. I do believe in making a list or writing goals or things of what you’d like to achieve in the up and coming weeks, months, or year and looking at it regularly. Break it down into mini goals or tasks. I’m the worst one for following things through. I get so far then I either back down, everyday life gets in the way, or I’m just not motivated enough to find time for it. If you really want to do it you’ll find time. Also don’t beat yourself up too much if you don’t reach goals, tasks in time. Observe for next time.
When studying fitness, we’re taught to help clients obtain their goals via SMART:
S Specific as to what your clients wants to achieve
Specific. Be as specific as you can. Long term goals are the end result. Short term or mini goals for the long term goals are easier – breaking down into mini tasks, even if it’s just one small task a day working towards something bigger. They’re easier to obtain than the long term goals even if at times it seems like you’re just treading water. Both work hand in hand.
Measurable. In fitness this is system measuring the success of achieving the long and mini goals. It could be meet ups at regular intervals discussing the exercise programme or issues arising like, life getting in the way, not motivated enough or money. Money can be deal breaker at times. Next is looking at training logs or diaries analysing what needs adapting or changing. Outside fitness, analysing if you’re on the with track, what’s working, what’s not or again what needs adapting or changing. Sometimes change that’s the hardest part. Us humans can get stuck in ruts. Getting out of them can be hard.
Agreed. Making sure the project aims are realistic, such as the long and mini goals, when to start, potential issues and how to overcome them, how often the programme is reviewed or looking at tasks. Set yourself checkins every now and then to see how you’re doing tackling those tasks or goals. A friend once said to me sometimes all you can see ahead are mountains, but once you’ve got over the first one, the others aren’t so bad. She also said you can always get help or pay someone to help, nothing is unachievable. She’s wise that that one!
Realistic. Those short and long term goals should be achievable. This is where I slip up. In fitness we’re taught to discuss lifestyle habits and how an exercise programme will fit in with a clients available time, work, family and commitments, otherwise it can lead to disappointment, de motivation and adverse health effects. I’ll add here mini road blocks clients set up or excuses. I always have an excuse or two, like can only sort out while it’s daylight. And also distractions. I can easily get lost on YouTube when that time could have been spent on more productive things – look at where time goes and where could it be used more efficiently. I’ve gradually stopped 5 minutes of YouTube during the day as it’s never only 5 minutes. Likewise with other social media platforms. I can easily loose 20 minutes without noticing on Instagram. The past couple of months I’ve been less active on Instagram (and noticed less followers but followers aren’t everything) and have gained time in other areas. Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram. I just don’t need to go on it all the time. I can go a day or 2 without checking in or checking out what everyone else is up to. Sometimes you have to give something else up or sacrifice something for those goals.
Timed. Goals can be easily put off, so timed goals are more achieved than open goals. In fitness, the instructor and client must decide and agree on a time to start and a time to finish, setting clear time scales for reaching the mini goals. This includes confirming meet up times and analysing training and completed assessments. Again this is where I slip up. I get scared, put things off, make excuses, or simply don’t know where to start (break down those mini tasks!) which leads to disappointment. I have to remind myself it’s the things that scare me that can have the biggest pay back and once I start it’s not so bad. After that the scary becomes a easier until a new scary comes along!
I also believe when it comes to goals or change is to declutter. Energy can’t flow when it’s blocked. I’ve mentioned many times The Life Changing Magic of Tidying (a simple, effective way to banish clutter forever) by Marie Kondo. In a nutshell you sort out in a certain order your belongings only keeping what gives you joy. Many aspects of the KonMari Method can be transferred into other areas of your life. I started it 2 years ago and and am about 95% finished. It’s meant to be done in about 6 months (see my track record?!) but I’ve procrastinated the last few steps. I know I’ve just got to make the time, finished it and feel 100 times better for starting and finishing. That high you get when you’ve completed tasks is rewarding enough at times as is the feeling of newly created space if not more rewarding. Sometimes there’s never right time to start, you just have to make a start, taking on the things that scare you. Maybe I should listen to my own advice.
Are you a New Year Resolution type of person or just start whenever, there’s never a right time?