Happy New Year!!!
This year has flown by. It’s hard to believe that in just a few days it will be 2013. Once again I ask, “Where has this year gone?!!”
In the last several years I have chosen NOT to make New Year’s resolutions. It just seems pointless because I would make resolutions that I could keep for a month or two and then it would phase out. No… I’m not undisciplined. I just would take too big a bite (have too many things to work on at once) and not be able to chew that bite.
So, once again… I will not be making any New Year’s resolutions for 2013. But, I have some general directions in which I want to head. I have decided that I need to get rid of some old habits and create new habits. It has been said that it only takes 30 days of doing something and it will become a habit. I submit that there’s a lot more to it than that. Habits are deeply ingrained. Anyone can will themselves to behave in a certain way for one or two months, but if there isn’t an internal change and a change in perspective, they’ll go right back to the old, deeply ingrained habits. So, I will be working on changing my perspective this year. But, there are two areas in which I want to make improvements in 2013.
Last year I started off the year with a bang. I started losing weight and did quite well until I hit a plateau and couldn’t seem to get any further. Then I got discouraged even though I was telling myself (and my readers) not to get discouraged. I gained back some of the weight that I had lost and have been steady at that new weight for the past five months. I still need to lose a LOT of weight in order to feel comfortable. And… I will. But, I am going to go about it differently than I did last year.
I have discovered something about myself… something I didn’t like in my husband. I always accused him of being an all or nothing kind of guy. I would ask, “Isn’t there some happy medium? Does it have to be one extreme or the other?” Here’s just one example: If he was working on getting healthy, he would overdo it by walking for two or more hours a day. There was no 30-45 minutes of fast-paced walking for him. That two or three hours would dig into his schedule and soon went by the wayside because it took too much time and he had so much else to do. (He’s a pretty amazing guy, by the way. I wouldn’t trade him for another model for anything in the world. I love him dearly and he’s stuck with me. ♥)
It turns out, I have been an “all or nothing” kind of gal. I would go at something with everything in me, and if I didn’t reach my goal I’d get discouraged. What I’ve learned in 2012 is that it’s OK to take baby steps. It’s OK to work on part of a program instead of taking on an entire program. One of my links (to the right at the bottom) is to the Fly Lady. She is amazingly organized. I, on the other hand, have always been a “fly by the seat of my pants”, impromtu, “planning and sticking with a calendar is a pain in the back-side” kind of personality. I’m not one of these people who will account for every minute of my time. Nor will I set up a schedule that says, “for 15 minutes I’ll do this, and then I’ll do that for the next 15 minutes.” That just doesn’t work for me. That approach takes all of the joy out of anything that I do. In the business world it took a lot of effort to make sure that I was organized enough to do well at my job… and do well, I did. I always got excellent reviews. So, I know it’s possible because I was able to control that natural tendency to be disorganized. But, I also did the work in the way best suited to me so long as the results best suited my boss. Thankfully, I always had bosses that allowed me that freedom.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase.
Just take the first step. ” –Martin Luther King Jr.
Well, with the Fly Lady program I tried to do EVERYTHING all at once (despite the fact that she says to take it a step at a time). I had a great, organized house… for a very short while. And, while I was doing that I had no time to myself. I was always working, never sitting down and watching TV or taking time to talk with my husband. There was too much to do if I was going to do it all. With everything going on, I couldn’t keep it up.
This year I will take just a few things and do them until they are so habitual that I don’t have to think about them. Then I can add something else… take the next step… baby steps, as the Fly Lady calls them. See her Baby Steps web page. It’s a great place to start if you’re wanting to get the chaos out of your home over the next few months.
So this is where I am right now. I am going to sit down before the 1st and write down what my priorities are, listing the first five only. (I can tell you that my highest priority is my family.) Then I’m going to set a couple goals for myself under each priority and start working on those goals using baby steps. So, based on those priorities, I can make decisions/choices about my activities. If someone asks me to participate in something, will it help or hinder my goals under my priority list? If it takes me away from my goals or adds stress to my life (beause I would be saying yes to something for which I don’t really have time to give my best effort), I would need to say, “Thank you so much for thinking about me, but I won’t be able to do that this year. I just won’t have the time to put my best effort into it.”
My Hope For You
I hope that, instead of just making a bunch of New Year’s Resolutions, you’ll take time to think through your prioritites and determine whether those resolutions will add stress to your life or make you feel like a failure because you don’t have time or energy to complete them once you start. Only take on that which will help you reach your goals. Only set goals for those things/situations that are your highest priorities for the year. And most of all, make it a…