New Year's Resolutions. I love them and I hate them! Can you relate?
As in years past, I open 2013 with a new List of resolutions. May I recommend to you that this is a good time to sit down and evaluate those resolutions that you made in the midnight hour under a shroud of hope and optimism, (or maybe champagne), and see how well they fit. Are they worth the work? Are they too easy? Are they balanced just so? Will the result be a new and improved you?
In my evaluation, I have found that there are many types of resolutions. The trick to figuring out what will work for you is to find the perfect blend of worth and work. And let me tell you right now, this is going to look very different to all of us so no judging. No one person's List is any better or worse than yours.
Worthy resolutions are the ones that make us better people. We pledge to invite peace and love into our relationships. We commit to sending thank-you notes or returning phone calls, on time. We promise to stay in touch with the people with which we share a special bond, even if the day-to-day "busy" keeps our calendars unmanageably full. We vow to use a calendar - properly, like writing things down and checking it. We plan to eat better, exercise more, stress less, take on what we can manage and do it all better. No pressure, right? Not exactly, but these efforts are all worth the reward.
Then we have the work. This is the actual resolving of the resolutions, the method, the madness, the making-it-happen. And this is where resolutions typically falter. If your List is too much work, you won't succeed. If your goals are too lofty, they will remain out of reach. If your resolutions are not planned out, they will be forgotten. If you don't resolve to do the work, well, plainly, it won't get done. That will leave you feeling crappy, maybe even a bit resentful, toward your List.
So, here's my suggestion. When you are taking a look at your List, and to do this, you need to actually write that list down somewhere, the first step is to make sure you put some of the easy resolutions right up at the top. It's critically important to the life and longevity of your List to put something achievable at the very top. It's very motivational. Then, take a moment to think about the work required to make each one of these resolutions a reality. This is your plan.
For example, I want to lose 7 pounds. (OK...I know it's not a lot of weight. If I got a good old stomach bug, I could cut that number in half easily, but it's one of my goals...no judging!) The work required to lose that 7 pounds will include eating less of the sweets and exercising more, working up a real sweat and everything. (Boo!) But even if the work sounds like no fun, my goal is a worthy one that has three pairs of too-snug skinny jeans to wear after all that work. (And I threw in a pair of cute black boots to really incentivize me.) For me, that resolution combines worth and work so it's achievable! I'm keeping that one. I'll let you know how it goes.
Once you have your balanced, well-planned, manageable List, a couple of the easies right at the top, start working. And don't ignore the ones that will be a little harder to achieve...you have a plan, remember? Engage your support group (AKA family and friends) to help you stay on track. If there is a resolution you need extra encouragement to stay the course, invite one of your people to help you along that journey. They can check in with you, you can call them when you're struggling, and who knows, they may also need some reinforcement to achieve a goal or two. This is where the work meets the worth.
In 2013, my List is long. It makes me cranky and hopeful at the same time. My List is imperfect as will be my journey to fulfill it, but I'm looking forward to the challenge and the rewards that await. (I will attempt to keep my complaining to a minimum.)
And if you need some reassurance while striving for your goals, we will be here for you. Happy New Year!