2016 is here and New Year resolutions are here to change our lives. But are they really? Over the last few years I’ve asked myself whether people actually make NY resolutions, and if they do, why do they wait until a whole year has passed to action them? (and why do they wait until the first day of work and not the 1st of January?!)
I’m definitely not against resolutions, and I think it’s great when people want to work on challenging and improving parts of themselves, but I think it should be a life change and not just a passing fad. This means it needs to be achievable and something you actually want to do, not what you think you should.
For example, a crappy resolution I feel I should make is giving up sugar and all my little tasty treats, but I can’t. I can’t stop eating treats 100% (not even 50%), because I really don’t want to. It makes me happy, so why should I try and give that up?
The resolution which I have made, and kept to, was one which was actually made in the middle of 2015. I decided to pull my finger out and get myself organised. I figured, if I can do it for my clients, why aren’t I doing it for myself?! I didn’t want to wait for a new year, month or even week. Once I’d decided to change, I did. Now, the thought of being more organised may not appeal to everyone, but I still thought I’d let you know how I did it…
- I started by writing everything down. I did wishlists of where I wanted be next year (personal and business). To do lists of all the things that needed to be done both on the business and in the house.
- So now I knew what I wanted, I needed a way of making sure I achieved it. I started seeing a business coach who was great at helping me drill down to my core values and beliefs, which in turn helped me prioritise my to do and wish lists.
- Being self-employed means having to have great self motivation and discipline, even when you’re not in the mood, so he also helped me create a workplan to schedule my days and allow me the flexibility to achieve my goals.
- For example, I work best first thing in the morning and last thing in the afternoon, so I schedule my lunch around 12pm, allowing for that feeling of ‘work slump’ lethargy.
- I also like to have dinner near enough ready for when my partner gets home so we can sit and chat about our days. As I enjoy cooking I don’t want this to be a rushed after-thought, so I therefore schedule when I’m finishing work to accommodate this.
- As well as finishing times, I also have specific start times for the day. I don’t always stick to this – if I’m mega busy, or really enjoying a task I’ll start/finish at different times – but it means that if I did stick to the plan, I would have x number of hours paid work completed every week. Anything extra is a bonus towards my goals.
So, I’ve been on this plan for around 6 months now and not only am I on target to reach both my work and personal goals for the year, it’s reduced the stress and guilt I’ve previously had when maybe taking some time out in the week to go to the gym or see a friend.
Here’s to 2016 and achievable and appropriate New Year resolutions.