As someone who is obsessed with planners, the days leading up to a new year is better than Christmas. A new year signifies a fresh start and new beginning which brings out the motivational gurus in all of us. Yay for New Year/New Me Hype!
I am obsessed with to-do lists! I get a feeling of satisfaction when I check a task off of my to do list and mark it as COMPLETED. However, since as far back as I can remember, I made New Year’s resolutions every year, but they went unaccomplished and unfulfilled. This went on for a few years until 2016 when I decided that I wouldn’t even make any resolutions because I was less than motivated to complete them. I started to hate the beginning of the year, and I secretly resented all of those gurus and self-proclaimed teachers made it seem so easy. I poked fun at those who were starting their self-improvement journeys and called them “full of new year’s bullshit”. I hated them because it feels like they are promising all of the keys for success, and 9 times out of 10, I fucked it up. To make matters worse, when I fail to succeed it felt as though there is something wrong with me, and I would just give up. It was then I realized that I was actually the one full of New Year’s bullshit. At least the ones I was making fun of were brave enough to try.
So why will this year be any different? The truth is, that personal growth and change can occur at any time of the year. However, since we are a couple of weeks into January and this seems like as good as time as any. I may doubt myself, but have a plan of action and that is a good start. Too many of us cry about how things don’t go your way and how every year sucks, myself included. It sucks because we are willing to accept things as they are, and not as what they could be. I have decided to opt for goals instead of resolutions this year. Resolutions seem to get disregarded far too quickly for my taste, and there is no need to have last year’s resolutions become this year’s resolutions. Goals are more fitting because they can extend past one year or longer. This is my plan (hopefully it is one that will help you too):
- Remember where you started and appreciate growth. Every year I grow as a person, and learn a bit more about myself. It’s accurate to say that I am much different person than I was 10 years ago. My 24 year old self had a far different set of problems, and though I may not be where I would like to be in various areas of my life, I am able to recognize the progress I have made as a person. There is no need to put myself down and no reason to waste time on dwelling on the things that I can’t change. Which brings me to my next goal.
- I will not take shit from anyone, including myself. I’m a warrior, not a victim. I am the ruler of my world- now I need to act like it! I don’t need to waste time being hard on myself when I can use that energy being productive and working on these goals. Now, I am not saying that it’s not okay to be a bit down sometimes, I am human, there is nothing wrong with taking a minute to be in my feelings. The important thing is to limit the time I am down. I will remember to get up and dust myself off and get back to it. I always joke that when I am down, I come back swinging.
- Make up your mind. What do you want to do? Decide on things that you want to succeed in. Clear and specific! Will this be the year that you lose all of that weight? Find your soul mate? Be more active in your community? Is this the year you get promoted? These things might not necessarily apply to me, but maybe it is something that you are wanting to do. Finally decide on the things you want to do or fix, and get moving!
- Write that shit down! Track it, brain dump, thought jot, whatever helps you take it out of your mind, and puts it on paper. A big reason I fell into bulletjournals was the analog system. Just pen and paper to start. Organize these lists according to time you would like to achieve these goals. Give yourself a deadline- a month, or two, 1 year, 2 years, 5 years or 10 years etc. Sometimes deadlines are the extra kick we need to get our ass in gear. A visual tracker is a good way to see your progress over time, and make it easier to identify the things you need to work on.
- Don’t write checks that your ass can’t cash. Be realistic. Try setting attainable, realistic goals. It is okay to dream, but it does takes baby steps to get to those dreams. Sometimes there is a process that is required to make them within reach. Set one easily attainable goal and complete it. Set another and complete it too and so on and so forth. Work your way up from there, but keep in mind bigger goals may take more time and effort to reach.
- Reward progress and align those rewards with your goal. It DOES NOT have to be something extravagant, or something that will put you into debt. Rewarding yourself with something that aligns with your goal is a good way to help motivate you to accomplish that goal. For example, one of my goals is to drop 30 pounds, and my reward is to buy a complete new outfit that will fit my body better. If I lose 50 lbs., I will get a brand new tattoo in a place that would have made me self-conscious before my weight loss. These are examples, please don’t feel obligated to pick the same rewards. Take a little bit of time to think about it.
- Alchemy rule of equivalent exchange (FMA reference for those of you who get it J ) “Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That might seem a little strange to reference, but to me it made sense. Chances are that if you put half-ass work into something, then you’re going to get a half-ass result. That’s right, life doesn’t just hand you things, and you actually have to work hard to get anywhere or see results in anything worth doing. I know, it came as a huge shock to me too! I know there are things in this life that we can’t anticipate, and usually those things can knock our asses in the dirt, BUT you can dust yourself off and get back up. (I’ve heard it builds character….. or something).
- Find an accountability partner – I’m actually going to borrow this one from Hal Elrod – the author of The Miracle Morning. He suggested finding an accountability partner to assist in your journey. I found a lot of success in that step, and I still practice a few of The Miracle Morning Techniques to this day. It is okay to put these goals out into the world and even telling one person to follow up on you is helpful. Letting myself down is sadly easier than feeling like I would disappoint someone else. An accountability partner should be someone who is supportive and is willing to assist you when the goings get tough. This is a good way to be true to your word, and your commitments.
- Be un-fucking-stoppable– Last but not least. As a metal-head I like to think that I am a forceful, resilient, unbreakable warrior. Why am not quite as forceful in making better habits or changes in my life? I had to ask myself this, and it scared me to think that I less tornado and more dust devil in wrecking my resolutions of the past. I mean what is that about? For example: My last blog post was from 2017(some of you may have noticed lol) and I never fulfilled my promise to post regularly. You make ask “who the hell is she to preach about how to reach goals when she can’t be bothered to do the same”? How does one become un-fucking-stoppable? As I have said before, baby steps…..the first step is to HAVE A PLAN. That alone makes me even more dangerous than I ever was before because I am someone with MOTIVATION to START. Next, I will be someone with motivation to keep going. I won’t fuck it up by being distracted, or lazy, or unwilling to make these changes. Above all else I will hold myself accountable. This is a promise to myself as well as to you. Because of that, I know I am well on my way to a more successful year.
I am not a guru and maybe these seem a little stupid to some, but it is all I got, and it’s something. It is a start. Nonetheless I hope you find these suggestions helpful or spark some type of inspiration to finding your own path. Hopefully I won’t be another asshole who is full of shit in 2019. Haha Thank you to those of you who are reading this post by helping me take steps to be true to my word and helping me on my journey. I also wanted to note, that by reminding myself of these things, I have seen a difference in my progress already which I will update you on soon. It will be a lot of trial and error, and the results will NOT be overnight. I will leave you with another cliché quote to get you by until the next blog post. Until then…..:)
“Change Nothing and Nothing Changes”