How is it already March? How did I survive Daylight Savings time? Did the groundhog see their shadow?
Are these questions you are asking yourself, too? It seems like it was just the other day that we were celebrating the New Year and the Lunar New Year. I had two different start points that could’ve marked the year that I would finally accomplish all my resolutions and goals that I had set out in the New Year. But the flu, the snow and life in general seem to have gotten in my way of the making steps toward those goals I had put on paper.
I mean, there was the new season of This is Us and the Olympics to watch, too! And now it is March and I feel April lurking in the shadows, which means summer is right around the corner. Can you tell that I am feeling a bit of panic that this will be another year of incomplete goals and resolutions? Are you feeling this way too?
Well, in line with my word for 2018 (which is SIMPLIFY), I sat down to see what I could do to simplify my process of reaching my goals and actually accomplishing my resolutions.
1. Cut my goals in half. Go ahead, cut those goals in half. One of my goals was to read 12 books this year. Well, I just cut that goal to six books and guess what? I’m already crushing that goal because I have already read four so far! Maybe you have a goal of losing 10 lbs. this year. Change that to five and see where you are. It’s so much easier to keep going when you’ve had success.
2. Schedule it. I’ve been blocking off time in my calendar to go to the gym, to read and to write. If it’s in my calendar, I am much more mindful of actually doing it and of not over-scheduling myself. As a woman, I tend to juggle many things at once and as a people-pleaser, I have hard time saying no. As you can tell from my above picture, my running sneakers look like they are brand new! It’s because running and getting exercise is always last on my list. There is always something more pressing than going out for a run or hitting the gym. If it’s in my calendar and already blocked off, I have freedom to say no because I already have something scheduled. It also helps to keep me accountable to actually doing the to-do if it’s on my calendar. In addition, it helps me to see exactly what’s on my plate each week and also gives me a history so I can notice patterns if needed. That’s extreme and you don’t have to do that, but whatever helps to see where your time is going and what’s going to help you maintain some sense of balance.
3. Cut myself a lot of slack. This one is the hardest things to do for myself. One of the ways I do this is to say, “Good enough is good enough.” I have a slight case of perfectionism and I definitely like to have things done a certain way, but that is not keeping things simple. A lot of times, it makes things way more complicated than it needs to be. Mistakes are a part of life and when you make them, learn and then move on. Stop beating yourself up for it! As someone who is still dealing with depression, anxiety and a chronic illness, I know I’m going to have some days where I’m not going to be 100%. And that’s OK. We are amazingly adaptable as humans, but we need to give ourselves a break.
4. Ask for help. This is another one that’s hard for me because I desire to be fiercely independent and like things a certain way. We cannot do it all alone and we are not meant to do it alone. We have family, community, friends—both online and in real life, co-workers and even strangers! But in order to get help, you need to ask first. They want to help. I want to help. Just ask. I know it’s not easy and it may seem like a desperate cry or a weakness, but it’s not. Asking for help comes from a place of strength because we are inviting others into our life journey with us.
5. Figure out what you can let go of. As I think about simplifying, I have to consider the things I need to let go of. Sometimes letting go means letting go of that goal or resolution that you’ve been putting on your list year after year because you don’t get around to it. Think about why you keep putting it back on your list. Focus on one or two goals or resolutions. We can dream big—just make your steps to achieving it more manageable and realistic. Letting go can help push you along further and renew your energy to get back to tackling those goals and resolutions.
Are you ready to keep going? Let me know what you are working on and the things that you are letting go. We’re in this together!