It is January 23rd and according to research only 9% of us are sticking to our goals. With all of the vision board planning, tracking our habits, printing our budget worksheets, setting our intentions and affirmations while keeping a job and raising our families, it can get a bit tricky. Or to be real, downright discouraging. How do we stick to our 2023 intentions without it being a task.
Tip #1 What's your strategy? You have to have a game plan.
Last week in our SEL (Socio Emotional Learning) class we reviewed resolutions and goal setting. These 5th graders wanted to read more books, workout, be kinder to others, do homework and one wanted to learn a new language. We reviewed the concept of mindset and S.M.A.R.T. goals. Have you heard the concept of SMART goals? S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This speaks to setting proper goals. If we can set, specific goals then we are half way there.
During the lesson, I realized it was hard to break down measurable, achievable and relevant. This is the best way to summarize this, what are your action steps? when do these action steps happen?
Tip #2 There's nothing wrong with breaking down into small steps.
A goal of mine is to include a daily prayer, gratitude and meditation. When does this happen?
Let me show you how this goal went for me.
The habit tracker was wonderful. However, trying to do a meditation/prayer/wellness./gratitude practice all in the morning was not functional. It was stressful. The objective here is to complete your goals in a simple manner that was not going to be overwhelming. And maybe if I get really good at 2, then increase it to a third. There is something to be said for incremental action. I was trying to do all of this before I went to work so needless to say that first week was not wonderful. When we don't see we have stuck to a plan, we lose faith and automatically criticize ourselves. However there's nothing wrong with us, it's the plan that wasn't working. Now I pray and exercise in morning and do meditation and gratitude. I'll let you know how that is working out for me.
Tip #3 Let's check our mindset.
I think therapists are the kings and queens of intrusive thoughts. Yes I said it, We are not experts in keeping them at bay. That's a whole other blog post at another time. However intrusive thoughts are the naysayers, they are the ones that tell us we are not capable, they paralyze us. Thoughts eventually become our belief systems. Our belief system eventually influences our habits . All your daily goals can be achieved if you change your habits along the way. A growth mindset is not the absence of failure but rather the presence of resilience. So as we continue in the beginning of 2023, let's cultivate patience, self-discipline and compassion for ourselves. One of my favorite authors is Anne Lamott and in one of her books she speaks of her brother doing a huge project on birds and he was overwhelmed. The father instructed,
"Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird. '”
Friends bird by bird we will get it done. Also, January 22nd 2023 was Lunar New Year. Year of the Rabbit that will serve as quietness, contemplation and relaxation. So technically, today is Day 1. Happy New Year! Vamos!