Okay, so we’ve all been there. We’ve all made that New Year’s resolution, the one that’s been on our mind for a long, long time, and only weeks (or even days) after the ball has dropped, we have already dropped the ball…
Relax. Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay.
Now ask yourself a couple important questions: “Did I set myself up for success in 2016? Did I do anything to change the infrastructure of my life to make this year different from the preceding ones in a positive way?”
If the answer is no, the good news is that it’s not too late. Even in mid- to late-January, you can pause to organize and set yourself up for a memorable and productive rest of the year. Let’s quickly go down a checklist of things to consider. These items primarily fall under the Environmental and Emotional Dimensions of Wellness (see Seven Dimensions of Wellness at fwnashville.com).
- Have you taken the time to get organized? View this activity as an investment. A time investment. It can be an easy one to keep putting off, too, because so many things are always vying for our attention. Gotta get the kids ready for school, finish that work proposal, get that much needed workout in, watch the final three episodes of Orange is the New Black…All important activities. But if you are always scrambling around looking for things, or have no idea where to start on your list because you have no list, then you are going to waste much more time than you save by postponing the grunt work of getting your spaces in order. And, no, there is nothing fun or glamorous in and of itself about cleaning out cabinets and drawers. However, with the right attitude it can be quite special. New Year’s weekend my girlfriend and I did just this: we straightened; we cleaned out drawers; we organized; we moved furniture. Let’s face it, people, it was long overdue. And it was hard, time-consuming work (yet, oddly enough, also cathartic and kind of fun). But at the end of the arduous process, my home and work space weren’t the only things that felt uncluttered. My mind did as well.
- Have you made S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself? New Year’s resolutions are notoriously unrealistic. That’s why so many of them are punted in no time at all, leaving the person feeling like a failure. So, whether it’s an exercise goal, or a dieting one, or something to do with your business, make sure to make your goals S.M.A.R.T. ones, and if you haven’t already viewed them through this prism, please go back right now and do so. Many of you learned this in school or for job training, but if you’ve never seen this, or it has been a while, S.M.A.R.T. goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-frame Specific. An example of a smart goal for a 5K runner might be: “I will increase my pace to a 7:30-mile by April 1st through regular morning runs, aerobic cross-training, and working out two times per week with a certified personal trainer.” Whatever your goal may be, make sure you are setting yourself up for success, not frustration. Make sure it is the right goal for you at this point in time.
- Have you done your homework? Once you reexamine those goals, you might find that some of them are easily tweaked, but for others you just aren’t sure. You haven’t researched the problem thoroughly enough to know that answer. Again, it’s not too late. Do the due diligence it takes to know if you are truly being realistic about things. And know how you are going to measure progress along the way. (The latter is extremely important!) And it may be that the first quarter is already behind you before you finally figure things out, but at least you will know where you should be heading, rather than flailing about without being productive, or just giving up altogether. You can’t possibly know where you are going without an accurate map (and sometimes guide) to take you there.
Hopefully you will find this helpful and applicable to your life and your pursuit of optimal health. Now, stop putting off that organization overhaul and lay the foundation for success in 2016. Netflix will still be there when you’re done; I promise. Have a great rest of the month and year!