Monday, January 4, 2016

A Time for Resolutions — #MondayBlogs

The first week of a new year and of course everyone is doing it, making their resolutions OR declaring that they aren’t making resolutions. Some people are discouraged that they dropped last year’s resolutions long before any made a difference in their lives; sometimes that’s a repeated pattern year-after-year until the person simply decides to give up and doesn’t even try.

Alleged experts say that “independent surveys” have shown that only about 40-percent of resolutions are still being “kept” after three months. So why is this failure (for lack of a better word) rate so high? I would imagine that most people want some kind of improvement in their lives and making a decision that could positively affect them sounds like a good idea.

I’m making a few resolutions, but I am not stopping there. Make your list of resolutions; these should be things that YOU would like to see come to be in your life, if you don’t care you won’t make the effort. Now let’s say you have five to ten items on your list, do it like an outline with each resolution being numbered. Under each resolution list the things you have to do in order for that resolution to happen. Under each “project” set a timeline and/or a date it should be done by. Steps and timelines make up your goals and are tangible things you can actually achieve. Remember to keep these resolutions and dates realistic.

For instance, one of my resolutions this year (as in previous years) is to make more money, so that would be number one. What steps am I going to take to make this resolution happen? If I put (under sub-topic A) win the lottery, that is an unrealistic step because while it COULD happen (hey, I have hopes), it is not something I have control over. Yes, I can say play the lottery regularly to perhaps increase my chances, you have to be in it to win it after all, but again that is NOT a step to take to fulfill making more money. Something I do have control over is seeking out more paying clients and writing more. Realistically I can set “dates” by knowing my capabilities as a writer (aka word count) and the time I can devote to writing to know how much work I can take on in any given time period.

What are some of my other resolutions? I want to get more organized. I want to learn new things and keep my mind active. My next resolution is a common for lots of people, I want to improve my health. I plan to see family and friends more often and if distance makes that difficult, stay in touch with them. I want to read more. And I want to find time to simply “meditate”. For each of these resolutions (desires/wants) I will list achievable steps towards that result. It’s like drawing a roadmap to your destination instead of floundering around knowing what you want to happen but having no idea how to make it happen. Making the same resolutions you made and didn’t keep last year will probably fail again without a gameplan.

If you stray from your self-assigned tasks, you can go back to it, don’t just give up. Sometimes even when you think you have full control over a situation, things can happen unexpectedly so just adjust and stay on track. You may have estimated your time based on current performance and abilities, but emergencies and illnesses can change that in an instant. Or you might find that you underestimated yourself. Every (not less than) two to (not more than) six months reevaluate your resolution list with tasks and timelines and fine-tune wherever you see the need. If you make a plan you will have a better chance of satisfying yourself and look forward to making new resolutions next year. Keep making plans until you find one that works.

Happy 2016!
Plan your way there

No comments: