When it comes to making a New Year’s resolution, we probably all have a bunch of things that pop into our minds: lose weight, start a fitness regime, end a bad habit, and sometimes, NOT to set a resolution!
I can definitely relate to not wanting to set a resolution. We set a goal and then it fizzles and fades away by March (if it even makes it that far). Statistically, 25% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week, and the average person makes the same New Year’s resolution ten separate times without success. By the time the summer hits, some of us are hard pressed to even remember what our goal was in the first place!! Why bother? Who needs to feel like a failure?
In order to live a happy and fulfilled life, people have to feel like they are achieving something. To have a real sense of accomplishment and connectedness, you have to achieve big goals. It’s as simple (and difficult) as that. Michael Hyatt, one of my favorite motivators, says, “Happiness is not a destination, it’s really what happens when we pursue any meaningful goal and have progress.” It is on the journey, after all, where we spend most of our time.
As parents, especially, we often put ourselves last. Everything tends to pile up and we move through the year following duty and obligation, rather than living with purpose and intent. At the end of this year, I find myself feeling unfulfilled and unaccomplished. Yes, I can certainly go through the year and highlight good times and successes, but I don’t feel accomplished. Perhaps this is, in-part, because so many of us put most of our thought into our families and other people. Our children have huge accomplishments throughout the year, and even though they reflect on us, they are not our accomplishments. My spouse’s raise is not my raise. My child’s student-of-the-month is not my award. They are all reflections of the care, support, and time I put into my family, but I cannot claim them. It would be slightly different if I set out to help my child win that award, if that was my goal, but it wasn’t. It just happened. This will change in 2014 because I am starting the year with intent. This will be my best year yet!
Set a goal for yourself—a yearlong resolution—and declare it in the comments section below. Make sure your goal is a SMART goal.
My goal: My motivational workshops will be booked 6 times by June 30, 2014.
That is a scary amount of work to accomplish in six months. There are several things I will need to do in preparation, but this is the kind of goal that will result in end of year satisfaction! Now the trick will be maintaining the momentum past the initial phase of excitement.
Michael Hyatt released a series of free videos that I’m using to help me fulfill my goals for the year. The first one, Why Now, uncovers three major roadblocks we encounter on the way to success:
Even as I set my goal, I am afraid of failure! I can immediately feel my own resistance to that level of success. My inner bad-guy starts telling me that “six months doesn’t seem like a realistic time frame.” But Hyatt reminds us that those feelings are your “indicator that you are on the right track.” You need to “push through your fear” in order to achieve big things.
2. Being Overwhelmed
If someone asked me what sensation I feel most often, as a mother, I would say it was the feeling of being overwhelmed. I’m even overwhelmed by my own emotions sometimes!! Good news: this is common. “That is what causes growth. If you knew how to do it, you wouldn’t have to grow,” encourages Hyatt. Push outside that zone and you will achieve real success, real accomplishment. Your negative feelings can be a “compass that you are pointing due north.” What a fantastic way to translate all the negative self-talk we do into a positive motivator for ourselves! Feeling overwhelmed? It means we are on the right track to achieving something major. Figuring out a way to get over the hill will mean that we’ve figured out the key to our own success.
This is a big one. I don’t know a single mother who feels like she has enough time to do all the things she wants to do–not one! How can we find the time it will take to meet a huge goal–one that will make us feel happy and accomplished–when we can barely find time to do what we are already doing? Isn’t time the biggest obstacle to work life balance? Well, we don’t get more time. We have to find more time by making it. Hyatt reminds us that, ” You have to figure out in the context of your own priorities what’s important and give yourself to those…Don’t give in to the urges…Schedule the important things.”
There are going to be obstacles along the way. Some of these obstacles will be external challenges, and others will be excuses and emotions we encounter inside ourselves. We will need to push past the “messy middle,” as Hyatt calls it, in order to make it through to the other side. This is how it has to be, however, to truly feel accomplished. For me, this is the biggest eye-opening message. I’ve been going about it the wrong way for years! The messy parts are NOT indicators that I’m doing something “wrong” but indicators that I’m in uncharted territory. It is by doing something that I really have to figure out, really have to solve, that will make me feel like I’ve really accomplished something important and meaningful in my life. Staying inside my comfort zone, setting goals that I already know I can do because I’m doing them, is not going to result in the feeling of success I long for.
Go on this ride with me this year! Set a goal for yourself–one that is BIG and a little scary. Write it below and let’s help each other through the messy middle.