We still have a month of holiday frenzy left. The cocoa is flowing, we have finger cramps from wrapping and we’ve baked so many cookies that we’ve signed up for a chocolate chip subscription on Amazon. Buuuut, we still think it’s a good idea to take some downtime and consider your new year’s resolutions right now.
Most people save that fresh start thinking for the last week of December, but we’d like to encourage you to get going sooner.
Why start early?
Too often, we’re slapping together some goals that seem like a great idea, but are really just repeats of last year.
- Introduce a new business product.
- Get healthy.
- Spend more time on self-care.
All of these mean well, but they are too broad and they neglect a couple key pieces of proper goal setting: Research and Planning.
Before you set a goal, you should be doing the work to gather information and resources for achieving it.
If you’re trying to launch a new product, what will that take? Do you know the costs? Will you need to hire people? When is a good time to launch so you have time to drum up excitement?
If you have fitness goals, evaluate how much time you dedicated to it the year before. Once a week? Once a month? Once?
If you are just starting a journey into health, it’s completely unrealistic to demand that you’ll work out every day. And where are you working out? How are you going to hold yourself accountable?
Spending more time on self-care is something most of us need. But what is it that actually introduces a change in your life and makes you feel cared for? Massages are nice, but is that lasting replenishment? Can you actually structure your life and business to give yourself, say, a whole month off?
You can dream big, but if you want to avoid just lobbing ideas into the air, start with a full month of contemplation. Otherwise, you’re just going to end up with a list that looks like every other year.
If you’re on the verge of not doing resolutions at all, we totally get it. Remember way back when we were like “Yeah!! New decade, new me.” And then 2020 came in and crapped all over our big plans?
2021… you have some making up to do.
So consider this, maybe we need to start making resolutions a very internalized process. Focus on growth, mental health, physical well being, and accumulating spiritual wealth so we can endure what the outside world throws our way.
There are a number of ways to fortify ourselves against external factors. But first, we have to take time to analyze our pain points. Spend the next month journaling the highs and lows of 2020. Every day for a month, jot down what you felt, how you experienced it and how that feeling lived in your body and mind. Did it slow you down? Did it increase bad habits? Did you feel hopeless?
What tools were you lacking that you now have time to consider and develop?
As you take some time to analyze where the hurt was, you can begin strategizing how you can adapt.
For example, if you suddenly found yourself in the position of homeschooling children while running your business, first of all, we feel you. Second of all, it’s hard to adjust when you’re blindsided and flying by the seat of your pants.
Now that kids are almost on winter break, play out the scenario in your mind as if you had all the time in the world to plan for it.
Is there a way to turn your eight-hour workday into a six-hour workday? Maybe you can give yourself from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to work, your kids 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. for school, and another stretch for yourself from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.?
What all would that involve?
Bringing on a virtual assistant?
Meal planning for weekday meals on Sunday?
Asking your spouse to take over earlier in the evening?
Creating separate office and school spaces for everyone’s sanity?
Really spend some time with your hardships and identify specific ways to change your environment and schedule. For some, a simple meditation practice can be a life changing switch. For others, counseling, detoxing and major life adjustments may be required. Take time to identify your needs and possible solutions.
One-Off Tasks and Alerts
One of the easiest ways to fail at resolutions is to ask yourself to fill in the “how” later. Life gets busy. The resolutions start to distance themselves. The whole world decides to change (looking at you 2020).
So instead of saying “I want to get out in nature more by starting a garden.” Develop a real plan, with real deadlines and reminders and action items.
Research the gardening books you want to read and set a reminder to order it and to read it.
Subscribe to podcasts with great on-the-go gardening tips.
Create a Pinterest board with layout ideas and DIY beds.
Figure out the planting schedule and order non-GMO seeds for the upcoming spring season.
Put time on your calendar for gardening.
Take this next month to lay out the actual tasks involved in the goals you want to achieve. Broaden your perception on what a resolution can be. Put the to-dos on a schedule, order the materials you need and then set up your whole year to incorporate this change.
A month may not even be long enough. Here’s a little insider tip… you don’t have to have everything figured out on January 1st. You can take all of December and January to plan. Or you can choose to reevaluate your goals every quarter. The point is, if you want to actually capitalize on those New Year vibes, take the time to critically analyze your previous year, assess your needs for quality, not quantity, and then set legitimate deadlines and tasks to help you stay on track.