HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
We have a brand new year to work with! What do want to do with yours?
How did 2015 work out for you? 2015 had its ups and downs for us. A lot of good things happened, but on the flip side of the coin we had a quite a few struggles. Did you have any rough spells or blunders that you wish never happened? Sometimes despite our best intentions, we err. Many of us carry a sack full of guilt around on our backs much of the time. Does it do us any good? Not really, at least as far as I can see. So instead of rolling into 2016 with 2015 issues on your back dragging you down, try these suggestions. If you can look at the things that occurred in the past 365 days as lessons learned, you can find healing, hope, and you’ll look forward to the gift of this new year. For one thing, hold up the year’s highlights. Think about every success you had this past year. Maybe you achieved a goal, or earned an award, or simply paid off the car. Whatever positive thing you think about can erase discouragement and give you added momentum to move into 2016.
What about those blunders or falls? Nobody goes through life with absolute perfection. Aiming for that goal is admirable, but don’t beat yourself up if there were some faux pas. Think about the moments you lost your footing or were pushed off balance. Now, and here is the important thing, realize that you didn’t stay down, but got back up. That in itself is a success. We may not like tough times, but if you think about it, that is when you grow. Look at your failures in order to learn from them, not beat yourself up. Pull out the nugget of learning from the situation and pack the lesson away for the future.
Write a letter to yourself. Yep, that is what I said. Seriously, write a letter to your future self that you will read on 12/31/2016. Be honest with yourself and take stock of your current state of mind. This can help you think of the future and where you hope to be. Set up your goals for the year and you will find that when you read that letter on the last day of 2016, you will find that you have grown and had successes.
Speaking of this year, it is resolution making time. Many of my resolutions often come undone within a few month’s time. I almost don’t want to make any since some never seem to come to fruition. How do you do with your resolutions? I hope better than I do.
I have come to realize, though, that if one makes big, generic sounding resolutions without breaking them down into achievable, smaller steps, a person may never realize success. One of my annual goals is to lose weight. So what? There is no definition of how many pounds over what length of time and by what means. Success with this one is unlikely (that and the fact that food just tastes too darn good!) because I have not set up any way to review my progress. So what can I do to enjoy success with my goals? I came across the SMART plan and it sounds like something that will help me. It may help you as well.
According to the SMART plan, resolutions shouldn’t be year long and ambiguous. They suggest making a resolution for the new month. Baby steps, baby steps. The key to success in keeping and achieving your goals is to keep them small and specific. Let’s say my goal is to lose 40 pounds this year (oh, man, that would be so awesome) and that’s all I say, I will have a tendency to get overwhelmed and let my goal drop by the wayside. But, if I use the SMART way, and plan to lose 4 pounds a month, that is a much easier goal to reach. Consistently working on losing 4 pounds a month will get me to that goal of losing 40 pounds, but it won’t sound so painful. (And, yes, I need to lose 20 pounds before May. In May we will be taking a boat out to spread my father’s ashes on the sea. I don’t want the boat to capsize. I am going to lose 5 pounds a month and exercise.)
Without further ado and a lot of my diarrhea of the keyboard, here is the SMART plan.
Specific – well-defined goals help you focus your efforts.
Measurable – measuring your progress inspires you to keep going.
Attainable – This is the “start small” part. Pick a goal that’s doable and not nebulous
or huge. Remember baby steps and you’ll be surprised at the end to see what
giant strides you have made.
Realistic – set a goal that is within your reach and that you can complete. Thinking
about growing Sugar and Spice Designs a realistic goal would be that we’ll
increase our monthly profit by $25 a month. (We are still a small business.)
Time-bound – set a target for how long you need to achieve your goal. And don’t
drag it out over a year. Remember to have small deadlines on a monthly basis
that will be working toward the big goal you have in mind.
This sounds do-able, doesn’t it? To make myself accountable, I will report back to you, dear friends, periodically. May we all have success in making our dreams come true. That is my wish for you. Good luck!
Happy New Year! Blog You Later!