Will 2017 be the year you merely set a few goals in January and then passively reflect upon them as a whisper of a memory in March as life takes over -- and your old routine sets in? This is a pattern that repeats for so many of us, isn't it?
When does it change? Why doesn't it stick?
Maybe something as simple as taking a good look at what's important in our lives and setting realistic action steps to reach that bigger dream we have for ourselves might serve us better in the long run than quick fixes. It's really all about perspective and dismantling that pattern of unrealistic expectations for immediate gratification. We're just so busy with life and kids and work and .....it can take over, if we let it.
I've had to make some major changes to figure out what will work for me in order to feel fulfilled in life and work, and this doesn't mean it's always smooth sailing. Tweaks and regular check-ins are always in order (sometimes after a meltdown tells me that I've strayed from my plan).
I've always worked backwards in my other life as a teacher, knowing the outcome and then setting in place the goals I've had to reach in order to achieve that greater purpose for my students. It has served me and my students well for more years than I care to admit. What I can't figure out is why it has taken me so long to apply this to the other areas of my life? When I finally decided to do that, everything changed.
Big Picture (what do you really want to achieve?) = Specific Monthly Goals
Monthly Goals = Actional Weekly Plans
Weekly Plans = Daily, reasonable, achievable tasks
What does work for me then in reaching those dreams I have set for myself, even from the early days of my childhood? This, in a nutshell. In addition to keeping the following in mind:
- Knowing that I need to always keep the biggest picture in mind: family
- Accepting that balance in life and work is only achievable with accommodations, patience and sacrifice, which means slowing down those expectations. Because if you move too quickly and give up the most important areas of your life in order to focus on another, what exactly will all of those dreams really result in?
- Letting go. Letting go of some of the things that maybe someone else can do, so that I can focus on what's important.
- Taking things one step at a time, one month at a time, while keeping that big picture always at the forefront. What do you want to achieve? What will it take to get there? Make a plan, but make it actionable and realistic.
- Remembering that self-care is critical to health and wellness: practicing what I preach.
- Believing wholeheartedly that nothing is impossible if you want it badly enough.
So what am I doing differently this year? (The tweaks)
- Working smarter with monthly goals.
- Shutting down at the end of the day for more time with my family and doing things with my husband, like hiking through the woods to find a waterfall in the snow and watching a movie for the first time in a year.
- Outsourcing the things that I don't need to do (like accounting! and design!).
- Creating a much more efficient organizational system to remove the 'overwhelm.'
- Setting realistic expectations and checking in on them monthly to see what is working and what needs to shift - in life and in business.
- Allowing the big goals to take shape and going after them. 2017 is the year. One month at a time. More to follow, so stay with me.
What about you? How will set some small goals to achieve something much greater and more meaningful in your life? I'd love to hear about it. In the meantime, don't forget to take care of you.