Why I Hate New Year’s Resolutions
By Leslie Sturgeon, WIW Founder
I refuse to make New Year’s resolutions. I can’t explain why I have such an aversion to them, but I just do. Maybe because it seems like a negative or a bad habit that I need to overcome. I also try to tune out the mid-winter focus on “why you haven’t kept your New Year’s resolutions.” Again, that seems so negative as if we all fail after a month or two. For me January is the beginning of my year of goals and action plans – sort of like my personal “fiscal year” that runs January to December. Some people have their year as September to June with down time in the summer if they are “programmed” on the academic year.
I love spending the last week of December and first week in January mapping out the year ahead – I am always oozing with enthusiasm about what is in store for me. And all the possibilities! Because I am so passionate about my life and work, I don’t have that mid-winter slump that I hear so much about. If I start to, I reevaluate what is on my plate or why I feel differently than I did in January. Sometimes a small course correction is needed!
I am not going to get into all you need to create goals, etc. as there are 10 million resources out there, but I do want to talk about action! YOU NEED TO TAKE ACTION. And you need to take a lot of action! You need to be strategic about it so that your goals are achievable and not overwhelming, causing you to dismiss them or beat yourself up when your progress seems slow.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no one is going to swoop in and magically achieve all these goals for you – you and only you can do it.
Planning is everything in my world. As most of what I do involves growing my Women Inspiring Women community, it is easy for me to identify “tasks” that need to be completed and I love coming up with new ideas that I want to implement. I then do a brain dump of all that these ideas entail and map out my action plan of what needs to be done and when. This all goes into a paper and digital system that I have. And that leads me . . .
Chunking it down! We all get overwhelmed and even paralyzed when we think a task or plan is too large or time consuming. If we break it down into small pieces and carve out time to complete those tasks, it is much easier. For me, this involves compartmentalizing, too. Not only do I break down the tasks, but I compartmentalize my schedule in 30-60 minute time frames. Again, if the task is too big and the time allocation is too much, we often think we don’t have time for it and it gets pushed off another day. Many of you have heard me talk about the 15-minute rule which is basically working with laser focus on a task for 15 minutes, even making a game out of it. You would be shocked how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes.
Make sure you avoid distractions when you are working on a task. Keep your mind from wandering and don’t multi task. Here’s an example of what I mean – if I am working on event marketing and I realize that I should email so-and-so about something different, I write that person’s name on my to do list for the next block of time I am working on email. I don’t interrupt my marketing work to do an email unless it is related. That is disruptive to my productivity and we all know if we stop to do an email, we see the 15 others that just came in and then we are distracted!
Your goals are up to you. Take action and let this be the year that all your dreams and plans come true. We are all busy but we all have the same 24 hours in a day. It is how we choose to spend them that is the difference. You can do this, girlfriend. Kick some butt!
Leslie Sturgeon is the founder of Women Inspiring Women and a lifelong entrepreneur. She embraces her imperfections while learning about herself and others, supporting the fabulous women in the WIW community, journeying through life with optimism, and laughing so hard she snorts or pees (sometimes both simultaneously). www.womeninspiring.com
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