So…. it’s almost March, and I’m watching as New Year’s resolutions are dropping like flies all around me. Attendance has started to decline at the gyms and health clubs again, friends who quit drinking on January 1 have begun knocking back margaritas at happy hour, and all manner of projects, adventures, and new endeavors that we all dreamed of doing are stuck back on the shelf until we either have more time, or it turns January 1st once again.
And, I get it. We’re all super busy. There’s the PTA meeting that cropped up, which we didn’t quite get into the calendar. Our boss has asked us to stay late and finish up her project because she has to leave and the project is due tomorrow. Aunt Mildred’s cat got stuck in the dryer and we now have a back-yard cat funeral to attend. Life happens. And when it does, it sometimes derails our best laid plans. But, I’ve got good news for you…
It’s never too late for you to start working on your dreams, your goals, or your resolutions. You can start again… at any time! Often, we beat ourselves up when we don’t stick to our original plan. When we falter, we judge ourselves as failures. The thoughts can sound like this: “Well, I failed at my resolution this year. Guess I’ll just have to wait until next year to try it again…” or “Ugh! Why can’t I just get my crap together?! I’ll never be able to accomplish my dreams!!”Sound familiar? Most, if not all of us, have struggled with how to take the first steps in accomplishing our dreams and goals. We stop smoking countless times before we actually quit, or we let writer’s block stop us from creating the next great American novel. And you may be feeling some guilt or shame for having lost your momentum since New Year’s Day. But, I’m going to invite you to just push that aside right now, because you don’t need that negativity. We’re building dreams, here!
Right now, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you can decide that you’re going to wipe your slate clean. Decide that when you wake up tomorrow, it’s back to no sugar, saving money, hitting the gym, quitting smoking, or whatever it was that had you so revved up on December 31st that you sang out your resolution as the countdown to midnight began. Go have a heart-to-heart with your lovely self in the mirror about what it was that was really important to you when you made your resolution. Then, get back on track immediately.
See, we renegotiate commitments all of the time. We call our friends to say we’re going to be a few minutes late or we ask one of the other mothers to pick the kids up on Thursday instead of Tuesday because we need to see the dentist. Renegotiating commitments with ourselves doesn’t have to be any harder than this, though it often feels like it because of the emotions involved. When guilt, shame, frustration, or resignation creep in, it’s like someone stuck a wrench in our spokes! But, once we’re aware of this, and we better understand how we’re being derailed from accomplishing our precious dreams and goals, we can more easily and successfully start again!
So, whatever the reason that you find yourself rounding out the end of February with your dreams trailing a bit behind you, don’t despair. You do not have to wait until the next January 1st to kick it into high gear. You can begin again right now. And, to help you out, I’ve got a few simple, yet powerful questions to ask yourself to help get you started. Grab yer scribbling tools and let’s do this!
1. What is one goal you really wanted to accomplish this year?
2. What was your plan for accomplishing that goal (or did you have a plan)?
3. Do you have any negative thinking coming in around this?
4. What would the totally successful, accomplishing-your-goal, version of you look like?
I can’t wait to hear all about your dreams and goals coming true! What small steps are you taking today to make them a reality? Or, what struggles have you had with keeping resolutions? Let me know in the comments below!
To your dreams…