How to change your life, any day of the year
You can choose any moment to begin a new journey. Every day is day 1.
This year, we all counted down to 2021 like our lives depended on it, as if on January 1st, 2021, suddenly there’d be more hope for the end of a worldwide pandemic, an end to tensions and injustices. And it is, symbolic, isn’t it, to have such a blank slate? To literally “turn a page” into a new year, a new era? But why don’t we keep this attitude all year long? New Year’s Day isn’t the only time we can look at our lives, at ourselves, and take stock of where we are and where we want to go.
What makes New Year’s Day feel different than other days is this: Intention.
With new year’s resolutions, we have good intentions, but since we’re conditioned to set goals that are usually generic, far-reaching, and without any infrastructure or plan on how to get there, we fail.
“Lose 20 pounds.”
“Spend more time with family.”
What are all these missing?
- They’re too generic. You need specifics so you can know when you’ve succeeded.
- They’re too far-reaching. And when something seems too far away, we’re less likely to be committed and consistent to achieve it.
- There’s no plan on how to get there.
Because of this, people tend to not keep their new year’s resolutions. You know what I’m talking about, we’ve all done it!
Re-written, using one of my Chaos to Calm practices of setting small, achievable goals, these could look like this:
- Replace one bad-for-me treat I eat every day with an apple or carrots. Or, chug a glass of water before I eat a meal or snack.
- Make sure the whole family is present at dinner time.
- Read 2 pages every night as soon as I get in bed.
And, going a step further, putting infrastructure to support your goal will make it even more achievable.
Re-written again, it could look like this – just add the word “by” to your goal!
- Replace one bad-for-me treat I eat every day with baby carrots by making sure my desk always has carrots in it.
- Make sure the whole family is present at dinner time by telling my family this expectation and not starting to eat until everyone is there.
- Read 2 pages every night as soon as I get in bed by putting a book next to my bed or on my pillow.
A new year is certainly an appropriate time to assess your life and the changes you want to make, but you can be that intentional any day you want!
Personally, I think about my annual goals on my birthday rather than the new year. My birthday, signifying another year around the sun, is meaningful to me. I spend my birthday in reflection on the year I just had and the year I want to have going forward.
Some parents harness “start dates” on the first day of school in the fall. It makes sense, since there’s usually a new routine with kids going back to school. But the problem with tying your goals to the kids and school is that as soon as an issue comes up where a kid is sick and stays home, which happens alllll the time…poof! routine gone!
Companies don’t set sweeping, generic, one-word goals without support to get there, and neither should you.
Make sure when you set your goals, no matter what day it is (hey, how about tomorrow?) that you set yourself up for success.
With every transition is an opportunity to begin a new adventure, to shift your mindset and make a change. And it’s always a great time to reflect on where you are, where you want to go, and most importantly, how you’ll get there.
Need help setting and reaching your goals?
As a busy mom of 4, I know exactly how to set up your life to help you reach what you want.
Reach out, I’m here for you.