Why I Refuse to Make Any More New Year’s Resolutions!
I worked full-time as an accountant through the pregnancies of my youngest three daughters. After about 7 weeks of maternity leave, I was right back in the office. They were all exclusively breast milk babies for at least the first 13 months of their lives so for about 4 years straight I was either pregnant or locked in the throes of full-time pumping and breastfeeding. Long days at the office followed by longer nights of pumping, cooking, chauffeuring, tutoring, bathing, and then pulling all-nighters with newborns and toddlers made me one tired momma – ALL the time.
In my mind, self-care was for those moms who like…had time to do crazy stuff like put lotion on or make sure they removed their scarf before running out the door in the morning. I showed up to work tired and looking worn out more often than not. Throwing my hair back in a scrunchy was about all I could manage.
For at least the first 2 years of this, I made firm resolutions to stop going out in public looking crazy just because I was a mom! For each New Year I was going to fix my hair, put on makeup and look fabulous! Unfortunately, to my poor husbands and my dismay, those resolutions never came to fruition. I could not seem to find the time to invest even the smallest amount of energy in ME. Then, one day at work, we watched a TED talk where this man explained how easy it was to create a habit. When he challenged the viewers at the end to do something for 30 consecutive days, I looked down at my worn down and chipped fingernails and jumped to the challenge.
I committed to putting on eyeliner and mascara every single day for 30 days. Small but simple enough right? By the end of the 30 days, I had even moved up to lip color and wearing my hair in more than just a ponytail! I ignited a spark. Somehow, committing myself to forming a simple habit allowed me to meet the goal I could not seem to meet for years–better self-care.
Something clicked in my brain. The key to meeting a goal is by not by making resolutions and commanding them done in Jesus name but by developing the action plan, forming habits and committing myself to do whatever it took to achieve my goal.
I believe those are the prerequisite steps for all of us to really start achieving the goals we’ve been setting and resetting for years and years and years.
Write the vision and make it plain.
Be specific, set a deadline and determine what actions you need to take every day to achieve any goal you have in mind. Don’t set a goal to lose 100 lbs in a year if you don’t plan on changing the way you grocery shop.
The goal is the end; however, you will find success in accomplishing the means.
For my 30-day challenge, I knew I had to allow myself a little extra mirror time so I set my alarm, got up a little earlier and got it done before I woke the kids up. Once you figure out the daily steps, set reminders in your phone or on your calendar to get them done!
Fix your focus on the steps; not the goal
When I committed to the challenge of applying eye makeup every morning I wasn’t even thinking about my previous goal of better self-care; I just wanted to get through the 30 days without giving up! Get up early, don’t pop off at the mouth, put the money straight in the bank, tell your husband something great about him even when he’s on your last nerve, do the 50 sit-ups in the morning; then do it again.
Whatever it is, the sweet spot finds itself in perfecting those everyday tasks and repeating them consistently. Focus on building the habits around the behavior that is required to reach your goals and watch what happens.
Sometimes the goal isn’t met on the date we set, there are inevitable bumps in the road or other unexpected events threaten to shift your mind to other places. Be patient with yourself and the process; commit right now to persevere through the obstacles waiting to derail consistency.
Your motivation to achieve any worthy goal WILL die! The only way to revive it is through commitment.
Commitment is what remains after the adrenaline rush of motivation has vanished.
At times, it will be the ONLY variable keeping you going. Stay committed to the everyday tasks you set in place to achieve that goal and see how the trajectory of your life changes!
A resolution is simply a firm decision to do or not do something. Resolutions will remain mere decisions until you ACT by setting clear goals and then forming habits and persevering to stay committed to the plan put in place to achieve them!
Happy New Year and happy goal crushing!