I wouldn’t say I had a lot of resolutions for 2016. If anything, I would call them more goals because I tend to focus in outcome driven results. So here it is, Jan. 2, 2016, and I’d say I have already failed at a few of those goals.
One of my first goals was to start my day with yoga. I had set the intention to practice, beginning today. Why today? Because it was a Saturday and I had more time in my morning than I do during the regular work-week, and because after a month of eating, more eating, and then even more eating, I needed to be more mindful in and of my body. Did I do yoga today? Nope. I didn’t. I’ve got a pretty good idea my excuse will be the same tomorrow, too.
Another goal I had for myself for 2016 was to limit my time on Facebook. Kind of hard, considering the majority of the work I do (I’d say about 90 percent) involves social media. I am online most of the day for work-related activities. So wouldn’t limiting my Facebook time cost me money? Well…no. Not actually. If anything, being on Facebook limits my productivity. I get sucked into reading celebrity news (a guilty pleasure) and then checking on friends’ pages to see if they have any updates I missed. Something that was supposed to be a quick peek turns into an hour. An hour that I could be writing, blogging, posting new inventory in my store, or doing yoga…tons of things I could better spend that hour on. (I have more on Facebook and why I should limit it, but that’s another blog post!)
So here it is, Jan. 2, and I have already failed at two things I wanted to work on this year. How did this happen?
Well, for one thing, it takes 21 days for a repeated action to become a habit. For how many years now has my daily routine not included getting up and doing yoga? Several. How many days have I used Facebook to mindlessly wander around the web? Thousands upon thousands. (Even when I close the window, I always have to “check” it — what if I had a message?!)
The amount of time invested into creating desired action is the first fail. I am sure it will take me more time to enforce these goals. I will have to post reminders on my bathroom mirror reminding me to get on the mat, and maybe leave my yoga pants in there as well to encourage me to change out of my pj’s and get into asana.
As for Facebook, I wish there was a timer to limit how long I was on there. But alas, there isn’t. So I will have to be more mindful of that time. I can always set a timer on my smartphone so I am not on there longer than I should be, or I could sign in to one of the pages I run on there. I find I spend less time on there when I actually am on a work page — the temptation to look at my friends’ photos is absent from the interaction and I don’t have the luxury of chatting with my friends when on a page I manage.
The next big reason I failed on Jan. 2 — these goals aren’t very measurable. Sure, I can say “Do yoga daily” but if I have it set in stone the only acceptable time to do yoga in my mind is an hour in the morning, then I may never achieve that goal. A better goal is “Do yoga for 15 minutes, 3 times a week” – that gives me something concrete, something attainable — who has an hour in the morning? –and, something flexible. I can do it anytime, as long as it’s 3-15 min. chunks.
Limiting my time on Facebook is more difficult, as previously mentioned, but any goal needs a method of measurement. I can start by saying I will only respond to messages during certain hours if they are not work related. That will cut down a lot of my time on there. (Facebook has made us accessible 24/7…a blessing and a curse.) And, I will just have to force myself to NOT check in to the site as much. Hard, because even as I am typing this, I have the window open and every time I see a new notification, I am compelled to check.
Probably the biggest reason I failed — I am not accountable to anyone other than myself. Sure, I could write it in a personal journal, but if I am not showing that to anyone, I am not going to worry about it that much. There’s no one to say, “What happened here?” or “Was this the best choice you could have made at the time?” We all need someone to help us be accountable, especially when we are starting on new goals. (Even when we are ‘experts,’ we still need someone to hold us accountable.)
If you need help being held accountable, shoot me an email. I would love to help you. I can help you work your goals into something you can reach and then we can come up with a formula to help you reach them. Don’t be like me and think you have to make a lifetime of changes in the first 24 hours of the New Year. It takes time — and help. Let’s get started today!