More on Goal Setting for the New Year

More on Goal Setting for the New Year

My goal has always been to publish this blog sometime mid-week. Everything I’ve read about blogging and social media tells me that is the best time to assure the most readership. My analytics would support that. And yet, here I am posting this over a weekend – on a Saturday night, no less. And I haven’t made my goal once this year!

My daughter has been home for 3 of the last 5 weeks on winter break. There were holiday commitments and celebrations. One of those week’s I was in New Jersey. Yesterday she had her wisdom teeth removed. Today it snowed. Lots of excuses, I know.

I read a couple of articles this week that friends shared on social media. They were spot on about goal setting for the new year. I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions per se. These articles outlined better approaches to new year goal setting. This one discusses the idea of giving yourself “permission to pause.”  The author argues that immediately following the stress of holidays might not be the right time to see success with the intentions we set for ourselves.

“Most of us go through life jumping from one thing into the next. This is just the way life is, and it’s the way society is. We believe it’s acceptable to be busy all the time and spread thin across all of our daily activities. We work hard, and forget to play. We take care of others, and forget to take care of ourselves. For some, they experience chronic stress that is dulled by stimulants, like caffeine or pick-me-ups, like sugar and alcohol. For others, they simply burn out and have a hard time getting through the day.”

Agnew, K. (2018, February). *8 Warning Signs You’re Mentally and Emotionally Exhausted” Retrieved from www.theheartysoul.com

Another article suggested that New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t go into effect until March.

“The end of the year is a great time to reflect on where you are in your life. Thinking about what you haven’t yet accomplished, and what aspects of yourself you’d like to improve, are natural to do when one year ends and another begins.

The trick is to separate the decision to make a change from the day that you are actually putting yourself on the path to change. So take that resolution you made and give yourself the next eight weeks to figure out how you are going to achieve your goal.”

Markman, A. (2019, January). “Why you should start your New Year’s Resolutions on March 4” Retrieved from www.fastcompany.com

I think this idea of pausing after the stress of the holidays is important. Plus taking into account the time it requires to plan how we are going to achieve our goals is paramount for success as well. We need more time for decompression, self-care and reflection before we’re ready to commit. I decided that January is a month of reflection and re-grouping and once I’ve set some intentions, February is a practice round to get a feel for what I need to do and to tweak things so I can be more successful. As a runner and coach, this works really well since it becomes a lot easier to commit to running come March than it is now.

Another thing that filled my social media feeds this past week was the 10-year challenge. One of my friends posted, “Let’s try something different than what you looked like 10 years ago… What were you working on/trying to accomplish? How’d it work out?” It just so happened that it was 10 year to the day of my first interview for a job that I got which took my career to the next level salary-wise. I had accomplished a goal that set me on a new path.  How did it turn out? Admittedly, it wound up being a rough 10 years, but, as I responded to her, I am drawing on the memory of who I was then – at my best – to become an even better version of myself this year.

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