Let me tell you a story.
It's about two women, named Mandy and Eliza. They are the same age, each have 3 young children and work full time jobs. This past January, without knowing, they set themselves identical New Year's resolutions:
- Lose 20 lbs
- Redecorate the Living Room
- Sleep and eat better
- Knit and scrapbook more
Come February, this is their progress:
Mandy has set herself a plan for her resolutions. She know that life is busy so she's given herself some grace and decided slow and steady is better than nothing. She realised that 20lbs in a year is less than 2 lbs a month and if Rome wasn't built in a day then the living room redecorating could take a few months too.
In January, she realised that she had a few too many brownies after school with her children as they recounted their day to her and decided to cut back. She has made a Pinterest board of ideas for her living room make-over. She decided to go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night and so far it isn't happening most nights, but she has made it once or twice a week. She is also paying attention to where she is wasting time and where she can sneak in some crafting instead.
Eliza on the other hand has lost her list of resolutions. She started off the year by deciding that she would only eat salads. She lasted 3 days, and she was starving so she ate 3/4 of a pan of brownies, declared her diet a failure and now that she's eaten all those brownies feels like it's too late. She started browsing online for living room makeover ideas, but quickly got sidetracted down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest. She thought to herself 'Oh I really should go back to the Living room ideas' but Buzzfeed quizzes were calling and instead she found out that she is Pheobe from Friends, Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones and Miss Piggy. Taking all these quizzes in her bed, she's stay up way too late... again! She clicks over to Facebook and writes a grumbling post, complaining that she's always tired.
March is in like a lion and Mandy is still chugging away at her goals, slowly, but steadily.
Mandy has started doing yoga for 20 minutes, twice a week, while her baby naps. She has found and ordered new light fixtures for her living room. She is consistently going to bed 15 minutes earlier, give or take a night here and there. She's able to do this by cutting back on Facebook and instead doubling up and watching one episode of The Crown on Netflix with her husband while knitting on the couch or scrapbooking on the nights he is away on business.
Eliza on the other had has completely forgotten all about her resolutions. She complains about her ugly, dated living room on Facebook and then scrolls through her feed many times a day watching cat videos and then posts again saying that she wishes she could find time to scrapbook. Then she stays up until 1am binge watching The Crown on Netflix.
By April Mandy has lost 3 lbs, has installed the new lights in her living room and added some new cushions and a pretty new tray. She is trying to go to bed another 15 minutes earlier and has knitted a hat for her daughter. Nevermind that it's too warm to wear it now, it turned out a bit big, so it'll be perfect for next fall and winter. She has also scrapbooked 4 pages.
Poor Eliza has gained 3 lbs, her sons were jumping on her couch and have ripped it, so she just turned the cushion over. On Instagram, she posted a photo of the new scrapbooking supplies she bought while late night online shopping early in the month, however they are still in a bag on the floor in the corner of her bedroom where she crafts.
These months will pass whether you plan them or not.
"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use." -Earl Nightingale
Mandy went slow and didn't do things perfectly. It's not about perfection, it's about progress! Because of her commitment and planning, come December, Mandy will have made a big dent in her resolutions if she hasn't nailed them completely. She can then make new resolutions for 2018 while poor Eliza will repeat the same resolutions only to fail at them once again.
Continuously failing at resolutions really eats away at our self esteem. A lot of people no longer set them, which I do find a lot healthier than setting random resolutions that feel more like fantasy then something that's actually do-able. You don't need January 1 to set yourself some resolutions. Instead, set yourself a plan of action, make those resolutions into goals and chip away at them when you have the time and energy so that they will come true.
"What matters is to be moving in the right direction. There's a great satisfaction in knowing that we've made good use of our days, that we've lived up to oue expectations of ourselves." -Gretchen Rubin
If you want some help with your dreams, goals and resolutions check out my class at Big Picture Classes Plan Your Dreams. You’ll learn how to figure out what your goals actually are (big ones and small) and how to break them down into manageable steps. My tips and tricks will help you work these steps into your schedule and get you on the right track to achieving your dreams!
In this video I walk you through how I've decorated the insert where I put my dreams, goals and plans for 2017. This book stays in my traveller's notebook all year long and having a pretty book like this cheers me up everytime I open it and motivates me to open it often to review and plan.
Don't forget to pop over to Plan Your Dreams if you want some guidance in making 2017 the year where you cross those resolutions of off your list!