Happy New Year!
It is officially 2011, a new year, for new beginnings. It is a time of great reflection on the lessons learned during the previous year, and plans to not revisit those lessons unprepared. It is a time of commitment to a better year…better budgeting (using the coupons instead of just cutting them out), better time management, better organizing, adding regular exercise, counting calories, etc.
Many New Year’s resolutions are made, and broken, each year. These emphatic declarations often begin with great intent, but somehow along the way lose their “oomph.” What is the difference between a resolution that becomes a reality and a resolution that becomes a memory? Is it a lack of genuine commitment? A fear of failure? Laziness? Perhaps a little of each?
According to Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Making a change for personal betterment only becomes fruitful if we repeat the new, good measures and do away with our old way of doing things. Create new habits. Track your progress. Through the ever-powerful method of “writing-it-down,” your goals, whatever they may be, can and will be met. Keep a journal. Nothing fancy – just a log. Each day, log what you did in terms of your personal resolution.
If you’ve decided to count calories, then write down what you eat each day as the day progresses. You have both immediate feedback and long-term feedback. You can see at a quick glance that your day has room for an 8oz sirloin, or if you’d better choose the 6oz. Spend a couple of hours to create a weekly menu that suits your needs. This way you aren’t stuck wondering what to eat when you are hungry. You won’t just eat whatever is in front of you because you have a go-to plan.
If you are going to add exercise, then jot down in your personal calendar each day that you exercised and what activity you chose. Don’t try to remember at the end of the week…write it down as you go.
Is better budgeting your goal? Create a paper budget. Log your expenses. Except in a true emergency, do not allow yourself to overspend in any one category. Hold yourself accountable. Watch your progress as you add to your log.
Better organizing can free us from so much unnecessary stress. De-clutter in 20 minute bursts. Each night, after supper, set a timer and have everyone in the house focus on one room together. Add the element of competition by way of “how much can we accomplish in just 20 minutes?” The result(s) will amaze you. When the timer goes off, whatever each person is touching, holding, transporting, etc. is the last thing that person has to do for that day’s de-cluttering. Make this a nightly habit or ritual, and you’ll be organized in no time.
It takes at least 21 days to form a habit according to the research of Dr. Maxwell Maltz, so make some new habits to avoid old insanity and really enjoy your 2011.
What new habits and resolutions will you be embarking upon?