Yesterday I saw a quote on Instagram that said “December is the new January”, and I started thinking about how much I love the feeling of fresh starts.
There’s something about January 1st, right?
I always look forward to sitting down in a quiet space with coffee and a notebook and reflecting, writing down goals for the next year. It feels like possibilities are endless, my mind clear and fresh. It’s easier to forget frustrations from the past year, the change in calendar offering encouragement to move forward. Feeling like it will be different this time.
The future feels brighter.
But…IT’S A SCAM. January 1st is a regular ol’ day.
(Gasp!) I know.
Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try, and I think we should get moving.
You’re making a commitment to yourself. Saying you’ll start on January 1st is like saying “I miiiiight do it. But maybe not.”
You’ll be further along come January 1st. Sure, I love to imagine that quiet writing time on January 1st. But I’m gonna be honest…half the time I end up sleeping or at brunch with friends and then all of a sudden it’s January 2nd. January 3rd passes me by and I’m all, “WELP, it’s too late for new year’s resolutions now. But, surprise! There’s NOT only one day for fresh starts. #droppingknowledge
I’ve gotten into the habit of asking myself “how will you feel next month/next year if you start now? How will you feel if you don’t start?” When I have a big goal, I’m most motivated by imagining myself in the same spot a year later. Imagining myself as having made no progress is enough to halt the excuses. I’d much rather imagine myself further along on January 1st instead of just starting.
Fail to plan, plan to fail. It works on all levels. When I leave outfit planning to the last minute (whether I have an event or it’s just work the next morning), I’ll inevitably be late because I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR. Brendan hates it. I hate it. When I plan, I’m on time and cool as a cucumber and everyone is happy. When I don’t, I’m late to whatever it is, all sweaty and annoyed and mismatched. The same goes with goals. If I don’t have any idea how I’m going to actually “save money” this year (a recurring theme in my life) I’m probably going to be broke. (And then my clothes definitely won’t match.) Start planning your next year now, not once the year starts.
You’ll get a head start on figuring out what works and what you enjoy. You might need to adjust your timeline. You might get distracted. One step might need more attention than you originally thought. That’s okay because you planned in advance! GOOD JOB.
Less time for fear to talk you out of it. Have you ever legitimately talked yourself out of doing something because of fear, convincing yourself you don’t want it, truly believing the lame reasons you give yourself to back out? “I don’t even want to run a marathon anymore. That course looks boring and the weather will probably be bad and there are NO other options. I really don’t care about it.” When you’re honest with yourself, you can eliminate fear-based excuses from stopping you. No more wasting time stewing over it for weeks. Be courageous now and by 2017, you’ll be rolling.
A real understanding of yourself is crucial to positive change. If you’re putting a goal off, why? I’ve found that my most successful goals are goals I’m excited to work toward. They key here is to find a way to enjoy the journey.
Ready to get moving? I created this goal setting worksheet to help you get started and to help hold yourself accountable over the coming weeks!