Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The New Year, New Habits

I'm a do-it-all-at-once person.  I always have been.  Carrying groceries in, yeah I was that girl with seven bags on each arm just so I wouldn't have to make another trip...to the garage.  Even though that usually left half the contents falling from the bags on the kitchen floor, and a mess of groceries on the kitchen table.  How that made me feel accomplished, I'll never know.

But over time I've realized that's what I do with goals.  When I get inspired, I get motivated.  When I get motivated, I don't want to leave anything out. My motivation makes me want to become this ultimate human being all at once, and completely morph into every greatness I could possibly attain.  These things don't happen overnight, which I've always been aware of.  But for some reason I like to start racing ahead, and don't want to leave a single goal behind.  So the next thing I know, I'm at a steady pace with all 11 of them, when one falls behind.  When I turn around to pick up the one I forgot for a day, two others fall out of place.  This kind of goal setting is hard to attain.  It's hard to stay motivated for extended periods of time when it's hard to even keep your head above water.
There are goals I don't want to wait on, so what do I do? As a human being, we have to realize we aren't perfect; we can't balance that many new things all at once and expect them to grow into habits.  That's why so many people roll their eyes when they see so many posts "New Year, New Me," because we hardly even stick to half of our goals.  These goals need to be realistic.  They also need to have enough time to grow into a habit where they become automatic, as long as it's a habit-type goal.  Not a one time event.

Here are some of the goals I have for myself:

  1. Become organized in all areas of living
  2. Become fit - my ideal weight and muscle tone
  3. Reach out to others more either by card or visiting.  One family in particular comes to mind.
  4. Become financially smart: saving, investing, tithing
  5. Eat healthy to become healthy from the inside out
  6. Learn Italian
  7. Learn a type of dance
  8. Learn self-defense
  9. Increase intelligence
  10. Become more mentally tough
  11. Write a particular book
I have tried so many times to take this on.  All at once, however.  I need to make this realistic for myself.  And I know the number one goal I have for myself is to become closer to Christ.  Without my foundation, none of this would work.  So when my dad, one of the most realistic people I know, brought up creating a goal during our Christmas dinner, I knew what mine would be.  Daily time in the word.  Minimum of 5 minutes.  That sounds sad almost.  But when it comes down to it, it won't always be a walk in the park.  Coming home from a game late at night after an early morning, making a trip and always taking it with me (I prefer to hold my actual Bible than read it from my phone).  This is something I want to do daily.  

Maybe for you, it's exercising for 10 minutes at least 3 days a week.  Doing something other than watching television for 2 days in the week.

Whatever goal we make, it needs to be attainable.  That is how habit comes into play.  Otherwise, we begin failing when we try to take on too much at once, we feel overwhelmed, and they slip away from us.  It's hard for me because I see all of those goals listed above and I want to accomplish all of them.  If I'm able to dabble and begin another here and there, then wonderful, but until my first one becomes natural and automatic, I don't want to bombard myself.  

Another thing I do daily, is create a to-do list for the day.  It's a list of at least 3 things that MUST be done that day, and they are things I can cross off.  The ones that have to be done first are in a specific color, and I make sure to get those things done first before I venture on in my list.  This keeps me organized, motivated, and thinking clearly.  

Good luck to you! Let me know what your goal is, and how you are going to realistically attain it. I'm curious to hear them all. :)