Anytime you make a goal or decide to "fix" something in life it is going to require some changes in your habits.
If you have ever walked around a bookstore then I'm sure you have noticed that people talk a lot about "change" and "habits" in self-help books. Apparently, that is because as a culture, we don't tend to enjoy change so much. How else do you explain the popularity of a book called "Who Moved my Cheese"?
habits make the man...err. woman
Let's define habits based on the categories we listed on Monday that might help us meet our more specific goals that we finalize next week. As a reminder, here are the categories, I am focused on.
health & wellness
love & relationships
financial stability, growth & flexibility
purpose & passion
Did you define your's yet? NO? Well don't forget to check out Monday's post to catch up with us. "What are you going to pay attention to in 2016?" Once you have your categories of focus, it is time to determine what habits need to be part of our daily life to help us along our journey. Here are some of mine. Remember, try to have no more than 12. When you focus on too much, very little actually happens.
wake up with out snoozing
take vitamins daily
walk/work out daily
stop the glorification of busy
no fast food - cook more - more veggies
stop over-exaggerating and being overly dramatic - be okay with reality
love & relationships
initiate communication with friends & family better
remember special days and do things just because
gratitude journal and meditation daily
news/blogs - focused on my purpose
It's on the DVR, you can watch it later
There you go, my...now it is your turn. It's the last step until we put pen to paper with a goal for each area of focus.
Can't wait to close out the challenge with all of you.
Remember in school when you were given a writing assignment and you just went in and wrote your paper. It was a good paper. You were on fire. I mean, it may have been the best writing the world had ever seen, we're talking possible Pulitzer here.
then you turned it in.
There were red marks all over it. How dare someone mess with the next great american literature masterpiece! There was one glaring consistency in the red scribble across the page...did you make an outline first? Where is the structure?
After muttering under your breath, you think to yourself "how the heck did the teacher know I didn't do an outline or a rough draft?" or maybe you thought "my kind of literary genius doesn't need a rough draft."
don't act like you never thought it...
Well, just like high school English class, it is important to outline your goals before you just jump in all willy nilly. You want to make sure you know what direction you want your goals to head. In short, it helps to define where you want to focus your energies.
i promise this won't hurt
It is actually really simple, think about all of the notes you have been taking and the thoughts you have had about what you might want to focus on in 2016 and then put them into some overarching categories. Don't overdue it. Sometimes we set so many goals, it is impossible to focus on all of them. This will help you reduce and refine once you get to your overall goals.
List the core areas of life you want to get results
Here is an example of my categories to help spark some creative thinking...
Health & Wellness
Love & Relationships
Financial Stability & Growth & Flexibility
Purpose & Passion
That's it. That is all you have to focus on today. Later in the week we will start actually putting our goals down into the areas of focus you specified and be on our way to starting kicking butt in 2016.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.
The time has come. Self reflection has occurred and now we need to get to work. This s the hard part because you actually have to put pen to paper and plan.
I mean we have all these ideas but generally when it is time to put them to paper they just fly right out of our minds. I hate when that happens. Here is what I do. I am a scribbler. I cannot seem to focus on anything unless there is a piece of paper in front of me and I can scribble, doodle or just in general make the ink move across the page. OH YES, I was the girl who wrote down the name of my crush on my notebook a hundred times surrounded by hearts. I even have old projects from school like a wooden toolbox that is scribbled all over with the names of boys, cool phrases (well I thought they were cool in the 7th grade) and miscellaneous other things I cant even decipher all these years later. The same can be said for my work notes. I never have to wonder about someone stealing my secrets because you would need a decoder ring to get through my notes.
strangely though, this is actually productive for me. It channels my thoughts and somewhere in the mess of undecipherable doodles and hearts galore, a plan takes place. Now I realize that not everyone's brain works the same way mine does BUT I am here telling you what works for me, so it can't hurt to try right?
So get some sort of notebook (hopefully, the same one you have been using for your reflections the last 16 days). Sit in front of the TV or some other form of entertainment that is relaxing yet not too intense. (In other words, watch mindless TV that doesn't require too much attention...no back episodes of Game of Thrones, Lost or House of Cards here, you don't want to get too distracted.) The distraction here is actually your notebook NOT the tv.
Every few seconds, write something down. It can be a sentence, a word, a cute little drawing, whatever you want. It should however be related to something you would like to do next year. Maybe it is small like "lost 20 pounds". Maybe it is bigger like "get a raise" or "have a baby". Doesn't matter. No further details are needed today. All you have to do is scribble all the possibilities. We will dig into them later and organize them into something that looks like goals with real tangible action items to them. For now just scribble and jot things down. No pressure. Not coming up with anything, look up at the tv and laugh along with Leonard and Sheldon. Turn on some music, grab a hairbrush and dance around the room a bit...boom idea comes to you, jot it down and keep dancing.
The only rule...try to fill AT LEAST one who piece of paper with your thoughts. If it takes a couple days, that's ok. Just keep your notebook near by and grab it when an inspiring thought hits you.
That's it. Wednesday goal setting work complete. We are at the half way point everyone. That means we are about to finish the year ahead of the game because we are going to have a plan for 2016 that takes us all to the next level.
can I get a what what?
My apologies, I got a little excited there. If you did raise the roof and say "what what", my sincerest gratitude. If you didn't, give it time, you might get excited as you start writing things down. For those that did it but don't want to admit it...it's ok, I get it. Maybe next time.
It is that time of year when weekends become filled with holiday parties and to do lists. I hope you all had a minute to breathe in all of the hullabaloo. In the course of my buys weekend I may have come down with something. I have the whole swollen and sore gland situation and I am not enjoying it.
For this reason, sadly, today's post will be short and sweet. A few questions to ask yourself as we near the end of the "review" portion of our 31 day goal setting exercise.
What unfinished business did you want to resolve this year and when will you do it? We all say we are going to do things that get put to the side for one reason or another. For many of us there might be a long list of "to do" items that get put to the side. Try and think about what these are for yourself and put some dates to them? Are they things you want to pull into 2016? If, yes, put them aside to include in your goals as we get to that step. If you want to do them sooner than that, you still have 16 days of 2015 to get cracking. Maybe you can't finish but you can at least start and get some headway. What an awesome way to end the year feeling accomplished.
As you think about these unfinished items, is there a reason you didn't finish them? Were they not important after all? Did you simply procrastinate? Did you have knee surgery and therefore couldn't get to the gym? Did you just forget? Really look at the reasons behind not getting these complete because it will help as we start setting new goals look at the motivation behind what helps you get things done.
I am going to now take some meds and hopefully sleep off this junk. Stay healhty peeps and don't forget to share as always.
"What are your best traits?" What are your worst traits". Suddenly we are at a job interview wracking our brains to come up with the perfect answers which are normally made up in some shape or from. Most of us can easily come up with our "worst" traits which in and of itself is a sad state of affairs. It is much more difficult for most of us to come up with our "best" traits.
Well, here is your chance to really take some time to be real with yourself. That's right...self reflection at it's best. Here are the question you will be asking yourself today...
what are your best character traits?
what are your worst character traits
what character traits did you develop this year.
how do you answer those questions? OR better yet
how do you answer those questions honestly?
Some things to consider...
what do people tell you they like about you?
what do they tell you that you're good at?
what do they ask your help with? (this is a great one to think about because it is not something we typically we think of)
on the flip side, consider thinking differently about your "worst" traits. Instead of jumping to make some long list of negatives, try thinking about the following:
what do you argue with people about?
what do your family and friends tease you about?
Sounds crazy do they tease you about being late ever? It probably means you have a reputation for being late, now that might not mean it is a negative trait but it is something to think about how you feel on it.
what do you constantly talk to yourself about? Do you say..."I wish I could...." and you never end up doing that? Maybe that means there is a trait related to it that you are looking to change
Once you have identified these things you can take a deeper look and spend some time understand where you might have made some changes for the good and/or bad during the year to get closer to the person you want to be. What traits did you develop this year? Was there something you paid special attention to and did that attention result in something good? something bad? something in between?
You might ask what this part is about and to be honest you might be able to skip it but I like to think about it because it helps set me up for the actual goal setting portion of this exercise. Remember this is a 31 day project. We start with self reflection because it helps us think about goals differently. Most people set goals in a vacuum and then wonder why they flat flat around February 1st. I think it is because they don't know the "why" behind what they are are asking for. Knowing the "why" helps us know the "how".
This one is probably going to be more intense but that just means we are getting where we need to be. So take some time here and make sure to be honest.
A final ask...If you feel compelled to comment, (and I hope you do) list one of your best traits. I'd love to hear how amazing you are.
In November we are constantly bombarded with the thought of "gratitude and thanksgiving" but for December I think that word has got to be "joy". Just about every song you can think of that talks about the holiday's mentions the word. (The below one just happens to be one of my favorites.
It is with this in mind that we continue our goal setting process with a focus on joy. It is a simple question really...
what brought you joy this year?
I don't mean, "what made you happy". Anyone can talk about what makes them happy but what actually brought you true JOY in 2015. Joy is a much different focus. Joy comes in small moments and is almost always unexpected.
here is what I think you should consider when trying to decide what truly did bring you joy this year.
the people in your life that you spent time with and left feeling good
accomplishments you made
moments of peace
I don't think it is a secret that for me joy came in the form of my little nephew this year. I also realize that I probably sound like a broken record when I talk about him but it was truly a big thing. My decision to move home seemed to validated by the birth of Otis because there is not a single person who has me me smile or laugh more in the past 8 months than that little guy. When I was sick, in bed, back and forth to the doctor's and not wanting anyone to see me, this kid would make me smile and laugh out loud. But more than that it was the joy in knowing that he had been brought into the life of my brother and his wife and completed their family. Knowing that they had the missing piece to their puzzle brought a level of joy I didn't expect.
So, as you work on this question today, think about the different kinds of joy around you.
When we examine our lives, one of the best places to start is at the lessons we learned through the people who have helped us and the people we may have helped as well. When we help others, we show a part of our character that reflects the blessings we have been given. With that being said here are the questions we will explore today.
who did i really help this year?
this might be one of the more difficult questions to ask yourself because sometimes it is hard to know who we may have helped. If it helps, try to think about who you hope that you helped this year. Who did you want to help? How did you want to help?
For me, I don't know that I helped any one specific questions but my hope is that by sharing my experiences this year of stepping outside my comfort zone and taking a chance that others were able to get something out of it that encouraged them to do the same.
who helped you this year?
This one should be easier because we don't live in a bubble and it takes a village no matter how strong a person you are. Why don't we tell our peeps how awesome they are more often? That is what this is all about.
So who helped you this year?
How did they help you?
Do they know they helped you?
write it all down but don't forget to share it with them. It will make their day and it will undoubtedly make you feel pretty amazing too.
The people I learned from this year are too many to list and I will be making sure they all know who they are and why but here is a short "online shout out" list to get me started
the power of family and support. It is our circle that gets us through our most challenging situations and man do I have a good circle that starts with them. From filling my ice machines to taking me in and making sure I fill my candy cravings, these two made the last few months bearable.
My brother and his wife
taught me the power of love and how it can change a person's life and all of the amazing-ness that is waiting when you open yourself up to that
(all of them) who taught me patience. I'm not sure I like it all the time but I am seeing the value
who are way too many to list here but I learned a few things this year from them that got me through like:
humility and the power of "I'm Sorry"
what support looks like
the importance of a good slumber party with food, wine and movies.
who are those friends, btw? Well in an effort to not forget any of them, I have chosen to thank them on my own. But they WILL Know who they are.
What lessons did you learn from those that helped you and even from the people you helped?
We are brought experiences, people and things in our lives for a reason. If we don't pay attention to the lessons that are in those moments, we are missing the whole point and can't plan for the future. So take some time on this one. Not to sound like a broken record, but don't forget to share the lessons you learned with those around you.
Share the love. we learn the most from those around us. Till next week.
ok peeps, here we go. It's time to start our goal setting project. Get out your journals and pencils and let's get working.
You can't plan any sort of future if you don't have a clear understanding of where you have already been and what you did and didn't like about it. If you create a goal in a vacuum it tends to get sucked up into everything else. It is for this reason that the first step of .....
Okay, 2015 is almost complete. With 11 months under your belt, it is time for us to dig deep and ask some real questions of ourselves. This is where your journal comes into play. Write your answers to all of the questions below. Be specific and include details.
ask yourself this...
what is your best memory from 2015?
the best thing that happened to YOU (be specific)
What did you do this year that you are the most proud of?
what are you the most grateful for in 2015?
Did you learn something new about yourself?
Did you have a moment of clarity?
Did something specific happen?
If family and friends is what you are grateful for then be specific as to why that is.
Remember that at the end of the day this project is about exploration and honesty. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
(I may have just had a deja vu moment to some childhood parental lectures, hmm..)
Once you have completed the questions, consider something bold. Share them with someone you trust. Saying them out loud and sharing them opens you up a little more. People who know and trust you might remind you of additional things to consider and remind you of some great things you bring to the table that you might ignore. We are always tough on ourselves and this exercise is about being honest and kind to yourself, so don't be afraid to open up and share your answers with people you know and ask if they think you should add anything else.
If you are really bold, you can even share some of your thoughts in the comments below. You don't have to share your specific answers but if you want to share your experience in coming up with your answers, feel free. It is always good to hear how people are approaching the process.
Friday, will be day two and we will talk about gratitude and acknowledgement.
P.S. My little sister enters the world of "Thirty, Flirty & Thriving" today. So sad I can't be there to celebrate it with her but so grateful to see her grow into the most amazing, capable, strong, smart and bold woman. Only the best is on it's way. Can't wait to see what you will do...
I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions. New Year’s Eve is my least favorite holiday of the year and I think it is in part because of the fact that most of the decisions we make on this day rarely come to fruition. And yet, we continue to do the same thing every single year. It is easy to blame all of this on the simple concept of a “New Year’s Resolution” and give up all together but making a “New Year’s Resolution” and setting goals are very different things. A life without goals and focus is one that doesn’t move very fast or far. We need to start making some goals with some substance and grit, ones that will not fade away come February 1st.
Normally I like to this in the early part of the year but I got to thinking that maybe instead of avoiding starting the year off with goals, why not embrace the idea instead? This year, for the first time, I am going to start my goal setting in December and I thought it would be great if we did it together.
For the month of December I am going to use the blog to focus on goal setting. I will work to provide tips from experts in goal setting, as well as a step by step process for us all to follow together. I will share my experiences along the way in the hopes that you can learn from my mistakes and successes.
Here is what you will need to join in the process:
A notebook or journal that you will use JUST FOR THIS.
Make it small enough to take with you wherever you go (you never know when inspiration will strike)
Enough pages to really be able to dig deep
A Pen or Pencil that you really like
Sounds funny but this is crucial. I know you have a cell phone or a tablet and computer or all of the above. But there is something very powerful about using a pen and writing things down. It shows a commitment, it allows for you to scratch it out, scribble, etc, but not erase. The reason this is good is because sometimes the things you write down and scratch out become the best inspiration later on.
30 minutes, three times a week.
First, so that you can read the blog. (of course)
You will find that things will come to you outside of these 90 minutes but it is important to dedicate some time to focus on JUST this and JUST YOU!