How many of you readers set a new year’s resolution and already broke it? (Keep in mind, this isn’t being published until February, but I’m writing it only 11 days into 2021.)
We all do it.
We start out the new year promising ourselves we’re going to do something spectacular like lose the weight of a small toddler. Or start cooking meals from scratch more often, stop spending money, stop cussing (just so you know, if you ever hear this resolution come out of my mouth, it’s a cry for help), start a business, go running, stop watching trash television, and the list goes on for days.
Then what? Less than a week into the new year, we have a bad day and all we want is that McDonald’s cheeseburger. Or to go buy a Rae Dunn mug from TJ Maxx (sometimes I’m writing to myself and not just my audience, OK?). And we do it. Why? Because it makes us feel good. It gives us a little comfort in a crazy world. It keeps you (me) from screaming at coworkers who don’t understand that we can hear your bodily functions even if you can’t because you’re wearing headphones. No matter the reason, it happens.
And it’s not the worst thing that could happen. As a friend of mine says, “Nobody died.”
Over the years, I’ve realized a few things about myself and resolutions and/or goals, and if you’re anything like me, these realizations might help you too.
First things first, don’t shame yourself if you don’t accomplish the goal or if you break the resolution.
It’s not the end of the world if you eat a cheeseburger when you’re wanting to lose weight. It just means that maybe tomorrow, you shouldn’t eat a cheeseburger.
You don’t have to live a life of deprivation in order to lose weight. You just have to be conscious of your intake. If you want a piece of cake, eat a piece of cake — just not two or three. But don’t be so hard on yourself.
Buying that coffee mug or ordering that eyeliner isn’t going to break the bank, but if you do it repeatedly or if you never use it, then that’s when you begin wasting money.
The second thing I’ve picked up on is that I can feel good about myself and feel accomplished if I set smaller goals instead of one large goal.
I’ve been applying this philosophy to weekly around-the-house things as well. For example, I haven’t cleaned my baseboards in a while but it’s usually because when I’m doing a deeper clean, I’m not concentrating on that part of the house (and I’ve got a party or get-together coming up so time is valuable). So I’ve started pinpointing weekly tasks like cleaning the baseboards or wiping down the kitchen cabinets that we can certainly accomplish when we don’t have a huge to-do list but it makes us feel good that we completed it.
It doesn’t matter how big the goal is… you’re meeting a goal and you should be proud of that. Break a larger goal into multiple smaller goals to accomplish it piece by piece. The end result is the same, but you get several small victories instead of just one big one and it will keep you from getting discouraged that it takes you longer to meet the larger goal.
The third thing I’ve realized is that everyone struggles with is setting their goals and reaching them.
Think about the most successful person you can think of — chances are, they feel like they’ve failed in some way. That businesswoman who seems to always have the most stylish clothes, trendiest accessories and the cutest haircut? She may feel like she’s a horrible mother and is successful at the expense of her family. And that guy who has the hottest wife and the newest, shiniest truck? He might feel like he’s 60 pounds overweight but when it comes to choosing between a trip to the gym and his kid’s soccer games, he chooses the games every time. He’s a great dad, but just needs to work on himself. We all have things about ourselves that we don’t like or that we’d like to improve.
When it comes to choosing self-care or caring for others, most of us choose to care for others. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. I’ve had to tell myself that I can’t care for others if I’m not taking care of myself. Someone told me a few months ago, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” I’ve taken that to heart.
Another thing to take from this is that on the outside, a lot of times, things look great but, on the inside, things might be falling apart. For example, I have a nice, decorated planner that’s sometimes color-coordinated and I have stickers to note birthdays, chiropractor appointments, Kiwanis meetings, etc. This planner gives the illusion that I have my s*** together, but I don’t. I’m always forgetting stuff — the planner doesn’t do any good if I don’t actually write the reminder down!
I definitely don’t feel like I have all the answers, but I’m the type of person that will definitely try to find the answers if I don’t have them. And I’m tired of feeling like I’m not adequate enough because my husband and I haven’t folded the laundry in a week — OK , maybe three weeks. Don’t judge. Or because I haven’t been able to make Crafted by Corbins is a full-time job (shameless plug: check us out on Facebook) but I also have to remember that my life isn’t the same as the girl whose laundry is folded and coordinated perfectly in her closet. And I bet she’s not trying to juggle a full-time job and be the president of a civic organization. No one’s solutions will be the same because no one’s problems are identical.
Be a goal-getter instead of just a goal-setter! Instead of setting yourself up for failure this year, make this a year of success… it may be a million small wins but a win is a win! Last year was not a great year for most of us, so let’s make 2021 a great one!