I don’t tend to set New Year’s resolutions really, I like to call them ‘goals’ instead which is just a psychological trick for my mind so that it doesn’t collapse at the first hurdle. Just saying ‘new year’s resolutions’, sounds like a thing designed to be forgotten before the end of January which is no good when you’ve got stuff you want to do, so I’ve settled on ‘goals’ for the moment.
2018 was a big year for me with lots going on and lots of change. I’m very pleased to report that pretty much all of it was great, challenging and quite stressful at times, but all in all it was great I learned a lot. However, towards the end of the year, December in particular, I just wanted to slow down and didn’t do very much blog-related. Poppy turned 5 on the 2nd of December and I felt like we’d all reached a huge milestone, so after that I took a bit of a break from the blog to plan things instead of just churning out content. I closed a big legal deal just before breaking up for Christmas so I certainly couldn’t have done anything else alongside that in any event.
Of course, goals don’t have to be set in the New Year, but it is nice to have a brand new canvas to write on and decide on your direction for the year without starting part-way through the year if something not-so-great that happened. I really love a new year (my birthday is in January, so it’s a nice start to an otherwise dreary month).
Consequently, I have really been looking forward to 2019, not because I wanted a clean slate, but because 2019 feels like it will be a good year.
My Goal-Setting History
I have always set goals ever since I was in my teens, (but these tended to be random declarations of “Right, I’m doing x”). Nowadays, I write my goals down which I think is very helpful for focus and staying on track. But recently my list tends to look like a shopping list by the time I’ve finished and I often forget what I’m actually working towards. When I check back over the list, I have achieved things but the process of achieving them feels quite ‘scattergun’ and a bit too much like a tick-box exercise. Kind of “thank-you, next”.
Developing New Habits
One thing that I will say is that whilst you can achieve a new goal, you may not necessarily develop any lasting new behavioural traits when you achieve your goals.For example, whilst I am good at achieving a goal, I’m also very good at discarding the behaviour and new habits that got me there once I’m there! I think that’s because, again, its the tick-box exercise. I’m ticking things off and moving on to the next thing I”m not taking much time to stop an acknowledge what I’ve done or what I’ve achieved, I’m just looking for the next thing. When I speak to my friends, they’re pretty much the same. They have this “on to the next” mentality, which is quite unfulfilling.
The moral behind the Turtle and Hare story is “slow and steady wins the race”. This lesson is becoming increasingly difficult to learn because society is so used to getting everything so quickly. And usually so easily. We don’t need to study for anything because the information is at our finger tips, if we want to buy something there is usually an extremely affordable version of it we can get right now. We really don’t need to wait. So learning to develop a new behaviour or new habit? Hard work, no thanks just give me the thing.
Which is why, having taken time to acknowledge everything I’ve achieved over the last year, this year my only goal is to develop consistent behaviour in the areas that I want to.
Essentially, I don’t have any plans to learn how to speak Spanish or “insert something equally grandiose here” in 2019. I’m happy with my life, the people in it and we’re all healthy which is more than enough. My only goal for 2019 therefore is to focus on things I’m already doing, but to do them with more consistency:
Exercise – I exercise, I like doing yoga and HIIT but I don’t do wither regularly at all, I’m aiming for 2 – 3 times per week, if I could add a dance class in there I’d be over the moon, but I’m not sure I will be able to do it.
Meditation – I do 10 mins of meditation in the mornings on most days and I want to make it every day and gradually increase the amount of time spent
Cooking – As I’ve said on my Instagram Stories, I can cook, I just don’t like cooking, but I am aiming to cook once a week from scratch and that’s all I will commit to right now
Content creation – I’ve got Instagram Stories down because I love it so much, but want consistency across all my channels, including my newsletter
Reading paper books – so I can encourage Poppy with her reading, she needs to see me reading (I listen to audiobooks at the moment).
Invoicing my clients – I mean, this goes without saying! Scheduled invoicing, that I am actually thinking of outsourcing
Time unplugged – to help me to concentrate so that I can focus on the things in this list! Multitasking is no good for me.
See what I get up to on Instagram Stories @CorporateStyleStory
Essentially, I will do more of what I am already doing in less of a sporadic fashion in the hopes of creating a more organised and relaxed lifestyle. I don’t want to be so lastminute.com anymore because I spot an opportunity to quickly fit something in. I’m using 2019 to form some new habits and I’m pleased to say that I’ve already started.
I totally understand that people don’t want to be hard on themselves at this time of year, and I would recommend that before you set any goals that you acknowledge your journey from last year to where you are now. Every little thing, because it feels good to give yourself a pat on the back instead of berating yourself for not necessarily doing anything ‘huge’.
Working on being consistent is my biggest challenge at the moment. I honestly haven’t been ready to change anything up until now, but I think with a new year and another birthday I’ll focus on consistency because it feels like what I should be doing. I’m not adding in anything new.
All the best with your goals (or just life) in 2019, wishing you every success.