Clean Slate

goal picI love looking around the corner and seeing a new year creeping up on me. 2013 has been a pretty decent year, but most of the year was consumed with moving, new job, new city and learning to start over. I feel that 2014 will be about getting my feet under me, finding my grounding in a new city and finding my stride. But…I love the excitement of a new year. Lots of possibilities. Dreams of things that will change.

Maybe you’ve decided to lose some weight (haven’t we all) or you have other aspirations, write a book, read, blog more, dance more, be more present and less distracted. Many times these things are good intentions, but typically our good intentions last a few weeks and then…well…our bad habits creep back in. The reality is that it is most likely due to taking on more than we can chew. Trying to change too many things too fast. Maybe getting in shape is what you are convinced you are going to do, so you resolve to go to the gym every day, drink more water, eat fewer carbs, eat more protein, eat more veggies, never eat ‘bad’ food, never have a sip of alcohol, stop drinking anything with calories, write down all your calories, and take fish oil. None of these are bad things. Actually they will all help you lose weight, but what has been lost is that to change ALL of these things at once, you are setting yourself up for failure. Taking on going to the gym and one food related habit to start off with are a great place to start. After 2-4 weeks start adding another habit. Then another…a few weeks later. If the only thing you changed was one habit at a time, by the end of the year that would be 12 new habits!

My issue: I want to do everything. I want to CHANGE habits in ALL of my life. I somehow convinced myself that I want to read 52 books this year. Yes…you read that right. 52. One for every week. Oh and I am going to blog every day, not hit snooze, go to yoga 2-3x a week, meditate every day, process my in-box to 0, be more organized, drink more water, track my food, work on a book, declutter, live more in-tune with minimalism, re-decorate, be more social…etc…ect…ect. Whew…that sounds exHAUSTING…and also a little unrealistic.

What I have decided to do is write down EVERYTHING I would like to change in my life and see if there are at most 12 things to focus on. One for each month and then go from there.

Upon looking closer at my list, I am realizing that what it might come down to are two things: reading more and writing more. Even if I read 20 books that would be amazing. So I have decided to write out my ‘dream’ list of goals and then whittle it down to my more realistic goals.

When we set ourselves up for failure we are sure to fail. The best thing to do is sit down and express EVERYTHING you want then think about: if at the end of the year ONE thing were to be done…what would I be happiest with if that ONE thing was done…then go for that. Focus on THAT goal and write out 12 habits that would support that ONE goal and those are your 12 habits for the year. That’s it. No more.

Back to my list…

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