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New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

Goal Setting 20153 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

We are well into January and if you haven’t already flopped your New Year’s resolutions you have probably cheated at least once. So by now you know New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work!  But don’t feel bad, you are not the problem (this is the one time when you’re probably okay with the “it’s not you it’s me” explanation).  The reason is that New Year’s resolutions set you up for failure from the start and here are 3 reasons why:

  1. New Year’s resolutions are made during a high peak emotional season.  It’s New Year’s for goodness sake! The holidays make most people highly emotional. Reminds them of things/people lost, you start thinking of what could or should be, add that financial stress and you have the set up for a perfect storm.
  1. New Year’s resolutions tend to be Extreme!  Because they are created during such emotional times resolutions tend to be set very high without a plan of action.  When there are no visible results it all seems impossible leaving you disappointed.
  1. New Year’s resolutions don’t last.  Once you feel disappointed after not being able to see results to the highly unrealistic expectation you set for yourself you will start to slack off until you drop your resolutions completely as an impossible dream.

So you see, New Year’s Resolutions are a complete waste of time, so don’t make them! HOWEVER – there’s always a but isn’t there?! – instead of making a “New Year’s Resolution” take the time to set goals for yourself for the new year. And no, it is not the same thing.  While the intentions are the same the execution of it is completely different.  I, for one, am a firm believer that the road to hell was paved with good intentions.  While you mean well by setting New Year’s resolutions what you should be doing is waiting after the tumultuous time of the holiday season is over and take a good look at your situation.  Assess where you are, where you were and where you want to be.  This gives you a bit of perspective from a realistic non emotionally charged setting that can lead you to identify action steps to accomplish your goals for the year.  Just as I gave you 3 reasons New Year’s Resolutions do not work, I can give you 3 Ways to Help You Meet Your Goals:

  1. Identify long term and short term goals you want to accomplish. After taking a good look at yourself and what you want list those things you want to accomplish this year and moving forward.  For example: Buying a Home or getting out of debt tend to be long term goals that can take more than a year. While a short term goal can be getting  more exercise.
  1. Set action steps for each goal.  Once you have identified your long term and short term goals, identify specific smaller action steps you can take for each of the goals daily,weekly and/or monthly to get closer to the goal.  So, if your goal is to buy a home, maybe every week you will save a certain amount of money to put towards a down payment.  If your goal is to get more exercise one action step can be walking more or going to the gym once a week.
  1. Make yourself accountable by making your goals visible. Whether you make your goals your desktop wallpaper or you place post-it notes on your mirror, make sure that every week you look at what you’re working towards.  I like putting an index card with my goals and weekly action steps on my mirror, this served as a reminder.  If you have a close trusted friend/partner/spouse they can also help you be accountable by reminding you of your goals when your actions or talk seem to be diverging.  Not only making your goals & action steps visible make you accountable for them but it is also encouraging to see how each of those steps you check off are getting you closer to your

Fear Not!! If you already flopped your New Year’s Resolution, you don’t have to wait until next year to start over.  Now that all the hussle and bussle of the holidays are gone you can take an honest look at yourself and start working towards what you want now. Because just like the movie title remember, Tomorrow Never Comes.  You need to start Today!

 

How I Mastered the Art of Procrastination Without Trying

How I Mastered ProcrastinationMost articles and blog posts about procrastination are about beating it.  “Stop procrastinating in 5 easy steps!”  Well not this posting, this is about how I managed to master the art of procrastinating with much thoughtless effort. For most working parents, days off are not easy to come by.  As a matter of fact, just this morning I shared with a couple of friends (via group text of course because we are now technologically social) how this Christmas break has been anything but restful and yet I’ve accomplished almost nothing on my mental “to do” list.   Usually I get a late start but I complete at least half of my goals for the day but not today, No Sir!

Being like every other organized and highly efficient mother out there (and we all know that’s every “good mom” in America) I had a laundry list of unrealistic expectations of what I planned to accomplish during these 12 days of vacation, and that included laundry.   I can’t say with accuracy how much of my list will remain undone since I still have a few more days left of this so called “vacation”, but today I have surely done a whole lot except what I needed to do.  I don’t know what it is about having a full day without appointments that overwhelmed me to the point of unproductivity.  But today I didn’t just accomplish absolutely nothing, I did it in a way that kept me busy all day doing a host of fruitless things that by the way, I didn’t complete.  And to add insult to injury even as I am writing this post I can barely remember what consumed most of my day.

I started by making my son breakfast; of course he wanted chocolate chip pancakes.  I, on the other hand, didn’t feel like pancakes.  After opening and closing the refrigerator and cabinets (as if that would bring new products from the magical world of food pantry) I decided I did not want anything for breakfast because I wasn’t hungry.  That was followed by sitting with my son to watch Disney’s Phineas and Ferb because we hadn’t seen that episode and of course what mom doesn’t love spending some cuddle time with her kid.  But the rest of the day is a big blurr.

It involved my attempt to clean my bedroom closet, which was interrupted by my noticing the new bathroom curtains I had purchased  at Home Goods.  At that point my attention turned to cleaning the bathroom, but as I walked into the kitchen for some reason or another I decided to use my new cupcake baking tray and make corn muffins (by the way, I don’t bake, that’s one of my goals for the new year).  That ended in utter failure as my son put it, “the muffins smell good mom but they just needed a little more sugar. And they taste like cornmeal!”

Squirrel
Squirrel!!

I am not sure what happened after I washed the dishes from my baking mishap but all I remember is getting sucked into the black hole of social media for some amount of time and checking on my son’s progress with his holiday homework packet and cleaning his room.  This exchange with my son can be a little draining because he always has a reasonable explanation as to why he is not doing what I ask, so I decided to make coffee. At this time is about three in the afternoon and I realized he will not be done with anything on time to get anything done outside the house.  So I figured the coffee will give me a boost to get some things done at home.  Of course I didn’t just make me a regular cup of coffee, I wanted to figure out “THE” best way to make coffee so I turned to ol’ reliable Google.  After Googling for a bit and reading some websites I made me a mediocre cup of coffee that tasted no better than any other cup of coffee I’ve ever made.

To make sure my day is not completely wasted I decided to work on my blogs since that doesn’t require me to leave the apartment and I reasoned that tomorrow I have a couple of scheduled engagements anyway so I’ll stick to things I can do at home.  I sat down with my computer to work on my blogs but I realized my desktop was a mess so I decided to clean that up.  After creating, dragging and deleting files and folders I somehow ended up altering a picture on Photoshop because I need practice on that but not before finding an awesome picture of Wonder Woman on DeviantArt.com and of course uploading it onto Facebook. That of course added some additional distractions such as several visits to Mashable and Huffington Post as well as an article on Latina Magazine about tattoos.  Finally I started writing this posting with my son asking me questions every 5 to 10 minutes about anything from Lego constructions to snacks.  Somewhere between all that mess of nothing I did make me something to eat for lunch, though I never did figure out what to eat for breakfast.  I did not finish the closet, the bathroom, the kitchen and I didn’t even look at the doglaundry.  But I made my son dinner.  And right now it looks like I managed to complete a blog post about how my day was filled with nothing on time for me to actually take the rest of the night to rest since I feel a bit drained from not doing anything useful all day which I believe is more of a mental drain do to the huge FAIL I did accomplish.

Cheers to a more productive 2014!  Which reminds me I was supposed to be writing a post about resolutions for the New Year if we go by the editorial calendar I created months ago which is now lost in a folder within my computer files.