Want to be successful at your goals this new year? Don’t do this one thing…
Have you ever had good intentions to make good on your New Year resolutions and goals, only to find that intentions weren’t enough? This has happened to me. Like the year I told myself I would work out in the morning at least three times a week. Or the year I said I would read through the Bible in a year. Or the year I said I would write a weekly blog post. None of these things happened for lots of different reasons, but one of the biggest was the “full plate” syndrome.
Think of your dinner plate. Let’s go with the meal I prepared last night. You have your salad, your lasagna, and your garlic bread. Seriously, is there room for anything else on the plate? Not really. Not even if it’s the healthy stuff, like the salad. It doesn’t matter how good it is for you, it just won’t fit. Not until you finish what you’ve already got, then you can have seconds.
A sure way to feel overwhelmed, even with good stuff, is to add extra stuff on top of the stuff you’re already doing. Get ready for the burn out. Get ready for your new, under-developed goals to be the first thing to get dropped. Nobody can eat all that stuff on their plate!
Something has to go.
Is it the late show, so you can wake up earlier? Is it the Starbucks coffee, so you can afford the gym membership? What has to be taken off the plate so you can make room for the good new thing? You will need to let go of something, even if it’s a good thing. It’s a mistake to just heap more good things on your plate without first taking something else off.
Here are a few that are making my list this year.
- I’m taking a new job teaching Communications two days a week at Northwest University. This means having fewer hours available for my counseling practice. Instead of adding the teaching hours on top of the hours I’m already working, I cut out some hours of counseling availability.
- I joined a gym this fall with a monthly fee. I cut out manicures and pedicures. Good thing it’s not flip flop weather.
- I plan to finish a manuscript by April. I must give up all evening TV until then, except Downton Abby. Let’s not be extreme, people!
- I plan to give my daughters more responsibility around the house this year. I must give up the twice-a-month cleaning lady. (I’m already hearing screams of terror, and the gnashing of teeth… and I think it’s coming from me…)
- I plan to fit in two sprint triathlons this summer. That means I have to give up some summer leisure time to train. I also have to give up drinking margaritas the night before training. Oh the Agony!
- Create More. Stress Less. In order to make creativity a daily value and part of my happy existence, I must give up the urge to work, work, work. I painted some Zen Tangle over Christmas break… I’m hooked!
What are your goals that you want to accomplish this year? What will you take off your plate in order to make it happen? Go ahead and share them here. I’d love to hear about them and cheer you on! Good Luck!