Here we are – another New Year, another Auld Lang Syne, another clean slate. Did you set your goals for the New Year? If not, it’s ok – there’s still time to set them (or set more). The thing about a clean slate is, it stays clean until you write on it.
One of the goals of So Freaking French is to inspire women to live a more enriched and beautiful life, and so with that in mind, here are some tips I hope you can use to achieve your goals in the New Year.
Keep your goals in front of you.
Stay accountable to your goals by keeping them where you can see them. Put up a chalk board or vision board in your office, take a picture of your goals list and make it your screen saver, or just stick a big Post-It on your bathroom mirror.
My morning routine is a cup of coffee and a check of my email, notes and calendar, so for me it works to keep them in my notes where I can check in daily and expand them in the next step, which is …
Start your day/week/month with a plan that includes progress toward your goals.
Take a little time each each day or at least each week to write out what steps toward your goals you intend to accomplish, and the actions you will take to do it.
Name specific, actionable items. If you’ve set a goal to become more organized, spend some time looking on Pinterest for organization ideas and make a list of the ones you will use. Then set a time in your schedule that you will actually execute on those ideas, and do it. If you want to get in better physical shape, set appointments with yourself for exercise and make your grocery and menu list for the healthy foods you’ll be eating.
If it’s something more long-term, maybe starting up a new business or handling your finances, break down the bite-sized steps you will need to accomplish and put as many of those on your plan for the week as you think you can accomplish.
I like to set my targets for the week and then break it down to what will be done each day. If something doesn’t get done one day, I can carry it forward to the next. But the game I play with myself is to get everything on my “today” list done and get a little bit into tomorrow (chronic over-achiever).
And don’t forget to put a big DONE! next to each step as you complete it.
Probably your worst enemy in accomplishing anything you want to do is your own negative thoughts, so just don’t go there.
When negative thoughts creep in, don’t indulge yourself by wallowing around in them. Distract yourself. Do something physical (clean something, paint something, plant something) or just tackle the next step on your list. Put on some great, lively (not sad or sappy) music and dance. Go out for a short walk and notice beautiful things. Make a mental list of the people and things in your life that bring you joy, and dwell on those for a while.
Unfriend, unfollow, and avoid negative people as much as possible. If you must associate with someone who leans toward negative talk, prepare to be in control of the situation by planning a few topics to discuss that are somewhat innocuous and external from you (the weather, a movie, etc.), and then just be a duck (i.e., let any negativity roll off your back).
Devote your energies to the people who are supportive of you and your goals (and be a support for them in return).
If you think life is easy, stick around – it gets tougher, but it gets easier again too. Nothing stays the same. There’s going to be challenges and setbacks to any worthwhile goal. But it doesn’t need to defeat you until you say so.
My philosophy is that there are only two things – winning and learning. When something doesn’t go the way you planned, see what you can learn from it. What can you do to avoid that problem in the future? How could you handle it better next time? Where do you need to go for more information or inspiration?
As long as you’re still trying, you haven’t failed. So just pull up your big-girl panties, decide what you can do better next time, and get on with accomplishing your goals.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and beautiful New Year.