3 Cheers for the New Year
The end of the year is incredibly busy for any mom- cheer or not! We spend so much time and energy preparing food for Thanksgiving, then surviving shopping amongst the masses (many of which can be scary and rude), and BAM before we know it we are cleaning up wrapping paper and looking for leftover ham recipes.
At this point, we sit down for a moment after loading the dishwasher for the 3rd time that day and think- where did this year go? Then we ponder on a moment of reflection, and for the first time all year sit completely un-distracted and enjoy everything we have experienced in the last 365 days. What a rush!
Once our moment of year-long nostalgia is over, we feel the pressure to improve and thus we begin to brainstorm our New Year’s resolutions while scrubbing the unknown substance on the counter with a Mr Clean Magic Eraser. Should I go with the cliche’ lose some weight? Or Should I finally give up the soda pop that is over taking the blood in my veins? Should I give more to charity? Or Should I kick the Starbucks habit? Put more in the bank, or treat myself to something I’ve always wanted? The possibilities are endless.
How exactly does one make a good New Year’s Resolution and make it stick?
In researching just that I found a wonderful article written by Sarah Mohoney of Good Housekeeping Magazine, featured on WEBMD.
My favorite paragraph is by far the very first. I think it describes so many of us so well lol!
“There’s an inevitable rhythm to January 1 at my house. I take down the tree, vacuum up pine needles, and start making my New Year’s resolutions. The list usually looks like this: Lose weight. Swear off TV and saturated fat. Eat salads. Call Dad more. Write that novel. Floss. By midday I’m worn out, intermittently dozing in front of a football game and swiping my husband’s million-calorie nachos.”
There are some great tips in the article and it’s one that I highly recommend.
On a related note, in developing these ideas for what society has labeled ‘New Year’s resolutions’, we are actually setting some very important GOALS of things we wish to improve in our lives. We all know the success rate of keeping a NY resolution isn’t that great…..so what if we take the popular label out of the picture? What if we think of these as GOALS instead? Instead of focusing on the specific date of January 1st being a starting point, what if we start today by setting some attainable GOALS in our lives? We watch our cheerleaders bust it out, day after day in the gym; hours of practice and dedication with amazing end results. Putting on my coach hat for a minute. Much of the success for these athletes is through motivation and dedication toward reaching a goal. As coaches, we help our athletes set individual goals and team goals throughout the year- short term and long term. It’s imperative to have something to be working toward achieving at all times, otherwise the fire burns out without that fuel to keep it alive.
How can cheer moms/dads apply that same principle to their lives?
I recommend the SMART method.
Goals should be:
- Time Bound.
Set Specific Goals
Your goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.
Set Measurable Goals
Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success. If your goal is simply defined as “To reduce expenses” how will you know when you have been successful? In one month’s time if you have a 1 percent reduction or in two years’ time when you have a 10 percent reduction? Without a way to measure your success you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved something.
Set Attainable Goals
Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence.
However, resist the urge to set goals that are too easy. Accomplishing a goal that you didn’t have to work hard for can be anticlimactic at best, and can also make you fear setting future goals that carry a risk of non-achievement. By setting realistic yet challenging goals, you hit the balance you need. These are the types of goals that require you to “raise the bar” and they bring the greatest personal satisfaction.
Set Relevant Goals
Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. By keeping goals aligned with this, you’ll develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want. Set widely scattered and inconsistent goals, and you’ll fritter your time – and your life – away.
Set Time-Bound Goals
So as we prepare to ring in a New Year, keep in mind to set some new goals for yourself and your family. Make it fun and celebrate when a goal is reached.
3 Cheers to being successful in 2015!