New Years resolutions always seems to be a tricky topic involving a lot of strong feelings on either side. A lot of people go all out with their planning, goal setting, and resoluting. On the other side of the fence are the people that passionately remind you of the statistics of people who don’t hold to their resolutions and think that everyone just wants to lose weight and make more money.
I fall somewhere in the middle. I don’t do a lot of goal setting every new year, but I do like goals when they are written and tangible and doable. Since becoming a stay at home mom, though, it’s been easier than ever to let the intentionality that comes with goal setting slide. I’m not answering for my work to a boss, I don’t have coworkers around me all day, and my “clients” stay happy enough if I give them snacks. I used to love lists and plans and calendars. They helped me to identify rhythms for my day and to bring a point of focus to an often scattered life.
While I’ve gotten a bit away from running my life that way, I’m starting to see more than ever how much I need the structure. Without all of the same outside expectations or checks, I’ve seen my self-discipline slip. Maybe this is part of your story, too. I’ve been encouraged to pick a few small things to work on at a time and I’ve been amazed at how when I practice self-discipline in those, it seems to affect the patterns in the rest of my life as well.
An example. I’ve been pretty undisciplined about getting my kitchen cleaned up after dinner each night. Now obviously, our success as moms doesn’t ride on whether the kitchen is clean before we go to bed. I know for myself, though, that I rest better in the evening when I’m not thinking about my dirty kitchen (and if it’s a mess, it’s hard for me to ignore) and we’re more likely to get going with a good start in the morning if I don’t have to wade through the dirty dishes to get a good breakfast going. I’ve been making a point to do a quick clean up in the kitchen after dinner this past week, and wouldn’t you know that as I do that, I’m more likely to tidy up the living room while I’m at it? That one good choice tends to lead to another.
Getting small goals like this written down and laid out in a visual way helps immensely in helping me stick with it. And a pretty piece of paper never hurts, either! I created this printable to help me stick with my goals, and maybe it can help you too. I’d love to share it with you (click here). I’ve used it to focus on one big goal, broken into smaller steps and goal dates spread over weeks (like getting this blog going). I’ve also used it for recording new rhythms or patterns that I want to incorporate into my days (like the picture above), like tidying the kitchen after dinner.
You can download the printable for free by clicking here.
Let me know if you use it and find it helpful! What goals are you working on this year? Are you a believer in New Years resolutions or not?