Welcome to 2020! You’ve survived the holidays and now it’s time to dive right into the new year. There’s something about this time of year that feels fresh and full of hope. If you’re like most people, you’ve at least thought about (or been bombarded with ads about) New Year’s Resolutions. You know, those huge, sweeping changes you’re going to make in 2020 that, just by stating them, leave you feeling exhausted and inadequate. Sign me up, right? Um, no thanks.
How about we try something new this year? It’s not about making huge resolutions and then giving up by the end of the month. It’s about deciding what’s truly important to you and then taking small steps to make that happen. This is something Sarah and I work with our clients on all the time. Think about it this way, when we start off the new year by trying to make huge changes, we start off with disappointment in ourselves. Who needs that?
Yes, we would all love to wake up on January 1st ready to become the perfect version of ourselves that we’ve dreamed up (you know the one). But, sadly, that’s not how it works. You did not wake up on New Year’s Day a different person. You did not wake up with new thoughts, new habits and a new way of being in the world. If you’re lucky, you woke up with some determination to make some changes in your life. Now for the good news - that’s all you need.
Here’s the key thing to remember – starting small is necessary. Human beings are just not made to make changes all at once. The reason we make resolutions in the first place is that we are not already where we want to be. If it was going to happen overnight or just because we made a declaration, it would have already happened. I wish we had that magic, but we don’t.
This blog post is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Sarah and I decided to start a weekly blog so that we can connect with you and reach more people with the work we do. We made a beautiful plan and talked through all our ideas. It was wonderful! The birds were singing! The unicorns were dancing! It was going to be AMAZING!
Then, I sat down to write this first post. And I PANICKED! I started thinking about how this project is so important to us and so big and so BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, that I couldn’t write anything. I just sat and stared at that blank page.
Until I realized I was doing what we all do. I was thinking about the BIG, HUGE GOAL and it was way too overwhelming. After I stopped laughing at that bit of irony (and Sarah stopped laughing, since I had called her in a panic), I stopped, took a step back, and reminded myself that the small step was to write one blog post, not all the blog posts. I also made a commitment to myself and to you. I will take the same advice I’m giving you and take small steps to reach big goals. When my mind wants to focus on the huge goal, I will take a step back and remind myself that one step at a time is how we get everywhere.
Now it’s your turn. Think about your life and what is truly important to you. Look at each area of your life and choose 1 or 2 areas where you want to start making small changes. Don’t go for the massive overhaul right off the bat. In those 1 or 2 life domains, pick 1 or two 2 steps you can take that will get you closer to your goal. If you do that, you’ll make real and sustainable progress without the drama and guilt that comes along with those dreaded resolutions.
To help you out, Sarah and I came up with a handy guide to help you come up with your goals and the small steps you need to reach those goals.
Feel free to peruse our blog and see what Sarah and Lisa had to say about topics related to your needs as a busy parent. We will talk about everything from parenting values, to life hacks, to realistic self-care.