Personal Development

Focus – Attaining Reasonable New Year’s Resolutions

I don’t really fit into many categories whole-heartedly. There is always something that keeps me from committing. Not being able to let go of something I find painfully important keeps me in a Switzerlandish middle ground most of the time. This has actually served me well for the most part. But as I was scrolling through my Twitter feed (yes, I’m really starting to love this social media stuff, my millennial pals), this lady I find fabulous threw out a question to her readers: do you have a word for each year and what is it for 2018. Huh. As a very easily distracted daydreamer, I was ironically startled when the word focus came right to me. Weird. I would normally ponder and refuse to let go of a plethora of word options. There are so many things I need and want to do in the new year…what do I choose? Ahhh. This year it is so much clearer for me—just focus on what I’m doing while I’m doing it. I’ve written about mindfulness and emotional intelligence and guided people to meditate and appreciate the moment. I need to practice what I preach, right?

I can’t resist writing down new year’s resolutions that I will never completely achieve or be able to stay on track with consistently. I’ve been doing that since I was a kid and look forward to it like a mini bucket list. But, this year, there will be no beating myself up for missing the mark on becoming a highly-organized, wickedly rich, perfectly fit, super mom who deflects stress like Wonder Woman with her impenetrable wrist armor. When I’m playing with my boys, I will focus completely on them and not be concerned with work, shopping lists, or chores of any sort. If it’s time to work out, no impending meetings or deadlines can wreck my moment. I will keep focus the focus of my goals.

focus, new years resolutions, reasonable resolutions, personal development

Speaking of goals; some of us (yes, “us” means I’m guilty) get too lofty and dreamy with our new year’s resolutions each year. It’s tough not to. Each of us has this image of our potential self or the way we once were and hope to regain it. Where many of us throw in the towel is upon first wavering from the path. “I ate two donuts, might as well finish the box, go to the buffet, drink this bucket of sweet tea, and start again Monday. Or, “Working out is horrifically boring. I’ll just try to eat less donuts and quit paying the gym membership.” It’s no challenge to talk ourselves out of or into things that are the easy route.  We can justify it with altruistic excuses like saving money, being home earlier, doing more of what someone else expects us to. But where does that get us? With guilt and a wadded-up resolutions list about mid-February.

How do we defeat this vicious circle? By throwing some business solutions into our personal goals. Let’s nerd out for a minute. Consider how businesses both small and large stay afloat and maintain that magic word – focus. They set realistic and achievable goals—bite sized pieces throughout the year that lift them higher. Here’s an example of applying this to real life:

focus on reasonable new year's resolutions, attain your goals, personal development

Don’t expect yourself to achieve super-hero feats in 2018, Friends. Set realistic, achievable, measurable goals that will have a positive impact on your life in some way. Break them into chunks by time, steps, or level of difficulty. When we have something to celebrate, we maintain focus and the motivation to keep going with our reasonable new year’s resolutions. So, baby steps will get me closer to that image of self that may (or may not) be completely attainable. Hey, closer is better—I’ll take it and celebrate it! Happy New Year, Friends.

43 thoughts on “Focus – Attaining Reasonable New Year’s Resolutions

  1. I always have such lofty goals at the beginning of the year, the month, the week – even the day! Hoping tips like these can help be a bit more to feel a bit more accomplished in said goals!

  2. So inspiring! Realistic goals are the key to success! Excellent way to approach personal goals. It takes the emotion out of the goals which often gets us set up to fail.

    1. Excellent point, Deanna! The emotion can defeat you every time. I’ve struggled with that at work when a business decision conflicted with my emotions. Ugh. Cutting something from a course that students would love because we can’t afford it–painful! I’m still developing the ability to set emotion aside.

    1. Break them down into lots of mini-levels. It feels so good to them! accomplish them.Truth–sometimes I write things down in my planner that I’ve already done, just to check them off and feel a win! ha ha.

  3. Love this FOCUS is what i find myself needing this year! Being a working mom I find myself always with tons of goals and long lists of things to get done and sometimes lacking the focus to just do one thing and do it 100% is what holds you back from getting nothing done! Thanks so much I enjoyed reading this post and slow and steady wins the race!

    1. I do the same thing! When I started keeping one planner (my old-school paper version) for professional, personal, and kids’ activities, it helped my goals and lists come together. Even though I wear lots of different hats in life, it’s still the same head, right? 🙂

    1. There really is a strong psychological component to writing things down. Your brain sees it in a new way; it becomes more real. When I go back and read what I’ve written in years past, it’s like I go back in time and remember how I felt and what I was thinking when I wrote it. Speaking of which, I need to get back into journaling. 🙂

  4. It’s always wise, but easy to forget, to break insurmountable obstacles into bite-sized, reasonable chunks. Thanks for the post!

  5. I can’t resist New Year’s Resolutions either. I always have to take the time to write some down. I’ve learned to keep it simple and to not be hard on myself for not being perfect though!

    1. Absolutely, the older I get, the more I realize that I’m going to continue to learn, change, and grow. So many times, I’ve had a goal that drastically changed as I worked my way toward it. I learned along the way that something better or more in line with my personality was out there.

  6. New Year goals are attainable with this outlook! There’s so much pressure to start the new year right…this was a calming read. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you. It helps that I’m allowing myself time to “edit” my list this year, too. You are so right about the pressure. I used to feel that if I ate a cookie I already blew the health plan for the year. We are still humans with lots of weaknesses, right? 🙂

  7. I think a great way to achieve big goals is to surround yourself around people who have achieved the goals you are trying to achieve. If you are the smartest person in your circle and trying to achieve something no one else has, you will probably not accomplish what you want to because you will have no one pushing you to greatness. They never saw it so how will they help you? I

    1. Excellent point! I went to my first writers’ conference last summer. I felt like a little kid in a room full of talented adults at first, but I soon made connections and soaked up so much knowledge and advice I can’t even describe it.

  8. Great post! I wrote a similar one about making small, realistic, measurable goals. Being a daydreamer myself as well, I like what you wrote about the word focus. I need more focus in my life too.

  9. I love this! It’s taken me until my kids are adults now to truly understand how important FOCUS is when raising little humans. There are so many moments I missed by stressing about the absolutely ridiculous stuff in life (trust me, the laundry, dishes, clutter and to-do lists will never get done, but children grow in an instant) Here’s to a wonderful and enlightening New Year!

    1. I’m so glad you said that. Too many parents stress over their homes and undone chores. Before you know it, the house will be empty and we’ll be doing that for no one but ourselves, right?

  10. I’m the same way. Every year I make resolutions that I can never complete. However the mini goals I make for myself throughout the year are getting done slowly. Just got to keep on pushing!

  11. great piece. I love the idea of being reasonable. I set unrealistic goals all the time, but then I break them down into realistic chunks and big unrealistic goals suddenly become realistic!

  12. Oooh! I like “focus” too! I’ve had a hard time focusing since my kids were born (started over 10 years ago!) and feel like this is a great word for 2018!

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