I look forward to New Years because the wonderfully deluded feeling of hopefulness and expectation I get this time of year.
Maybe I get oiled up on too much sleep. Or maybe I get drunk on Baby Jesus and pine forest candle smoke and high levels of sugar. You know, all that Peace on Earth and Joy to the World stuff can really clog your sense of reality, especially when you haven’t been to work in a couple weeks.
Every year it’s the same story. I get all aspiration-crazed and then I go off and make some incredibly lofty, noble, BIG New Year’s Resolution. And I really, really believe it this year…
Until about January 5…
So, of course, I did it again this year.
For the first few days of my New Year’s Resolution, I bask in the delight of how majestic it will be when I have achieved my goal.
What I will look like when I lose 50 pounds…or
What will I do with all of the money when I’m out of debt…or
How I will feel crossing the finish line of the marathon…
From January 1-4, I do all of that “visualization” stuff and make magazine collages and read a lot of blogs. I do an Image search of Google for inspirational quotes. I start a new Pinterest page to store those quotes. I buy a couple of books off of Amazon.com and then sign up for a couple of online courses. I get all set to succeed in the coming year.
Then on January 5, the last day before I have to go back to work, it’s time to actually BEGIN. And that is where I fall apart.
I commence a major melt-down of overwhelming panic. I think about the enormity of exactly what I have asked myself to accomplish and I…well…I bolt. I rationalize that my vision wasn’t really attainable anyway. I begin to make excuses, or distract myself, or become interested in something else. And then I have another year much the same as I had the year before. I’m afraid that my life will be characterized by this quote…
Quote by Francis Chan
So, this year, I am proposing a new strategy. Let 2015 be known as the Year of Not Deserting My Dreams!!
I have come up with 7 Fool-Proof Steps for Not Quitting My New Year’s Resolutions.
This year, my cra-cra resolution is to get 5,000 subscribers to my blog. I have 68. This means I only have 4.932 to go. No problem.
Pardon me while I hold a paper bag over my mouth and breathe deeply…
Suddenly, my head starts to swim. I don’t know where to start! There are a ton of blogs and books with their “10 Gagillion Simple Steps to Getting Blog Traffic,” but with a flood of options, which one is the most important and which one is a scam?
I should’ve chosen bungee jumping as my New Year’s Resolution! At least with that one, the first step is crystal clear…and just about as likely to happen! What am I thinking?
Step 1: Cry
Yes, cry. This should take about 30 minutes. Do not allow yourself more than 30 minutes because it then it turns into wallowing and whining…and nobody can help you after you’ve crossed over into the line into despair. Despair isn’t helpful to anyone.
Crying works wonders because it gets all of the irrational emotions out of the way so your head is clear to THINK! If you are not a crier, like me, then maybe you need to go to the batting cages or take a walk or talk it out with your best friend or brainstorm in your journal. Whatever it is, make a place for your bizarre anxieties or the horrific consequences you are imagining. No matter what you do, though, do NOT stay at step one. Set a timer if you have to. Have some peppy music set up on iTunes or have your cry in the car on the way to a Comic-Con. Those weird costumes should shake anyone out of the blues!
Step 2: Play with the Dog
This step will last in duration and energy depending on the age and breed of the dog, of course. If you are like me and you have an 11-year-old grumpy Shih Tzu, this step should take you roughly 2 minutes. Or alternatively, if you also have a deaf and blind 15-year-old Poodle, it will take a little longer because first you will have to get her attention. Then you will have to go retrieve the ball yourself because the poor little thing will not be able to find it. (However, if you happen to have a 5 month old puppy, this step might involve walking around the block, scooping up poop, and taking a nap…in which case it will take your whole afternoon!)
If you don’t have a dog, then I imagine that a toddler or, possibly even a cat, will do. (I can’t speak for the cat bit cause I’m not a cat person). Anyway, be resourceful.
The reason to do this step is to remind yourself to be present in the moment. THIS moment. Stop thinking about the obstacles in the way of your dreams, and get back to the present. Dogs and babies are magical at living in the HERE AND NOW, and we need to learn to emulate them…if only for a few minutes. Now you are ready for Step 3
Step 3: Go Out for Sushi
You need BRAIN FOOD, and raw fish is an excellent source. It’s best if you locate a nearby dive that isn’t too crowded, but that serves fresh fare. Junk food is a definite no-no because it blocks your arteries and makes you lethargic. Whereby a huge chain or a popular hang-out will just take too long. This step should take an hour, tops.
Our favorite sushi dive
Step 4: Log In
As soon as you get home from the Sushi place, Log In. I have to Log In to my blog because that is how I engage in the community I am trying to attract and learn from.
When I was panicking about my New Year’s Resolution today, my husband asked, “Have you logged in to your blog today?” The answer was obvious…”No, I had been too busy panicking!!”
If I want subscribers to my blog, then it follows that I must have something on the blog for subscribers to read! It doesn’t matter what other step I take for building my blog if there is no content for subscribers to click on!
I think that idea applies to every other area, too. If you want to accomplish any goal, FIRST, you have to engage. You must connect with a community of like-minded individuals who want the same thing as you and/or who have the capacity to teach you new skills. Learning from each other is a beautiful way to grow as an individual as well as grow a business or accomplish a goal. You need to Log In, however…
Step 5: Resist Distractions!!
Logging in is the first step to fulfilling your dreams…OR a time suck and a total distraction from your goals!!
Distractions come under the facade of social media, or checking emails, or even the 60% off of all Christmas Lay-Away Items that Were Never Claimed Extravaganza of the Century Sale!!
Or the Opportunity of a Lifetime!!
When I logged on today, for example, my first step was to search eBay for vintage RV’s that I might be able to refurbish. I even went so far as to put one on my “watch” list and get quotes for shipping it from New York State. I’ve always wanted to refurbish a vintage RV. NOT!
And how will spending $500 on a partially stripped RV help me reach my blogging goals??? Luckily, someone else bid $601.25 and saved me from myself!! Or else I’d have had a crazy, fun project in the works rusty vexation sitting in my backyard for next two years!
For the Love of Pete, Lori…Learn to Say NO!! And move on…
Don’t look at the whole thing. Don’t analyze the project in order to break it down into bite-size pieces. Because when you do that…you are looking at the whole thing! Then you are going to revert back to Step 1: Cry all over again and nobody has time for that!
The goal is just too big! 5,000 subscribers is a huge number!
50 pounds is a lot of weight!
26.2 miles is just over 95 Sear’s Towers!!
But there is one thing you CAN DO TODAY. You can write your next blog post (as I am doing right now). You can turn on the treadmill and walk. You can download an app for whatever goal you have in mind and do the first step.
Because, if you think about it…beginning is really the hardest part. In the physical world, if you want to move an object at rest in any direction, you must first overcome inertia. It’s the same for me. I get emotional inertia and resist change…whether big or small. I don’t like inconvenience. I don’t like pain.
However, I do find that when I begin, soon the cravings go away. Soon the runner feels his pleasure. Soon, the blog gets a few more hits!
And at the end of the day, instead of disparaging yourself for yet another excuse, you can applaud yourself for taking one step toward your dream.
Step 7: Repeat for 364 Days
Okay, you can skip Step 1: Cry and Step 3: Sushi as needed. You can keep them for emergency situations and weekends.
In 2015, I challenge myself to Not Quit My New Year’s Resolutions on January 5 and to do at least one thing each day that takes me closer to my goal of 5,000 Subscribers to My Blog.
And I invite you to join me.
I’d love to hear from you. Please put in the comment section below…
What is your incredibly lofty, noble, BIG New Year’s Resolution?
What small step can you begin TODAY that can make that dream a reality in 2015?