January Recap: On Goal Setting, Resolutions, and Being Present
Wow, January flew by! I cannot believe that it’s already February 1st. I really planned to have this out a while ago, but being that I took a little extra time on it, I think it’s way better. This post is about my personal resolutions for the year and how I went about reaching those resolutions through being more present in my everyday life.
If you know me personally, you know that I am terrible at goal setting. If you don’t know me personally, setting serious long term goals makes me an anxious wreck. I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life, let alone the next year. I do, however, always try to jump on the resolution bandwagon just like everyone else. I am usually super focussed on that resolution for about six weeks… ok fine, more like three weeks, then I get totally overwhelmed and give up. This year things are different. My resolution is to have a different small goal every month. Something that I can put all my energy into for 30 days and hopefully carry that along into the next month after it has become a habit.
My goal for January was to slow down. What?! I know, believe me, it was tough to watch everyone else go head first into the new year with grand fitness or career goals while I was taking a step back. January was to be a month of rest and contentment and it turned into so much more. I was planning to take a break from running to recharge my health, to focus on the simple parts of my job, and to take more time for myself. In the last 30 days my goal evolved into being present and 100% focused on the task at hand, whatever that might be at the time. I noticed that being immersed in the moment allowed me to feel like I was slowing down, but I was actually getting more done in the same amount of time. What a revelation! Here are a few things that helped me keep myself present and focused.
My personal key to staying focused, is limiting distractions. First, I look at my calendar for the day or for the week and I schedule AT LEAST one hour of “me time” everyday! Usually by the end of the week it turns into 2-3 hours/ day.Kery’s “me time” consists of reading a book, hiking, or visiting my favorite coffee shop. That’s step 1. I put me first! I then plan my appointments and to-do list around that. Second, I took my daily to-do list (usually pretty long) and cut it in half. I moved the least important things over to the next day. I then numbered the remaining things from 1 to whatever in the order of importance. Then I focussed on the first three on the list. That’s it. Three things!!! You would be surprised how quick you can get 3 things done and how well they are completed when that’s all you have to focus on. After making that list of three things, I start at the top. I put 100% of my effort into that one thing until it is completed to the best of my ability. Only after that thing is completed, do I move onto the second and third tasks. This has allowed me to perform my best in every aspect of my day, because all I have to worry about in that moment is that ONE THING!
As I was going through my days before January started, I found myself longing for Friday. Looking ahead to the next place I had to be or the next thing that I had to do. Basically I was just a robot going through the motions waiting for the weekend. Then, on the weekends or the few hours I got off every day, I felt guilty that I wasn’t getting work done. In the last 30 days, if I started to drop back into this habit, I would stop. I would take a step back from what I was doing and ask myself, “What am I trying to get out of this? Why am I here?” This pause and these simple questions allowed me to refocus on the task at hand and put more into it so that I could get more out of every action in the bigger picture of the whole day.
The last few days of January, have brought up a totally different outlook for me. Allowing myself to slow down, to find focus, and to be present has made me realize that I often take for granted the goals that I have worked very hard for and already met. I know for myself. And for many others, that after we meet a goal, we are already pushing for the next one. Goals are just acting as stepping stones on the journey to the end of that path you have “set for yourself”. The last 30 days have made me appreciate the life that I have and the goals that I have already met. I am content with the things that I do every day and appreciate the moments when there is nothing to be done but to watch the sun go down. Goals and resolutions are a great way to push yourself to be who you want to be, but there is something to be said for contentment and being fully engrossed in the life that you have right now. I couldn’t be happier with the results of the first month of 2018 and am stoked to start February with a fresh set of small goals.
Thanks for reading.