Self-Care

New Year, New Commitments

We all know the story. We make grandiose plans to change our lives and achieve new goals when the ball drops on the New Year and despite our best efforts these New Year’s dreams go unrealized. According to the University of Scranton around 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to achieve them.

Imagine year after year, making a commitment to ourselves just to break it. Year after year, we lie to ourselves. Year after year, we stay the same in the areas we’d most like to change.

new year's commitments

Why Don’t We Keep Those Commitments?

When people sit down and envision their future, their next adventure, or their next version of self – it’s exciting. No one sets out with the intention to lie to themselves. The thing is, most people lose that excitement to make progress towards their goals as time edges further away from January 1st.  This happens for 2 key reasons:

  1. Most people don’t keep their goals somewhere they can see every day or are reminded of them constantly.
  2. Most people don’t break down their resolutions into bite size chucks for weekly, monthly, and quarterly achievement.

These simple steps are critical to our success when it comes to making good on our New Year’s goals.

So What Can Be Done About It?

To give ourselves the best chance of getting what we want, the first step is to write the goals down everywhere! On average we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals when we write them down.

Placing the goals in places we will see them daily like on Post-Its on our bathroom mirror, on the dash of the our car, or as the backgrounds of our phones will make sure they are at the forefront of our minds. When we think about them daily, we tell our reticular activating system (part of brain that filters the information we take in) that they are important. By doing so, our brain becomes focused on recognizing the opportunities to achieve these goals.

Goal achievement is a series of decisions we make and the outcomes they produce. When our goals are imprinted in our minds, daily, it’s easier to make decisions towards their attainment.

Break It Down

New Year’s resolutions can seem daunting and begin to become overwhelming. The best gift we can give ourselves is to think of the smallest steps we can take, that will build upon each other to get the goal.

Map out the weekly objectives that lead to milestones that eventually compound into the complete goal. For example, if you aim to lose 50lbs start with the goal of 5lbs a month and break that down weekly. Then think of the smallest life changes you can make to ensure you lose the weekly objective and do them. They say you eat an elephant one bite at a time and that is how you achieve your goals.

We now have everything we need to go to make the most out of our New Year. Now, we just think of what it is we want to do… and go do it!

By Mona Nyree Stephens, contributing author

We invite you to discover inspiring and effective ways to care for yourself and to serve others.  Now more than ever, caring is what we all need most. Caring for our self.  Caring for others around us.  Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before.  So, become a Custodian of the Caring Movement and help create the world we need right now, the world we want for our future generations.

UCA resources available to help include the Turbulent Times Resources Center,  radio show, publications and online store offering members huge discounts and always free shipping.

ready, set, stop!
Self-Care

Ready… Set… Stop?

ready, set, stop!

Most of us have grown up being taught that the proper formula is “Ready, Set, GO!”  But in almost every case, we actually need to “GO” before we feel ready.

In fact, starting before feeling ready is often cited as one of the chief habits of successful people.  Why is that?  Aren’t we supposed to have all of our proverbial ducks in a row first? Or is that just ducking commitment?

It turns out that committing to something is far more important than being ready for something.  You probably know of people in your own life that finally quit smoking – not because they were ready to – but because they were committed to it.  Throughout history, how many soldiers were ready to take a hill, versus being committed to taking it, when it was “go” time?

The very act of starting something and committing to it forces us to focus better.  Think of those moments in your own life when you were thinking about starting a new project. You probably had less trouble with focus, and more trouble simply deciding.  Recall the things you absolutely had to get done – even if you put it off for a bit – once you committed to doing it, you got it done, right?  If you want to make meaningful progress in your life, or your job, or your own health, it’s not so much about being ready, it’s more about making the decision to commit, and the needed focus will be there.

Work Begun is Half Done

Want to lose the extra pounds from the COVID quarantine? Great! You don’t need to do a ton of research. You don’t need more information to get “ready.” Just commit to the fundamentals of eating real food and exercising more, and commit to making it happen.  If it’s important to you, you’ll take the first step and trust that you’ll figure out the rest along the way.

The Only Wrong Choice is NO Choice at All

Whether you ever spent time in a high school drama class or not, you’ve probably been reminded on more than one occasion of the old axiom: “Life Isn’t A Dress Rehearsal.”  That’s because this is your life, right now! It’s happening whether you sit quietly or whether you actively participate in it.

If you want to lose weight, or you want to quit smoking, or you want to be more kind, or change jobs, then make the choice to begin – ready or not! If you know where you are going, the universe will help you get there, or at the very least clear a path for you.  A willingness to start is the littlest thing in your life that can make the biggest difference.

Good Enough is Plenty Enough

Allow yourself to be propelled forward by the excitement of doing something challenging.  Naturally, you’ll feel unsure, unrehearsed, and unskilled.  That’s a given.  So if you use that as an excuse to do more planning and more prep work, that’s all it is – an excuse.  You have a choice, though. You can get going right now, if you want to.

Remember the expression some people will say before embarking on a new goal: “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!”  It’s a wonderful way of admitting that who you are, what you have, and what you know in this very moment is all you really need to start. 

Take a chance, and contribute something – anything – to your partner, to your workplace, to your community. If you need more incentive, keep in mind: the people who get started are the only ones who end up finishing.

Begin today. Stand up, step up, rise up, and raise a hand.  Everything from a meaningful existence to a vibrant relationship requires a willingness to get started.  As the old saying goes: “You can’t plan for everything, or you’ll never get started in the first place.” So just get set . . . and GO . . . ready or not!

By Mark Smith, contributing author

We invite you to discover inspiring and effective ways to care for yourself and to serve others.  Now more than ever, caring is what we all need most. Caring for our self.  Caring for others around us.  Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before.  So, become a Custodian of the Caring Movement and help create the world we need right now, the world we want for our future generations.

UCA resources available to help include the Turbulent Times Resources Center,  radio show, publications and online store offering members huge discounts and always free shipping.