I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions a few years ago and moved on to creating New Year’s Goals. This year I am also planning to have a ‘word’ of the year. A word, that reminds me to focus on those goals. It took me a few years to get serious about my goal list but I believe 2013 was one of my most successful thus far at achieving those goals. My list of goals for 2014 isn’t quite finished yet so I thought I would share a list of suggestions that helped me to achieve my 2013 goals.
1. Quit worrying NOW! Worrying is nothing but a major time suck. It is like running on a hamster wheel. You will use all of your energy and get nowhere. Worrying will NEVER change the outcome of ANYTHING.
This was a tough one for me. I am a writer, a Mom and a Grandmom. I was a champion worrier. Giving it up was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Whenever I started to worry, I said a positive prayer instead. If you are not the praying type, you could recite some positive affirmations.
2. Stop complaining about things you cannot change. Complaining is another major time suck that rarely, changes the outcome of anything.
There is absolutely NOTHING, you can do about a rainy day. Complaining about things you cannot change is a waste of time. Grab your umbrella and make the best of the day. I have discovered that places like the bank, the DMV and the grocery store have fewer lines on rainy days and for me that is a reason to smile.
3. Give up trying to be perfect! It is simply not possible.
As human being’s, we are not designed to be perfect. Trying to achieve something that is impossible is another waste of time and a major cause of worry. We should always try to be and do the very best we can. We do that by moving on from failures, learning and trying again.
4. Stop dreaming dreams and start making them come true.
Whatever your dream is, it will certainly never happen if you don’t make it happen. Making it happen starts with a plan. You may be years away from making that dream come true but every time you check something off the to do list you are one step closer. Doing nothing, will guarantee you nothing.
5. Stop making the same mistakes over and over. It really is like continuing to bang your head against a brick wall and expecting different results.
I still need a bit of work on this one. Christmas comes the same time every year and every year I manage to find myself scrambling to get it all done at the last minute. The scrambling leaves me exhausted and leads to worrying. This year I am going to use my calendar to remind me to plan and shop earlier.
6. Realize that NOBODY owes you anything.
Like the title of my blog, They Say Everyone has a Story, Everyone does have a story. The only control we have over any bad things that have happened to us is to put one foot in front of the other and to do the best we can to keep moving. There is no shame in asking for help with this one if you are stuck.
7. Forgive everyone who has never apologized to you.
This is another big one. Forgiving someone takes away that someone’s power. You do not have to forget, be their best friend or make a big deal over it. It is as easy as forgiving and moving on with your life. Dwelling on hurt feelings will never change what happened. Forgiving and moving on with your life will change you for the better.
8. Erase the negative tape in your head and replace it with a positive one.
Whenever you think, “I will never be or have” you must immediately replace it with “I will be and/or I will have” and then you must get busy creating a plan to make it happen. The old saying nothing worth having is ever easy is so true.
9. Make time for and embrace time alone in the morning.
Make time to be by yourself with no distractions for at least five-minutes at the start of your day. Spend that quiet time praying or meditating. Tell yourself you are going to make it a good day. I honestly thought this was silly. I can tell you that those silly five-minutes have created a calmer more positive me.
10. Happy is a feeling not a goal.
Happiness is not some golden ring at the end of a rainbow. It is not something we automatically get at the end of the rat race. Happy is a feeling and happiness is an abundance of those happy feelings. If you believe you will not be happy until you reach a certain goal, you are sabotaging your chances of reaching that goal. It may sound ridiculous but the more ways/reasons you find to feel happy in a day the happier you will be overall. Watch the clouds move, enjoy a piece of chocolate, call an old friend, take a nap. Do whatever little things you have to do until those moments outweigh the moments spent stuck in traffic, wanting a picket fence or the stress of your job.
What are your plans for 2014? What will you make happen?