Woah, January is over already and I am shook! Seriously, I am trying to figure out where all the time went. It feels like yesterday was Christmas (which may explain why I still find myself humming Christmas music – sorry not sorry). Tomorrow (and maybe today for you) will see the start the month of love – hold me back before I attack someone in love why don’t you – and before you know it it’ll my birthday again (flips hair). You know you look forward to that holiday-not-a-holiday day, don’t deny it. Anyways, before I go on a tangent on that (or write a whole paragraph on the year going by quickly) let me tell y’all how I am not making New Year’s Resolutions this year.
I am not doing it. That’s it. Done. FULL STOP!!! End of post. Lol… That could very well be all I need to say about that but of course, I won’t stop there. I realized this post was going to be long so this’ll be part 1. I know, I know, I don’t have a good track record at the part 1 part 2 thing but I promise I’ll do better this time. Hahaha…
I am not making New Year’s resolutions because:
1- I have ALWAYS failed at them
Here’s the truth, I’ve tried to set new years resolutions countless times (except last year. Last year I was like, whatever and just went with the flow… I failed at NOTHING but succeeded at nothing either so was it really a win?). Anyways, I have tried setting NYRs every year using different strategies (because I am a millennial I have to shorten New Year’s Resolutions to something more palatable. You are welcome). I have tried:
(a) The “use a marker on the glass surfaces” method which, I won’t lie, was great. I saw what I was working towards ALL THE TIME!!! It also gave me some “Being Mary Jane” moments – without the fancy wine – so I felt like it was going somewhere. The truth is, this method worked for longer (read as I tried somewhat successfully for 3 months ) to motivate me to work towards my goals. It just got weird when people came into my room. I kept imagining what they thought when they saw “close your mouth when you sleep” written on my bedroom window or “resist, resist, resist” on the wardrobe mirror… I am just kidding, this had never really been a thing I’ve been trying to stop. Hey there future husband, I sleep with my mouth open so you better be prepared to deal with it.
(b) I tried the “write it in your planner” thing and Lord knows I LIVE by my planner... That helped, it really did. Not as much as using a marker but better than (c). It also gave me a reason to buy decorative stickies and glitter markers so everything looked pretty. You are more likely to work at goals when they look pretty right? Or so I thought. I got good at it for a month. I’d write out my goals onto the next week, repetition for memory right? Unfortunately, I missed one week of doing that and that was the end of it. It had me hating my planner, too, because it was a reminder of my failure at keeping my NYRs.
(c) The “mental NYRs”. Y’all, I don’t know why this was the method I tried the most because who gets things done if they are in their head. Don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about, you know EXACTLY what I mean because I can bet you have done it too. Maybe not necessarily with NYR but you may have done it with homework, a work project, that person you’ve been meaning to text for 3 months now (which reminds me, I have to send a couple of texts after I post this). If you are going to front and pretend you don’t know what I am talking about, let me break it down for you. Mental NYRs were when I thought things and was like, ok this is my New Year’s resolution. I didn’t write it down, I didn’t create a plan for it, I didn’t even think about it for longer than 5 minutes every now and again. Yep, that’s what those are. For the longest time, I thought surely my resolve was good enough to get me to keep my NYRs. I was wrong. The worst part of it was, I didn’t even REALLY know what I had failed to achieve because there was no tracking mechanism.
I can, honestly, go on and on about the ways I have tried to keep NYRs over the years but I’ll stop there. Hopefully, if you are on the NYR route, you know what not to do now – lessons from my mistakes, you are welcome.
2- I didn’t Resolve SMART
Raise your hand if you’ve heard of SMART goal setting? No, No? Ok, I’ll give you the break down here in a second. I always thought this was for “the heck of it.” Like, we said it when we were talking to people about planning their future just so we can go by the book and sound smart. See what I did there? Well, I didn’t resolve SMART, ever.
I had all these things I was hoping to achieve, right? Sometimes written down, sometimes “written down in my head” but not really.Now, back to SMART right, this was an acronym that my father started using with us around the last few years of primary school. Can I pause right here and say, if I took ALL of my father’s advice, I would be so far in life. Thanks, dad, I see what you meant now. Ok, ok, back to SMART. So the S means SPECIFIC, what is it that you are trying to achieve? Straight up, be specific. M is measurable, can you measure this thing? A attainable, can you get to it? R is realistic. Now, this is where I give my face a high five. Y’all, if I had used this I wouldn’t have made that “I will be married by my next birthday” statement a couple of years ago when I was 1- Not sure if I REAAAAAAALy wanted to get married and was 2- as single as a nun (even Nuns are married to Jesus so I guess I was on the other side of that single **insert shrugging woman emoji here**). T is for timeline, you need that if you are going to achieve something right.
So there, I failed at my NYRs because they were simply unrealistic and I bet you the “smarter” part of my brain was looking at the other side of my brain and thinking “girl you are so dumb.” On the upside, my failure at SMART resolutions is a lesson worth learning right?
3- I did not track my habits
Picture this: you decide that you are going to run 3 miles a day. You are like, yep, I will run 3 miles a day but you are going to build up slowly. So you start running on day 1 of this “new journey.” The only problem is, you have no way of knowing how many miles you are running. You just run and stop when you are tired. Weeks later, you are like, I don’t know how many miles I run daily. Isn’t that dumb? Don’t answer that, I might be touched by your response. Welcome to the story of my life.
I was reading an article on medium a few weeks back that put this into perspective. It argued that in order to know how far ahead (or off course) you are, you need to have a tracking mechanism. You need to know how you are plotting your life. You NEED a GUIDANCE SYSTEM!!! Say that with me, guidance system, guidance system aaaaand one more time guidance system!!! The thing is, when we don’t correct the tiny things that take us off course, we are more likely to continue going off course and, thereby, getting further away for the route we want for ourselves.
So that was major problem number 3. I didn’t know how far I was working from and therefore couldn’t strategically route myself as necessary. I look at this now and I am like, why would you live like that Nosi? The truth is, I didn’t even realize it was an issue until I looked back. I have tried to fix it though, I am a work in progress but I am doing better. Now, I track EVERYTHING. I get on a scale every morning, I try to read for an hour every day so I have a tracker of how many minutes I read, I track my water intake, my social media hours, the amount of time I spend on self-improvement every day. Y’all, I even track how often I go to the bathroom!!!! Just kidding, just kidding, but maybe I should (makes mental note.hahahah).
Rita Mae Brown writes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” Y’all, I already have a certain level of craziness going on in this head of mine, I don’t want insanity taking over and so this year I decided to do something different. We shall see where that leads me.
“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” – Proverbs 4:7 [NLT]
**Watch this space for Part 2**