The beginning of the New Year this January might be a letdown after the festivities of the holiday season, but you’ve got to say this for it: At least you can find some bargains. Gyms offer major perks to entice new members. Big-box stores slash prices on things like workout clothes, kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners, appealing to those shoppers who have vowed to do more exercising, home cooking and cleaning.
Everywhere you go, ads remind you that this is the time of year when you should be trying to change yourself. New Year, New You!, they promise. Presumably you’re supposed to think this is a good thing, becoming a new version of yourself. But what’s so bad about the old version? (Spoiler alert: nothing!)
New Year, New Time Management Approach?
There’s a lot of messaging around this time of year that seems to stress the idea that we all want to completely reinvent ourselves. That the “old you” is a mess who needs to be left behind in 2019, while you create a new, better version in 2020 – with the help of this gym membership and that meal delivery service, of course.
I bristle at this kind of messaging because I believe in celebrating your victories and honoring your journey, not beating yourself up about past mistakes. Maybe your time management challenges have kept you from reaching the professional milestones you’re working toward – so far.
But even if you’re not where you want to be in life, all the choices you’ve made in the past have gotten you to where you are today. I suspect, if I asked you one-on-one to list all the things that are working in your life, the things that you wouldn’t want to change, you’d have a long list.
So no, I don’t think you need to become a “new you” this New Year’s season. That doesn’t mean I want you to stay stuck, if things in your life aren’t working for you. If you’re someone who makes New Year’s resolutions, I wonder instead if you could honor the current you when making them.
Instead of trying to make sweeping changes that are designed to transform everything about your life, could you focus on making small changes that build on everything you’ve worked for?
Setting unrealistic goals is a major reason why resolutions fail, right? Someone who gets winded going up a flight of stairs resolves to run a marathon, then gives up when the first few training jogs are painful. Someone resolves to pay off $10,000 in debt, then abandons the plan when the first $100 payment barely makes a dent.
What if the aspiring marathoner instead set a goal to walk for 20 minutes a day? This goal would be more realistic, sure, but it also honors the person’s current position. Maybe he fell into a severe depression that kept him couch-bound for months, or he spent such long hours at his desk that he never had time to exercise. Trying to run a marathon immediately, and failing, would be like punishing himself for the choices that brought him to where he is. Walking 20 minutes a day, however, is something at which he can succeed.
When things aren’t working in your life, time management challenges are often at the root. If you want to be doing:
- More home cooking
- Getting more sleep
- Seeing friends more often
- Doing yoga every day
- Traveling more
- Or whatever you want more of…
Changing your time management strategies is how you’ll create the time you need to make space for those things.
Of course, creating more time in your future might seem like an impossible dream when you’re totally overwhelmed by how much stuff is on your plate today. If that sounds like a familiar scenario, you can’t afford to miss my upcoming webinar.
Join me on January 16th at 2:30 ET for 3 Keys to Getting Started On the Important Things.
This free webinar is designed to help you figure out how to move past your overwhelm to immediately take control of your time. Your time management strategies this year will play a crucial role in determining what your daily life looks like – if you’re not sure that they’re up for the challenge, register for my webinar today.
I wish you a happy, healthy and productive new year!
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- To Reach Your Year-End Goals, Turn Them Into Puzzles - September 19, 2020