Are you in the "honeymoon period" with your New Year's resolution? It's early enough in January that most are still enjoying that feeling of accomplishment and haven't fallen off the wagon yet. Unfortunately statistics say that 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.
I want you to be in the 20% that succeed, and the best way to do that is through a little accountability! Your first step to success is to announce your goal to at least one person. That simple action will increase your chances of achieving your goal by 65%! It makes sense because when your goal is only in your head, it's so easy to procrastinate even starting your journey. It's impossible to meet your goal if you never start, so I encourage you to take that tiny little step outside of your comfort zone and tell someone else what you want to achieve.
Now to really up your game, commit to check in regularly with someone or a group of people to report on your progress. By doing this, you automatically up your chances of succeeding by a whopping 95%! You can choose a trusted friend as your accountability partner, or you may want to consider a group of like-minded people you don't know personally. Sometimes losing the fear of what a close friend may think of your progress (or lack thereof) takes some of the pressure off and allows you to move toward your goals more quickly.
Accountability may sound scary, but it actually takes the burden off of your shoulders to keep yourself moving in the right direction. When you find the right person or people to help steer you toward your goal, you will fell empowered and gain momentum - and what makes it even sweeter is when you can help others in your group achieve their goals at the same time!
I'm passionate about helping others achieve their goals, so about a year ago, I started leading the encouragement and accountability group called Achieve! A small group of women meet for six weeks for an hour a week on video conference to discuss goals, strategies to meet them, progress, and challenges. Each group has its own private Facebook group to stay connected and share resources. I facilitate the sessions and document milestones and check in with members each week to help keep them on track. It's exciting to see what amazing progress can be made and relationships built in just six weeks' time! If you are interested in participating this session (January/February 2021) or a future session, please click below for more info or to register.
Luciani, Joseph. “Why 80 Percent of New Year's Resolutions Fail.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 15 Dec. 2015, health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2015-12-29/why-80-percent-of-new-years-resolutions-fail.
Wissman, Barrett. “An Accountability Partner Makes You Vastly More Likely to Succeed.” Entrepreneur, 20 Mar. 2018, www.entrepreneur.com/article/310062.
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash
The time around Christmas and New Years is perfectly made for reflecting on the past and planning for the upcoming year. I'm calling this year's exercise "Hindsight 2020" because when we look back we can see things more clearly. 2020 has been a year of the unprecedented, so it's been next to impossible to navigate it well and see things clearly while we've been in the middle of it. Soon, we will have a little space between us and 2020 to give us the perspective we need to plan for a new and better year.
I haven't had 20/20 vision since I was about 7 years old, but I never really knew why good vision was described that way. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a person with 20/20 vision can read what the average person can on an eye chart when standing 20 feet away . The top number is the number of feet from the eye chart and the bottom number is the number of feet away from the chart that the average person can read the same line. For example, if my vision is 20/200, at 20 feet away, I can read only what an average person can read at 200 feet away. We often think of 20/20 as perfect vision, but it's really just average because someone could actually have better than 20/20 vision. A person with 20/15 vision they can see as well at 20 feet away as the average person can at 15 feet.
The analogy of the eye chart gives me a little comfort. The standard of 20/20 is not perfect - it's average. In our daily lives, we are pushed to perfection and it seems being average is not good enough. All of us have been using the phrase 'hindsight is 20/20' to mean that when we look back we can see perfectly what we should have done. I'm really happy to re-frame the expression to mean that when I look back, I'll have a better idea of what was actually happening or how things could have gone better, but I don't have to expect my view to be perfect - just better than it was when I was right in the middle of the experience.
I want to appreciate the year 2020 for what it was, what it gave me, and what it taught me. But I think the most powerful part of 2020 was what it WASN'T. Recognizing what we missed, what disappointed us, and what we regret can teach us so much about how to live in the future.
An exercise I do every year is to ask myself some simple questions about the past year and then some similar questions about the upcoming year. I then look at the themes I see through these answers to help narrow my focus for the next year. Finally, I set goals around those areas of focus to help me be successful. ,
This year I tweaked the questions a little bit, and I also asked my kids these same questions and shared some of my answers with them (though this is a very personal exercise, and you should't feel the need to share your answers with anyone unless you want to!) These questions led to a great discussion with my kids, and helped me solidify even more what I wanted to focus on in 2021. Try it out!
1. What made you feel proud or successful this year?
2. What made you happy this year?
3. What caused you stress this year?
4. What are you disappointed you did not do this year?
5. What did you do this year that you regret?
1. What would your fantasy self accomplish next year?
2. If your wildest dreams came true next year, what would happen?
3. If money were no object, what would you do next year?
4. If you didn't care what others thought, what would you do next year?
5. What are some key things you want to avoid next year?
If you are looking for support in setting goals and achieving them in 2021, check out the accountability group I lead called Achieve! The next session starts in mid-January. Spots are limited, so if you are interested, please reach out for more information!
For some more reflection, planning and goal setting, check out past posts on the topic:
Many around the world are hunkered down at home to help slow the spread of COIVD-19. I think this is the perfect time to get some projects done at home! During times of uncertainty, it's easy to become anxious and overwhelmed about the things we can't control. Small, achievable projects can give us a way to keep our minds off of the sometimes scary reality and also regain some control in our lives. Many of you may be off work or working from home for the next 14 days, so read on for 14 organizing projects you can get done in one day or less!
1. Switch your wardrobe from Winter to Spring
At least the timing is about right for putting away winter clothes and getting out your Spring/Summer wardrobe. Make sure to donate winter items you didn't wear this year and try on the Spring/Summer items to make sure they fit. Don't waste space with things that no longer fit or you no longer love! For more ideas read, The Seasonal Switch post!
2. Clean out and organize your medicine cabinet
This is a great time to think about what medicines in your cabinet may be out of date and determine which ones you are out of. Make sure to clean the shelves and any organizing containers thoroughly. You may be able to use items from around the house to combine like items. Find some low-cost organizing ideas in the post, 5 Dollar Store Ideas for Your Medicine Cabinet.
3. Organize your junk drawer
Everybody has one and without occasional attention, the junk drawer can get out of control! You may store some essentials in this drawer like batteries, flashlights, and hand sanitizer, so make sure you add any items you need to replenish to your shopping list. Read more in 7 Steps to the Junk Drawer of Your Dreams.
A woman with many roles in life who knows the necessity of keeping things in order!