With the New Year upon us, and 2017 looking to hold many changes for my family, I’ve been thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Now, I am much more about gradual change than drawing a line in the sand, and if I can help it, I prefer to have a plan for change instead of sudden change, but we don’t get to pick out everything we want, do we? I don’t know who said it, but I’ve heard it and lived it, “the only sure thing in life is change”. Change is hard. I don’t think people make drastic change at one time well. It can be done, of course, and sometimes life demands it, but I like the pace of the turtle, slow and steady. I like to plan, and I like planners (it’s that pen and paper thing). And just like a woman who is always on the hunt for the perfect purse (I am her, too), I am always on the hunt for the perfect planner. I’ve had 3 in 2016 alone. And I think it’s hereditary. My Momma, for 2017, has bought two planners that I know of, and contemplated on a third, all in the quest for finding the perfect planner. As much as I like planning, I’ve never developed a really good system (probably because I keep changing planners) that I stick too. Now, I still plan, it just winds up in various places, on various pieces of paper. Now, back to New Year’s resolutions, which are really goals we have for ourselves, and goals are plans which are achieved thru planning. For New Year’s resolutions, I think people make large, broad generalizations about what they would like to achieve and they don’t really think about how to achieve it. And then they lose interest because the goal is too big, too far away, and they didn’t come up with a plan. Really, to be successful it’s about setting small, achievable goals, planning on how to achieve those goals, watching your progress, self-evaluating, and adjusting your plan. And not beating yourself up if you need to change your plan.
This (almost past) year (2016) I had a 6-month old, and I knew I wanted to lose the end of the baby weight. I had stopped breastfeeding in November (I could not wrap my mind around jogging while breastfeeding….that could be a whole other blog post), and I think I spent most of December thinking about working out. I had a whole new life schedule going on and I wasn’t sure how working out was going to fit in. Traditionally, I was an afternoon/evening work-out-er. I was exhausted from 6 months of less than normal sleep. I had managed to wake up at unthinkable times to feed a baby, but to work out at an unthinkable time of day I had to spend a whole month thinking about. And then, I didn’t even start January 1. It was sometime mid January that I had infused enough spunk in myself to get out of bed when the alarm went off at 4 am. I would hit the alarm button, and get out of bed and then sway a little as the fog tried to lift. Teeth brushed, banana down and a cup of fuel in me I would hit the treadmill. Now, before the baby, I was running. I was running a lot (I had a goal of 10 miles on my 30th birthday and I did it). But at this particular phase in my life I remember telling my self, it’s OK if you never run that far again. It’s OK if you never run again. Just do something. So I walked. And in those cold 2016 months, I walked on my treadmill and I watched what I ate. And by early spring, I had that itch, and I ran. And by spring, the weight was off and I was running again. Then I got the challenge to run the half-marathon in November and I took it and I smashed it. So, really, it was a year long, progressive, step-by-step, goal setting and achieving year. It was manageable. And I was successful.
This coming year, I think I want to maintain a schedule better. A lot of times, something will throw me off track and then I will just throw in the whole week saying I’ll start over next week. And a lot of the time, I have no idea where time went! For example, I hadn’t blogged in nearly 2 weeks, I hadn’t run in 1 week. In this case I do know where the time went. There was traveling home from Thanksgiving, unpacking, decorating my house for Christmas, preparing said house for bursting at the seams company (cleaning, shopping, washing), said company came (cooking ,visiting, playing, drinking, talking, eating, laughing), travel for work (packing, forgot phone, back-tracking, unpacking) and Christmas shopping. But in all of that, I didn’t maintain a schedule. I didn’t come close to keeping a bedtime or a wake-up time. I made excuses for not doing things, said I would do them at other time, and then threw in the towel. Now, I realize this happens in life. And I’m not so Type A and OCD that getting off my schedule rocks my floating boat and causes it to sink. I can generally go with the flow pretty easy. But, I think making, keeping, and maintaining a schedule would better allow me to make sure this life falls more on the extraordinary side than on the extra ordinary side. I will be able to fit in those things that make me, me. My fuel. Not just what life is requiring of me. Life is getting crazy, fast, and to accomplish my list that includes work, family, play and life goals, a schedule is going to be paramount. Without a plan, you can’t change the plan. Life is going to be full of roadblocks and I believe planning a schedule allows you to find the alternate routes.