According to a Forbes Magazine article, just 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. And of that 40%, only 8% actually achieve their goals. That’s a dismal and discouraging statistic.
So, why bother? And on more of a personal level, why do I keep torturing myself by making the same resolutions over and over again – expecting that this time something will change? That’s what was on my mind when I wrote last weeks post, “Starting Over: a Message From my Younger Self.”
Aiming high is one thing, but if you fail to hit that high-flyin’ goal, why keep approaching it the same way . . . over and over again?
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
After listening to the podcast, 7 Essential Questions to ask Yourself in 2015, I started thinking.
What if I did something different this year? What if I posed questions instead of stating goals/resolutions?
My mind made up, I created a plan. I came up with a question for each of three different areas of my life; health, home, and writing. Next, I decided on a baby steps to take for each one – steps that would lead me closer to answering each question.
Using myself as the test subject, here’s how the starting over at midlife plan looks;
Questions to Answer in 2015
1. Can I achieve weight loss and renewed health through small lifestyle changes?
Why: I want to know if lifestyle changes really work.
First Steps: For the month of January, I’m making two small changes in my daily activities. One is to use my Striiv pedometer to track 5,000 steps a day. The other is to close the kitchen down a few hours before bedtime (ie: stop late night eating).
2. Is it possible to make my house a home while sticking to a tight budget?
Why: Because home is where it all begins but I don’t have a lot of money to spare.
First Steps: Pinterest is a great place for ideas, so I’ll start there and see where it leads me.
3. Can I finish writing and then publish my current Work-In-Progress (WIP) in 2015?
Why: The turmoil of my personal life is finally settling. It’s time to focus, but it’s more than that. I need new tools in my toolbox.
First Steps: Search for and implement systematic ways to tackle a large and complicated project.
Now it’s your turn.
First: ask yourself 5 questions;
• What areas of my life do I want to work on?
• What’s important to me?
• Are there areas of my life where I keep repeating the same steps even though it isn’t working?
• What needs to change?
• What areas am I willing to put the work into?
Next: choose 1-3 areas of your life that you want to work on.
• Carefully pose a question for each area. State the question so that it will propel you to look for answers.
• Ask yourself why this question/answer is important to you.
Last: take a few days to formulate a first step toward finding an answer to each question.
• Remember you have 12-months to find the answers you seek, so break things into small chunks of time – a few weeks or a month at a time.
The No Fail Rule: if you implement a step toward answering your question and it doesn’t work, that is NOT failure! It’s simply a step that you now know won’t work for you. Tweak that step or create a different one altogether and move on.
This is not a pass/fail system. Simply move forward. That’s all that is required.
What questions do you want to answer this year? How do you want to start over?
Hitting the reset button at midlife
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