It's that time of year again--January--and let me guess: you've set some goals for yourself? You have; I have; many people have. The beginning of the year always seems like a great time to set our sights on new visions, new levels, and new endeavors for ourselves or a great time to revisit some old ones that we've not, yet, achieved. So, let me ask you this question: with practically one full month under your belt, how's it going so far? Are you on track? Have you fallen behind? Or are you farther along than you expected to be? And if, by chance, you're not where you had hoped you'd be after one month in, how do you feel about that? Are you beating yourself up, or are you going easy on yourself?
As I check my own progress on a few goals I've set, I will tell you: I've trailed off a bit. I started the year strong, and during the first week of the year, I was determined; I was consistent; and I was on fire. As the weeks have gone on, however, I don't know that my fervor has dimmed, but my schedule has kicked up, making it more and more challenging to carve out the necessary time and attention to invest in moving myself closer to what I want and to where I want to be. Maybe you can relate to what I'm experiencing, and if you can, maybe you do what I tend to sometimes do. I can be really hard on myself for what seems like shrinking back off of my grind to consistently press toward my goals. I'll even go as far as to question whether I'm really disciplined enough to turn my thoughts and desires into actions and my actions into practical realities of the visions I see. And then, with nearly one whole month gone, I've, at times, chastised myself even more harshly because of just that: nearly one whole month has gone, and what have I accomplished?!?!
At times, I can really beat myself up: one, for allowing days to pass, where I haven't aggressively stuck to my plan; and two, for allowing so many days to pass, where I haven't stuck to my plan. But let me now share the other side of the conversation. Out of twelve months, one month has passed, and only one month has passed. When January ends, I'll have eleven more months, 334 more days, to get back in my saddle and get at it again. Maybe I won't make a daily investment towards turning my thoughts into actions and my actions into realities, but that doesn't mean I've dropped the discipline ball. It may simply mean that I just didn't get to it on that day. I'm not down for the count just because I didn't, and I'm no slacker with no discipline even if my reason for not getting to it is because I simply didn't feel like it or want to that day. The choice "to" or "not to" is my choice to make, and as long as I'm okay with the results of my choices, then whatever way I pace myself is fine.
The point I want you to take away is not so much about setting goals and whether it is or is not okay to pursue them. We should set goals. We've each been placed on this earth with a purpose, an assignment, to fulfill, and the responsibility of goal-setting helps us identify, pursue, and fulfill whatever those purposes are. The point I do want you to take away is this: even if not every day, each day you take a step towards achieving your goals, however many or however few, is a day that counts and puts you one step closer to getting there. So, don't be so hard on yourself if your rhythm is not as rapid and as steady as you hoped it would be when the year began. Take it one day at a time. Instead of measuring how much progress you're making against how much of the year has passed, track your progress one day at a time: "Have I done one thing today to move me closer to what I want and to where I want to be?" If the answer is "Yes," then great, you're a little bit closer than you were the day before. If the answer is "No," don't focus on where you are within the 365 days of the year--how much year has passed, how much year is left. Set your sights on tomorrow; plan to get at it then; and then put your best foot forward. Remember, we're taking this year and the goals we've set, day-by-day, one day at a time!
Like you, Katrina loves seeing people in healthy relationships (with themselves and others) that they genuinely enjoy and not just simply tolerate. This blog is dedicated to achieving that vision.