New Year, New You?

I’m a fan of setting goals at any time. As I said in my “Reset” post, I’m not really making resolutions, but a new year brings opportunities to start fresh, take stock, and move forward.

Today, I’m thinking about a couple of ways that people look at New Year’s goals–whatever we may call those goals. And, I don’t necessarily like some of the ways we look at them.

I think the phrase, “New year, new you!” has got to go. I got a new hairstyle on Friday (thanks, Lana!), and while others have complimented it, my son says it’s weird.

The new do.

He said it seems like I’m a different person. The truth is–as you all know–I’m the same person. And so it is with the goals we set. We make some changes, but we’re really the same people. This is good! We bring a lot of history with us, and it would be ridiculous and unsustainable to decide that who we’ve been no longer applies in order to achieve a new goal we set. Changes to our lifestyle are just that–changes, adaptations, adjustments to ways of doing things, not who we are. They don’t typically change us in the core of our being. If you set a goal that does that, it’s much harder to maintain without a lot of other decisions that support that change.

Next, I’m going to push back a bit on how many goals we can work on at a given time. Many experts say we should have 2-3 goals at any time. In general, that’s probably good. However, the stretch you make for the goals and how much they actually change you and your practices matter. This month, I’ve focused on simplicity, a reset, starting from the basics. My goal has been to have less excess and more focus on the essentials. The way this walks out for me is several micro goals–meal plan, cook and eat at home, run four or five days a week, cut out alcohol, cut out frivolous purchases, keep the kitchen clean. So far, so good on these goals. I think it’s easier to be successful when we build on previous practices. None of these habits are completely new to me; I’m just more focused on them. They all point to the same main objectives–simplicity, less spending, better health.

It seems that having multiple objectives working in concert supports success. Plus, getting on a winning streak feels good and promotes sustaining practices. New year, new me…not really. I’d say it’s really the same me, just continuing to develop.

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