July, according to the New York Times, is the month at which half of all New Year’s Resolutions have collected dust never to be heard from again. So now that July is upon us, it’s time to reevaluate. Time to go up to the attic, find those 2016 resolutions you made, and bring them downstairs. They deserve to be dusted off, greased and shined. Professional You gets a midyear review; so Personal You should too.
You’ve Established Your Daily Schedule
In January, it seemed reasonable to plan to spend an hour at the gym, cook a healthy meal and spend meaningful one-on-one time with your partner night after night. Now that it’s July, your real schedule has probably come to the surface, and it’s not as smooth as you’d hoped. And that’s okay! The point of midyear resolutions is to adjust the old ones accordingly. If you don’t allow for any wiggle room in your game plan, your resolution may be sabotaged. Maybe you can cook a meal every other night and just make enough for leftovers. Or perhaps you spend a half hour at the gym every other day. Acknowledging the amount of you-time you actually have is the first step to setting realistic goals.
Your Internal Speedometer is Calibrated
As the clock struck twelve, you swore to yourself that you’d be down 10 pounds by summer. But as you pack your bikinis, you realized you clocked in a 5 pound loss. Losing 5 pounds of excess bodyweight is unquestionably a success, but it’s easy to be hard on yourself if you had planned to lose more, regardless of whether it was realistic. So switch your thinking and be honest about how quickly you actually achieve specific goals. Adjusting doesn’t mean giving up; getting overzealous can be equally detrimental as being complacent. Or hey, maybe you lost 15. But just because you achieve or surpass a numerical goal you had set doesn’t mean the work is over. If you set the bar too low in January, present yourself with a challenge for the rest of 2016. The key is being accurately responsive to how these past few months have gone.
Give Yourself Short-Term Tasks
Anyone who’s had a broad, extended task can attest that it seems much more attainable when it’s hacked up into small, short-term pieces of a puzzle. Apply that practice to your resolution. Planning to remodel the yard before the first frost? It will seem a lot more realistic if you list out all the smaller jobs that need to get done in order for the big picture to come into focus. Whether it be by week, month, season or quarter, smaller tasks with shorter deadlines will help minimize scatterbrain compared to one conglomerate of an undertaking. There’s also less room for procrastination this way; if you planned to weed the front walk by next Tuesday, there’s a shorter window for a case of the ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’s to set in.
Ask the W Questions
When it comes down to it, a successful resolution is one driven by intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic. Meaning, you’re more likely to reach a goal if you’re doing it for your own wellbeing or self-expression rather than to appease someone or to appear a certain way to others. Employ the W’s:
What change do you want to make?
Why is that change important to you?
How are you going to impose that change?
When do you want that change to have occurred by?
What obstacles will be presented?
We’ve hit the midyear mark- days are getting shorter and we’re closer to New Year’s Day 2017 than 2016. Don’t wait until January 1st to put yourself back on the right track.