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#6: 5 Ways to Make This Your BIG Year

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

Dear You,


     If you’re like me, then last year around this time you also made an incredibly hopeful resolution that you told yourself you would stick to, and then not much later you felt a foreseeable guilt because, well, you got unstuck. 


How is it that every year, I take a day to attempt to start over, to better my life in some way, and I never follow through?  The good intentions are there, an idea formed, and a pathway paved, ready to lead me towards success and happiness.  And then, BOOM. I’m just not on the path anymore.  I’m back where I started, with my resolution having left me on no-day-in-particular (but probably sometime in February), and went to the place that has to exist where most, if not all, resolutions go to be away from their creators and live their own lives where they can come and go as they please and stay up however late they want.


So how can we avoid this annual letdown, and finally hold onto our words everyday from here on out?  How can we once and for all show those resolutions that we mean business, and we’re not going to get unstuck this year? 


Nope, not again.  Well, over the years I’ve read dozens of novels, studied with the professors at MIT, and learned for two years from an apprentice in Japan, to calculate an algorithm that will help people everywhere learn how to avoid another rough resolution break-up.


Okay, fine. I didn’t do any of those things. But how cool would it be if I did?


Actually, I’m just a girl, who’s become a new mama, starting her sixth year in college, and trying to maintain a clean, healthy, and productive lifestyle.  The only thing I have to back-up this program for success is my own experience.  If I can become a resolutionary, just an average, middle-class, stay-at-home mother and student, then so can you. 

Now, for the good stuff.  Here are my secrets for tying the knot with your resolution:


#1: THE PLAN:

Take a little time to write out a daily schedule for yourself.  If your daily schedule changes all the time, then just write a list of things that your average day consists of, as well as the things you wish to begin or work towards.  Then prioritize those things, with the most important at the top of the list.  Map out how much time you spend on chores and how much you have left to give towards your hobbies and goals. (This is where the 20 minute rule you’re about to read about comes in handy). 


Once you can see how much time you have left to play with, that’s when you decide how much time goes where and for what.  I’ve attached my hourly map at the end of the post to show how I went about this.


One big advantage to writing something out is that you can then cross things off, which can be incredibly therapeutic and helps give you that immediate feeling of satisfaction we tend to look for.  Also, it can be a reminder from your past self of what you once found important.  It’s both motivation and a physical reminder of your promises.


#2: DON’T WAIT FOR JANUARY 1ST TO MAKE A CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE:


“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” - Aristotle


So, in other words, to become is to be.


We cannot become anything if we wait for tomorrow to become it.  For, when tomorrow arrives, then so does the idea of another tomorrow.  To become excellent is not to awake into piles of money one morning.  It is to work toward excellence in every moment.


Think about it. 


You can only act right now, in this moment.  Not yesterday; and definitely not tomorrow, because who knows if it will be there? So all you have is right now.  Choose to be your best self, right now, and in the next moment, and the next one, and so on until infinity, and that’s how you get where you want to be. 


If you want to be nicer to strangers, don’t wait for New Years Eve to decide to try it. Do it now! Look up and smile at your neighbor when you get the mail.  Ask the cashier how his day is going. You get nicer by being it in each moment you’re in. 


Before you know it, it’s as thoughtless and mechanical as that pot of coffee you sleepily brew in the morning or the door you lock when you leave the house.  One day, you just do it. You go out of your way to bring money to a man on the street, go back to your car, and you realize what you did.  It’s muscle memory.  And the brain is a muscle that we must work out just as we do our arms and legs. 


Or, if your resolution is to exercise more, you must do it every day so that it becomes a habit.  It becomes part of your daily schedule and before you know it, you will desire it.  Crave it.  Maybe even experience some withdrawal-like symptoms. 


But you have to do it every day to get there.  And, trust me, you can get there.


#3:  THE 20-MINUTE RULE:


“But there’s just no time!” Is usually what we say when we give up on our resolutions.  I get it!  I always feel like there’s not enough time to do what I want to do.  But, like I said in Blog Post #3, we must make time for the things and people we love. 


In the beginning (maybe for the first month, and then slowly increase a little every month after), just shoot for 20 minutes a day to spend on your new goal. 


Going for jog? Well, my first run might last only five minutes, but I will do it for as long as I can today, and then try to go a second longer or a block farther tomorrow. 


Want to learn about investing this year?


Spend twenty minutes in the morning with your fresh cup o’ joe and read an article about investing, or look up some terms like “hedge-fund” that you hear all the time and nod your head to but secretly have no clue as to what it means. 


20 minutes a day, at the least.  Do that every day, and then one of those days you’ll be able to run a marathon, or make a lot of money on some stocks you strategically purchased. 

Do that every day, and you’re not only working toward creating a habit, but you’re allotting a reasonable amount of time to be spent so that it doesn’t: A) start to bore you, or B) interfere with your already limited schedule.


#4:  TELL YOUR LOVED ONES:


I can’t tell you how many times Conrad, my boyfriend, has helped me achieve something.  All I have to do is let him in on my ideas.  He always asks for an update on how things are going.  I know that if I were to tell him that I gave up, or got too lazy, he’ll definitely make fun of me and give me an ole’ bag of crap for it.  He reminds me that I can do better, if I just tried a little harder. 


The people who really love you will push you to be your best, because they know what that is. They believe in you, when you’ve lost your motivation.  They inspire you when you forget why you started.  And they’ll hold you to your word when you’ve let go of it.


When I can’t seem to find the push to start my day or do the things I know I should be doing, but I Netflix and scroll through social media instead, I think of him.  I think of my mom who I’ll tell about how my business is going, and who invested in it.  I’ll think of my little cousin who looks up to me.  I’ll think of my daughter who I’ll one day teach about these things. 


When I remember them and countless unnamed others, I remember my goal. 


And #5: HAVE FUN WITH IT!


If you make your new habit into something like a chore, it loses its value really quick.  Who wants more chores in their life? Not this girl! I may be a parent, but I was built to have fun.  And I’m sure you were, too! Trying to go to the gym more? Give yourself a reason to want to go.  Make a new, dope playlist that gets you dancing and the blood pumping, or invest in a new blender to make fun protein shakes before you go. 


Trying to quit smoking? Put your addictive attitude into something new and good, like cooking fun treats for you to eat during the day and to take your mind off the cigs.  Pick up juggling to entertain your restless hands, maybe!


Or, want to save money for traveling?  Decorate a new jar to throw your spare change in! Maybe spend those 20 minutes a day on researching places, events, and traveling tips and writing them down in a sweet leather-bound journal for you to bring on your adventures.  The more specific you get and the more you learn about your goal, the more real it becomes, and the better you can imagine yourself there.


A vision is all you need to begin.


But then after that, it’s up to you to keep it alive. A little bit, every day.  A few steps here, and a few steps there.  And then one day, you’re at the top of the mountain looking out at all you’ve accomplished. 


Just remember, that you are capable of anything that you allow yourself to be capable of.  The only thing standing in your way, is you.


HERE'S MY 2 0 1 8    H o u r l y    M a p:


Daily Must-do’s:  tend to baby, cook, clean, read Bible, Read chapter of Tao Te Ching, water plants, keep in touch with friends/family, and then any other daily changing chores.

(on average) Total of 6 hours of free time left: 

  1. Yoga (15 min) – with Conrad after work

  2. Learn something new (a word, an idea, etc.) (10 min)

  3. Blog/website/businesses (2o min – 1 ½ hours)

  4. Learn about investing/economics (20-30 min)

  5. Learn about Photography or Make photos (30 min)

  6. Apothecary making/learning (20-30 min)

  7. Adventure/something new or different (30 min-1 hour)

**My biggest priority right now is anything that betters my businesses.  So any leftover time I will either put towards that, or take a moment to relax.  It’s important to take some time for yourself to just recharge your batteries.  Maybe sit on the couch, or swing outside.  Take a break! You’d be surprised what a 20-minute nap could do (coming from a previous 4-hour napper).


Good luck, Friends!

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