Each year so many of us set New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the year—goals to create more order, peace, and discipline in our lives….to be better managers of both our time and our lives in general…and actually follow through with our good intentions.
But far too many times these goals are forgotten or forsaken just a few months later due to sheer exhaustion or unexpected events.
This year I have managed to keep my New Year’s resolutions, at least so far, by implementing a few simple habits, mindsets, and schedule changes…all that happen to start with the letter “p.”
So, my list of “p” words that will help you finish this year, with your goals still intact, easy-“p”sy…
1. Pace...Pacing yourself by setting small, simple, achievable, and realistic goals to transform your life…instead of “all-or-nothing” plans that will simply cause you to “crash and burn” three days later under the weight of your plan…will help you avoid burn out and stick with these goals over the long haul. Obviously it will take longer to actually see big changes, but these changes are more likely to be permanent.
2. Pajamas…Rest and leisure time also are crucial in taking care of yourself.
Regularly taking time out and do things that you enjoy..such as spending the day at a fancy spa, getting away for the weekend, reading, grabbing lunch with a friend, or binging on Netflix while wearing pajamas all day…will enable you to be more energized and mentally prepared to tackle the inevitable problems and annoyances that pop up almost every single day.
3. Parks…Time outside every day, perhaps at the nearest park, can instantly improve your mood, especially if your daily routine keeps you indoors under artificial lights for more than a third of the day.
4. Peaceful…Anything you can do in the evening to prepare for the next day…such as make your lunch ahead of time, pack your gym clothes, glance at your schedule, and organize your to-do list…will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and totally stressed out the next morning.
5. Peers…Regardless how busy or chaotic your schedule may be, carving out time with the people who make you the happiest keeps you feeling supported and happy. Venting or confiding in a friend about problems you might be facing relieves stress and offers perspective.
6. People…Tell other people your goals so that you can establish accountability. Accountability is important for helping you stay on task and motivated.
7. Perspective…Be sure to break big goals into smaller tasks…Be both flexible and realistic. Think of your to-do list as the outline to an essay: helpful for keeping you on track, but also totally adjustable.
8. Persistent…Stay focused and disciplined so you can achieve your goals. So often we are held back from accomplishing our dreams because of lack of personal discipline.
9. Personal..Stop attempting to “order your private world” by reading and buying every single book about living an organized life that we can find…downloading printable household organization planners…wasting more and more money on organizational products that we probably will never actually use…and imagining that everything would be perfect if only our houses, lives, and responsibilities were different.
Learn to say no…respectfully, but firmly…to things that you honestly have no interest in nor time for. This will gives you the ability to manage your time better, as well as more freedom to say yes to the things that really matter to you.
10. Perspiration……Exercise boosts your energy levels, brightens your mood, and lets you channel your stress and anxiety in a healthy way…so that when you’re finished, you’re more likely to be productive and focused on the task ahead.
11. Phone…Stop spending all your waking hours on social media or with your face buried into your phone. Instead turn off your phone off or even intentionally leave it in the car. Enjoy real-life experiences, not simply wait for the online photos and Snapchat videos to be posted.
12. Pieces…Choose only one good habit to start or one bad habit to drop at a time. Often it can seem overwhelming to choose which habit to focus on, especially when there are a hundred and one bad habits to get rid of and good habits to begin. Slowly making seemingly tiny changes can add up to major dif- ferences over a period of time.
13. Pillows…Getting eight hours of sleep every night should be a priority. Stop making excuses for staying up later.
14. Plan…List any obstacles that could possibly come up, and make a game plan to conquer these obstacles if and when they get in your way.
15. Point…Make a list of the smaller tasks required to reach that big idea, highest hope, and most daring dream. Know exactly where your starting point needs to be.
16. Positive…Stop making excuses. Start making progress instead.
17. Prepared…Wake up 30 minutes earlier. Use the first thirty minutes of your day doing something that makes you feel productive, rejuvenated, and prepared…and don’t forget to make your bed.
18. Prioritized…Focusing on only one goal at a time, instead of trying to change two dozen habits at once, may require time. A good goal is to master three habits each year.
19. Problem…Put first things first. Focus only on your one biggest “problem area,” that one thing that irritates you the most every single day.
20. Process… We ourselves are both our biggest enemies and our greatest advocate. Any real change must come from deep within ourselves, and such changes are a process.