New Year Resolution

2017 New Year’s Resolutions: Swimmers Take Your Mark

The start of the New Year takes me back to memories of standing nervously in the swimmers waiting area trying not to psych myself out for the race ahead.  As I listen to other swimmers talking about split times and snapping caps and goggles into place I can’t help but run through all my anxieties:

  • What is my strategy going to be?
  • What is everyone else’s strategy?
  • What happens if I don’t hit my rhythm
  • What if my tools fail me and I’m unable to see my goal marks?
  • What if I don’t pivot correctly or as fast when needed?
  • Am I going to have enough stamina?
  • What if I do worse than I did on my last attempt?
  • If I fail will people laugh at me?

All of these things go through my head when I’m thinking about my New Year’s resolutions. To be honest I haven’t put together a list just yet. I’m more than a bit hesitant as I walk into this race’s waiting area. What do I make my goals for this year? Does the standard lose weight and be more successful make the list as the primary spots? Do I want to be that general or do I want more specific goals that are success orientated?

My strategy for goal setting should be one that allows for benchmark wins so as I move through the year I’m fueled by successes that motivate me to do better, do more. Building on a multitude of small wins allows for the flexibility to change tactics as needed without sacrificing ground already achieved.

While I can certainly learn from others and how what works for them – I can’t let everyone else’s strategy influence what mine is going to be. It can be intimidating and create a feeling of uncertainty if you’re not doing what others are doing. Am I doing it wrong or are they? That shouldn’t be a part of thought process. If it works for you and you’re meeting your goals throughout the year – keep at it.

Hitting a rhythm in goal achievement can be extremely motivational. If I’m not hitting goals on a regular basis I feel like I’m out of sync and that my activities are not moving the needle. It’s important to make sure your goals are attainable so you can develop a rhythm for success.

Making sure you have the right tools at your disposal is extremely important. Tools can be people, technology and any resource that allows for you to be productive. If you find that you are having problems reaching your goal you may want to evaluate and invest in the tools at your disposal. I’m going to give a shout out to one of my favorite productivity tools: MindNode. Fabulous for organizing ideas and note taking! Tip: Stay organized!!

Being able to accept that your methods for goal achievement may not be working is extremely important. You need to be able to realize that and pivot, and pivot quickly. Don’t waste time on failed strategy. Use it as an opportunity to redesign your strategy and share your knowledge with others to help them build their strategies around your learned experiences.

Having enough stamina to reach your goals is important. Building stamina involves training and repetition. Don’t just reach your goal – CRUSH IT.

One thing that paralyzes is the fear of doing worse than you did before. Avoiding this fear while playing craps may not be the most lucrative of decisions  – but if you take a different approach and just keep at it you’re bound to get different results. It’s finding that right combination of actions + timing that is important. You do have to eventually make the decision to cut losses if it appears that the goal really is unattainable or no longer makes sense.

Don’t worry about people laughing at you for you failing.  They’re really just jealous and in awe that you have the guts to keep at it.  Reminds me of that one time playing softball when instead of sliding feet first on a steal at 3rd base I wanted to try hands first. I ended up flipping over and was safe, because the ball was never thrown, and everyone laughed at me. I loved it – because I tried something different and even though it was a horrific fail, I walked away with that feeling that at least I tried it. That was over 20 years ago … if I tried that now I probably would need to be carted away on a stretcher!

These are all things to think about when setting your New Year’s resolutions. Having that yearly reset button on the status of your goals is refreshing and offers the opportunity to take a step back and strategize. It does not mean that you get to abandon the race! Heats get called up one by one and it’s finally your turn to step up on the block … and TAKE YOUR MARK!

Productivity Tools · Stationary

Productivity and Paper: Confessions of a stationary addict

For the longest time I’ve touted that I’m digitally organized – productivity apps lighting up all of my devices. I would pick up paper planners and put them back. Mostly I just enjoy the feel and smell of paper but why would I ever want to lug around an organizer/planner when I have my digital version at the tip of my fingers (or evening pinging me with reminders on my wrist)?

I received this whimsical number from a friend for my birthday.

WoodLand Tales – Illustrated by Melissa Redondo
[Orange Circle Studio: Calendars For Today]

I tested the limit of my theatrical capabilities to express my appreciativeness for such a thoughtful gift – if but useless to me. To make matters worse, I was also gifted by numerous people with my other vice … pens and pencils. There was no hope for it now … I had to write in the damn thing, if but to only experience the feel of the graphite running across brand new (to me anyway) bound paper. Don’t get me wrong, it was GLORIOUS – but next was the inevitable nagging reminder that I don’t use paper productivity tools… past tense??!

I found that I started to fill in the dated squares on the monthly calendar section which quickly turned into filling in the things I had accomplished on the day by day entries. In retrospect this truly a smart way to keep track of all of the conversations that I had during the week and plan for the important items the next day.

At the office my work area is peppered with an array of wildly colored post-it notes with various scribblings and drawings in different color inks. To anyone else but me it looks like a disaster – but really it’s an elaborate scrum board that just might need a secret decoder ring. I crave this visual representation of ideas and the only way I can digitalize it is to take a picture of it everyday or also organize it in a productivity node app like MindNode. How does the planner help me with this?  It makes the physical board portable by providing with a space to stick all of my notes in an organized fashion.  My scrum board comes home with me at night and hangs out with me on the weekends – where I can modify it when ideas hit me.  LOVE IT!

Long story short … don’t knock it until you try it. If you tried something a long time ago and it didn’t work out – give it another try and take a different approach. I would have never bought one of these for myself because I didn’t think it would be useful but when the opportunity was presented to me via friend and I didn’t waste it.

Don’t waste opportunities.