Recently, I’ve had more than one conversation about how to start the new year off right and try to maintain balance in work and life. Whether you are a New Year’s Resolution fan or not, turning that calendar page leaves each of us taking a deep breath of anticipation.
So, I want to share these three tips while you’re still recovering from your “new normal” or about to discover a new life chapter! Most of what you’ll read below was inspired by two of my favorite coaches- Cherylanne Skolnicki and Christy Wright whose podcasts are fantastic!
Flip Your Focus
You’ve heard this one before, yet, the same problem plagues us all. Typically we start new resolutions with a negative perspective. The things we didn’t get done or failed at over the past year drive our intentions to do more, do better and try again. Well, I have a different perspective to try. Stop beating yourself up about what you “should have, could have and didn’t get done”!
By flipping our focus we can start by listing the things that will always be important. Family, work, faith, personal time, friends, etc. This is where we must start and build a life around what we value most. These “non-negotiables” take priority, yet there are many other good things that require more discernment.
Take time now to determine what will fill in the gaps. Be intentional. When we have the main things as the main things, the rest of life can be a blessing instead of a hindrance as we go about choosing what to say “yes” to.
The Right Thing For Right Now
This next perspective was mind blowing for me! Let me explain. You’ve heard that saying yes also means saying no. While that’s true, I also believe that if you don’t plan for the season you’re in, it will plan itself for you!
I used to try to start the new year off right by thinking of my life as though I was a jockey in a horse race. When I was on top of my to-do lists I felt like I was winning the race of life. However, I felt horrible when things like laundry, friends and date-nights came in last because I was so busy trying to get my other obligations across the finish line at the same time. I never could quite win with everything.
Then Cherylanne reminded me of the Trifecta. She taught that each horse race can also be bet on through the “win-place-show” opportunity where you decide which horse comes in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd for that particular race. Are you catching my drift??
I started looking at the things I had to do in life as an owner of multiple horses in the race. This week I might be really killing it with the kids. Next week the Ballroom may have all of my attention. And yet, overall, I’m working on figuring out who to enter for which race… or doing the right thing, right now. Understanding that there are seasons where different things (horses) get my full energy allowed me the freedom to break down those individual goals!
In order to win a race (or accomplish a resolution) you really do have to concentrate. This is my last tip and it comes from listening to Christy’s podcast. Instead of thinking about what isn’t getting your attention in the moment, like housework or homework because you’re working late on an assignment, try being fully present for what you are doing.
A friend of mine suggested setting a timer for one hour and creating an environment with no distractions. Fully concentrate on what needs to get done in that moment and then stop. Take a break and then go again. This takes practice but research shows that you can boost your productivity this way! People appreciate it as well. Focused attention builds relationships.
Whatever it is you’re doing- do it well. Do it with intention. Feel free then, to fill in the rest of your calendar with the smaller obligations and joys of life. The Kentucky Derby isn’t the only race of the year and most barns have many qualified entries!
Start The New Year Off Right
So what super “horses” do you have in the main race this year? Are there smaller races that will require you to ride differently? Shift your focus to a positive outlook by considering the season you’re in and betting on that winning run for that particular race. I’ll see you at the finish line!