Are you feeling overwhelmed as you face the new year? Do you have a hard time focusing on 20 page goal setting exercises because you can’t seem to even focus on the most simple tasks? Does it seem like everyone else is taking great strides in their goal setting for 2013, but you feel lost and unmotivated?
You are not alone.
As I began a new year this week, I felt the familiar feeling of overwhelm creeping up. My daughter was sick the week before Christmas, Christmas week was a whirlwind, then I became sick the week following Christmas. I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to, my tree is still up, no New Years resolutions are recorded and it still looks like a Christmas explosion in my small condo.
Generally I enjoy this time of the year because I love decluttering, organizing, list making and goal setting. Instead I’ve been feeling unmotivated and exhausted. The very thought of sitting down and making a list of resolutions makes me want to cry. It’s a simple problem really – I’m just feeling mentally overwhelmed even though I don’t have any massive factors contributing to my emotions. It’s just a bunch of little things weighing me down.
This week I’m starting with tiny goals and I’m re-assessing my feelings next week when I’ll make a better goal setting list for the year once I’ve gotten a little momentum. I am following Danielle LaPorte’s advice and creating desired feeling goals . My two big desired feelings right now are strength and health. Both these goals involve multiple facets – mind, body, soul but overall I use them as a guide to determine my actions.
My BIG DOOR (Big goal) for 2013 is to run a marathon. I ran a half marathon a little over 3 years ago, and since then I’ve slowly lost sight of the running lifestyle. So this year the biggest way to manifest my strength and health goals are to cross the finish line at the NYC marathon on November 3rd and check off the biggest item on my bucketlist. I’ve been on a big kick for several months of eating healthier, going mostly organic and getting away from traditional medicines but I have a huge jump from where I am to where I want to be by the end of 2013. I have 30+ pounds to lose which will happen naturally as I train.
It’s definitely overwhelming to consider that I can barely jog more than a minute today but have to run 26.2 miles on November 3rd. It would be so easy to give up when I start thinking about what it’s going to take to get there. That’s why it’s important to have a game plan when you are feeling overwhelmed with big goals!
7 Keys to Surviving New Year Overwhelm
- Make a daily to-do list with just one item. What is the one thing you absolutely have to get done today that will take you one step closer to your big goal? Do it first if possible. For my to-do list this week, I simply have walk/run 30 minutes as a goal every day. Once you accomplish your one thing, then add in a max of two other big to-do items.
- Add menial tasks to your to-do list to help your morale. These can even be things you’ve already accomplished. The point is to be able to look forward to the day ahead and see simplicity, but look back at the days past and see accomplishment. This week I have many menial tasks on my list that make me feel accomplished like -” get K to school on time, make lunch for K, be at the bus stop on time, go to bed on time, go to the bank, buy groceries,pack one box of Christmas decorations, wash dishes…”
- Clear your calendar – just say no to anything you can when you are feeling overwhelmed. You need to focus on you and seeing a full calendar can simply freeze you.
- Detox your body - January is a great month to do a detox. Your body needs a restart if you’ve been overindulgent in December and your exhaustion may just be your body’s way of asking for a reboot. This isn’t the time for diets that you won’t follow through with, but it is a fantastic time to restart your body. Personally, I’m planning to start Kris Carr’s 21 day cleanse program (from the book Crazy Sexy Diet) later this month which is part of an overall healthier eating lifestyle. Plus I got an incredible juicer for Christmas so this is a perfect time for detoxing.
- Minimize spending – Many times when I’m feeling overwhelmed finances aren’t the official cause but are a supporting factor. January is a great time to take a no spending challenge.
- Get some beauty rest – sleep is essential when you are feeling overwhelmed. Cut back on caffeine, turn off the tv, meditate, relax and get some sleep!
- Stay positive – If you are feeling overwhelmed with the New Year, you need some words of encouragement. Write a favorite quote or positive comment where you’ll see it often like the bathroom mirror or refrigerator. Sign up for a daily truth email. Read positive inspiring stories. Turn off the news. My daughter said to me a few days ago, “Mommy, can we please not watch the news tonight, because there’s never any good news except sometimes the weather?” It made me think because even though it’s good to stay up to date on current events, it’s also depressing to watch too much news media coverage. Turn it off if it’s bringing you down.
There are several wonderful free goal-setting exercises online to help you deal with planning your new year (see links at the bottom for some ideas), but if you are finding yourself in overwhelm mode like I have been this week, just save those worksheets for another time and ask your self a much smaller question – What one small action can I take today to get me where I want to be at the end of 2013?
Don’t focus on the big doors that you are trying to get through; focus instead on today. What’s your small key today? For me, my small key for today is to go for a 30 minute run/walk. I’m using the Couch to 5K program which is the perfect plan for any beginner who is trying to get into a running routine. Once I’m done with that, I’ll move on to a larger distance plan and later this year I’ll start the official marathon training.
Goal setting resources and words of encouragement as you ponder your 2013 goals:
How to conduct your own annual review from Chris Guillebeau
Write Your Annual Review from Benny Hsu
Goal Setting and Action Workbook from Scott Dinsmore (This will be my 2013 workbook once I step out of mental overwhelm.)
How about you? I’d love to hear what your “BIG DOOR” is in 2013. What are your doing today to get one step closer to opening that door?
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