Pages

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

How Do You Eat New Year's Resolutions?


One bite at a time. I know you've heard that joke before, but stay with me--I am going to challenge you to tackle your goals as you might an elephant.


Because here it is, a new year and you have resolved to . . . well, what have you resolved to do? Write something because you've always wanted to try your hand at writing stories? Finish a book you once started? forge ahead with a career you've dreamt about but so far has eluded you? So let's see what needs to be done.

First of all, list five things you will need to do to accomplish over the next twelve months to see your goal(s) come to fruition. Maybe you need more than five, or only three. But list what you would need to do to arrive on December 31st 2014 with everything completed. Daunting, huh? Overwhelming? Yes. Now, let's forget this all, and look at your goals in another way.

Now let's break your wonderful dream into sizable bites. Because you can't eat that elephant all at once--it has to be done one bite at a time. My mother always said to look at a job not as a whole, but what can I do at this very moment. Because even small steps get you closer to the end.

I look at my goals like I look at my kitchen after a big family dinner--the counters are covered with dirty dishes and pots and food that needs to be divied up and put away. There isn't a single clean spot. I can't wave my hand and have it all cleaned up at once--but every time I pick up one dish and rinse it and put it in the dishwasher, every time I put away the mashed potatoes in the fridge, the counter gets cleaner, and I get one step closer to a shiny, clean kitchen. I never walk into my disaster of a kitchen and not smile--I think of Mary Poppins and how "snap" the job is done.

So start each day with a moment's pause, and make a simple plan. What can I bite off today? Where can I find the 15 minutes, the hour, that bit of time I need to get closer to my goal?

My plan for the year--get up with my early riser husband. His alarm goes off at 5.

I know. Yuck. But if I did that, I would have an hour plus each morning to work toward a pie in the sky dream I've had for years. I'd bite off a bit each day before the day begins--so that the day wouldn't escape me without getting one step closer.

What do you dream of doing and how can you bite off a bit each day?

Comment below to be entered to win a box of goodies and books in Elizabeth's 12 Days of Wishes giveaways. You have until Friday noon, PT to enter. A winner will be posted on my 12 Days contest page.

And then enter her Grand Giveaway to win an iPad and a large box of goodies and giveaways.

Elizabeth Boyle is the author of 22 adventurous and fun Regency set historical romances. Her newest release, IF WISHES WERE EARLS, is available now. Read any excerpt at her website.

44 comments:

Laney4 said...

I have been doing "a little bit of everything" rather than a bunch of one thing while neglecting others. It helps get the "guilt" off my shoulders this way.
I have several items on my "dream list". For example, every day I mend at least one thing, scrapbook two pages, and exercise, amongst other things (including work-related items). I really am trying to eat my frogs, so to speak.

petite said...

I dream of being able to travel, have wonderful and meaningful trips which would be happiness and unforgettable.

Penny Culberson said...

Forced to make a career change..trying very hard to get back on track. Take one day at a time and just be happy again.

petite said...

What is a dream come true for me would be to spend time at a beach house with the entire family who would benefit greatly and enjoy this rare leisure. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

Spending quality time with my husband and having a long needed vacation. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

regencygirl01 said...

I dream of being a wife and mother, getting out more would get me closer

arizonadutt said...

I would love to be able to travel to my heart's content! Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Eastern Europe, OH MY! I've been working on going to at least one of them this year by saving every spare cent and dollar I have! I've got my sights set on Scotland, England and Ireland to start! :) Happy New Year!

LadyDi77 said...

I dream of being a country music star! ;) A bit old to go after that dream!

I'd also like to be a writer. I have several premises written up as well as a book my father wrote. He wasn't able to get it published before Alzheimer's took his mind and ultimately his life... One of these days, Daddy... :)

knye said...

For a long time I have dreamed of having a vacation home at the beach. I am still saving.

StacyB said...

My goals aren't simple ones in my eyes. I will accomplish them though! In particular order.. One, I will stop smoking..Two, I will make better choices in what I eat..Three, I will work out so I can become a healthier me.. Four, I will support and encourage my husband in doing the same.. I am completely in Love with the idea of being a better ME. So no matter what it takes I will be that for me and my wonderful husband and two beautiful children. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Dianne Nedelec said...

in my 40 some years on earth, I haven't seen very much of it. So I would like to do some travellling, and see a bit of the world.

Tanya Campbell said...

I want to get organized. So I need to start with my living room and go from there.

Heather said...

I dream of finding a career where I can make a difference in other people's lives. I'm biting a bit off each day by finding new ways to volunteer and help others including fostering animals for local shelters, volunteering time, sponsoring kids for Christmas, and sending letters to people who need some hand written kindness. I'd love to find a way to make a career out of something I find so meaningful.

Sharon Fournier said...

I need to just get my act together. I retired in April 2013 and since then have moved to our "retirement" home in Tennessee (from Upstate New York). I still haven't gotten all my boxes unpacked, plus it seems like I have been taking life too leisurely....going to bed late, getting up later than usual, lounging about and gaining weight. It is time I start grabbing the bull by the horn and start making mini-goals to get my life back on track.

Linda McDonald said...

Writing more, exercising more, and learning to cook healthier meals. Happy New Year everyone!

tabatha baker said...

Getting organized and traveling with my family. I am currently tackling 1 room and have a weekend trip planned i n 2 weeks. Yay me!

sheryl said...

I have been dreaming of traveling more and trying to get some things done around and to my house.

LButz2001 said...

I dream of selling my apartment and repaying all the money I've borrowed from my sister.

Di said...

I want to find a job that I'll enjoy - first step is getting my resume in order then getting the word out to friends and ex-co workers - Hopefully I'll find something that I won't mind going to every day!
sallans d at yahoo dot com

Rhiannon said...

I dream of little things and big things that I would like to try and never have. Having battled breast cancer for the last year made me think about all the things I would like to do. Some of them seem a little crazy and some less so, but I just want to get out and experience was life has to offer. I told my husband the other day that I would like to go zip lining! Sounds like something to try just once.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Post your goals on your bathroom mirror... where you see them everyday...

Jeanne M said...

After years of making resolutions to change this or not do that my resolution this year is instead to be honest with myself - and not make resolutions that I know I'll never follow through with!

I've decided that the old maxim of "be true to yourself" is in effect this year! Sure there are things that I should change but in all honesty I finally know myself well enough (after all these years) that I have as much chance as an elephant who wants to fly that I'll never follow through with my resolutions!

With that reasoning I've decided NOT to make any resolution but to trow caution to the wind and instead just have a heck of a good year doing the same old thing of enjoying life to the fullest and rejoicing in every moment, good and bad alike, each day!

erin said...

My goal is to tackle my TBR mountain range and either start reading or culling. I get caught up with blogs and working and I don't leave myself any time to read. Luckily, I've already made some positive changes so that goal is going to be much more attainable. Thanks for the great post and Happy New Year!!

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Elizabeth. Just want to enjoy life more and hopefully banish stress.

Alyn Yang said...

I dream of having my good dreams come true.

Lesia said...

We want to live and travel around in an RV for a few years. This year is the year we start on that dream.

Beautiful Disaster said...

I just want to better wife, mother, grandma, daughter, sister, and teacher. To continue to be healthy and have a roof over my head :)
Happy New Year!!!

Bre said...

My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November so my goal is to be better at helping her with that.

Eli Yanti said...

I dream about being a writer and everyday I fail to begin writing it's sad but still I have not start write my story (˘_˘٥)

Linda Henderson said...

I know it's kind of sad to say but I really don't have any dreams now. I did set some goals for 2014. Live healthier, be a more positive person, save some money, read more and get more organized. I'm trying to set aside a little time every day to sort and pitch junk mail and old receipts I don't need anymore. It's a work in progress.

Pamk said...

to get my bachelors degree. I am working toward that and to be healthier and am working toward that by starting to walk everyday eventually working up to 30 minutes per day.

catslady said...

I really need to get organized and they say pick one drawer or closet at a time but I'm a true pack rat lol. What I really want to do and think I can accomplish is to read more - I would love to double the amount of books in 2014!

Kezia said...

My goals this year are to get super organized and to run a full marathon. I know I can do both. I'm gonna start organizing my house little by little til everything has a place and I plan to start running at least 4 times a week. :)

Mary Preston said...

I'm not an early riser, but when I do I like to have that extra time. My goal this year is to find more time for myself.

Laurie G said...

I do get up at 5:00am. I love having some "me"time. As the weather has gotten bitter cold, I'm now forced to use a Nordic Track for exercise. I'm hoping for a thaw so that I can get outside. Always need to monitor my weight. I'm trying to read more too.

Kim said...

I have been ignoring setting myself a goal because it feels so overwhelming right now but believe it or not reading this just helped me put things in perspective! Thank you for that : )

Quilt Lady said...

I want to get back into exercising every day. I have slacked the past couple of months. I was walking every day until the weather started getting bad and I was getting thing ready for the holidays. I just going to have to start usuing the exercise bike on these bad day. I just hate to ride it.

Diane said...

I would like to be able to spend more time at home with my son...if I can get my new assistant trained that might just happen:)

Anita H. said...

My goal is to make some decent headway into my TBR pile by not picking up every book I see in the library but reading the ones by my favorite authors first

Adjoa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tai said...

Thank you for the good advice! I dream of writing and doing research a lot each day. At this point I can probably spend 20 minutes without interruption doing either of these things. During the year my goal is to spend at least four hours a day writing or doing research. Also to walk three times a week. The thing about how I spend my time, how any of us do, is that if I am doing one thing I can not be doing another. And frankly daily survival and meeting of needs requires doing a lot of things, tiny little things that simply take up time. But I know if I work at delegating my time, I can do all the things and effectively. I spent the first twenty-two years of my life being very diligent about how I spent my time. That went to crap when I got married while still in school and had kids but barely managed to finish college. Finally, I feel ready to face down being more efficient with my time again.
Good luck with 5 am! I do 6!

Josie Hink said...

I really want to catch up on my scrapbooking so my kids have a record of their childhood.

Josiehink12026 at gmail dot com

Jo's Daughter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth Boyle said...

And the winner is Heather, who posted at 11:41! I've sent you an email and thank you to everyone who posted a comment. I loved reading through all your dreams, wishes, goals and aspirations. You are an inspiring bunch!