So 2019 is well underway, I know I’m late on planning to conquer the year. But to be perfectly honest, I did not roll into 2019 with a burst of energy to crush goals and conquer dreams **shrugs**.
It was a new feeling for me because I typically LOVE fresh starts – Mondays, the 1st of the month, a new quarter, and definitely a new year!
I decided to be neither concerned nor disappointed with myself for not high-stepping into Jan 1st and slaying all goals (or hell even writing them).
After three months of moving slowly, resting when I wanted to rest and working when I felt compelled to work, I now feel that same energy I normally feel at the turn of a new year. That said, I’m considering today the new year. The last three months were just a grace period! I used that grace period to really think about some of the changes I want to make and things I want to be cognizant of in order to be happier this year.
Be more discerning with my fucks
I’ve always been pretty prudent with how I allocate the fucks that I give.
I actually wrote a blog last year about how I decide what to give a fuck about. But I always believe improvements can be made.
For example, I often let my daughter’s bad mood affect me. She’s a teenager and perpetually in a cycle of declining mood swings in any given 15 minute period. At times I take it personally when she falls into a bad mood and have to remind myself it has nothing to do with me and as long as she isn’t being disrespectful, I probably shouldn’t give a fuck.
I have also found myself doling out fucks for petty things like a customer service agent asking me to spell my name for the 5th time or a customer asking me a question that could clearly be answered if she read the information already provided. I find myself ready to type a petty “I can’t stand when” message to one of my friends or a random outrage rant on fb and having to pause to ask myself is it really worth the energy I’m expending on it? Am I really outraged enough to continue to give this my attention? Nah, fucks redeposited.
Be gentle with myself
Lately, I’ve been really hard on myself. Like super judgemental. I’ve gained weight, my car is never clean, I forget to do at least 5 things every day, I don’t floss my teeth enough, my nail polish is often chipped, I get irritated easily….I could go on.
I’m sort of over the voice in my head nagging me all the time about what I’m not doing or not doing correctly. She is annoying as hell and I just don’t have time for her in 2019.
I do have time for that other sweet, reassuring voice in my head. The one that says “sure, you’ve gained weight and you’re still beautiful. If you want to lose weight, you know how to do it, all you have to do is start.” The one who sweetly encourages me that “you forgot to do it today but tomorrow’s another day. Write it down or set an alarm so you won’t forget”.
Adjust my expectations
I realize that we do something that sets us up to be disappointed. We apply our own expectations to other people quite often. Think about it, when you hold the door open for someone and they walk through it and don’t say “thank you”, you get upset and decide we shouldn’t have held the door open. Here’s the thing, the REASON you held the door was not to get a thank you. It was to let a person walk into it. The expectation should stop at them walking into it, because that’s the reason you did it. Mission accomplished.
We have to stop expecting people to behave like we would, because quite frankly, people aren’t us. It’s unrealistic to expect someone with their own set of thoughts, values, and experiences to respond to a situation the same way I would. That said, I want to shift my expectations to myself and how I choose to react or not react to situations rather than how other people should react.
Plus if my expectations are tied to my actions and not yours, I have a better chance of maintaining my peace. My feelings and mood are less likely to fluctuate because now, my expectations are connected to something [hopefully] much more predictable…me. I’m predictable to me.
Course correct in the moment
We all have some bad behaviors we want to change. Identifying it is an amazing first step. Trying not to do them is a reasonable next step, but not always feasible. Especially when we’re talking about those innate flaws that are just part of who we are, because, like a speeding car, they take a lot more effort to stop.
One of my flaws is arrogance. It’s an ugly one. It keeps me from learning new things and puts me on the defense more often than I’d like to admit. Rather than saying “I’m just going to be more humble” which we know ain’t really happening. I’m trying my best to be aware of the times when I’m acting from a place of arrogance AND correcting my behavior right then.
Often we aren’t willing to admit in the moment that we’re behaving badly. It’s likely a combination of pride and fear or just the train is already going and we can’t make it stop. Those of us really working on ourselves may do a retrospective and go back to apologize for what we did or said. But I want to spend more time in 2019 fixing my behavior on the spot rather than doling out retroactive apologies.
Quick success story, I had a call with a Project Manager who works for my client recently. He wanted to discuss my project plan because he did not accept my first draft. He is what would be considered a “black belt” in using Microsoft Project. I taught myself to use it years ago and have never taken a class. I use it well enough for it to work for me and I don’t much care about the detailed mechanics. He does.
I went into this meeting expecting him to tell me all the things he believed I did wrong. I was already on the defense EVEN THOUGH I tried to tell myself that this was a chance to practice humility. Three mins into the call I heard myself say “Yes I know how to do that but, for me, it’s not value added”. Hello arrogance!! I said to myself right then “Lib, you have to pivot. You aren’t defending YOUR project plan. WE are COLLABORATING on OUR project plan”. I’m so glad I course corrected. The call was great. He wasn’t trying to tell me what I did wrong, he really just wanted to make sure we were both on the same page, he taught me a few things about MS Project that I didn’t know, and showed me a few things I had forgotten how to do.
It felt really good to see the moment I was behaving badly and fix it right then rather than feeling bad about it later.
I’m certain you have goals to hit and things you’re working on this year too! I wish you all the success in hitting those goals and being a happier person this year. Hopefully, you started already and are well on your way. But if you’re like me and are JUUUUST getting revved up, cheers to knowing that there’s no time like today to start…you’re right on time!