A few years ago, I received the movie Julie and Julia in my Christmas stocking. I was absolutely mesmerized as I watched it, maybe because I thoroughly enjoy cooking or, maybe it was seeing an average young women set out on a monumental task and achieve it. It reminded me of what we really can accomplish when we set goals and then work hard to accomplish them. I know so often in my own life I often find myself saying, “wouldn’t it be nice if…”
My oldest son and his wife gave me a wonderful French cookbook for Christmas. On our 6-hour ride home from their house, I read every recipe. Often I would read the recipe out loud to my husband and we would both comment on how good it sounded. I do this with every cookbook I get. I love to read them like novels. More often than not, many of those delicious recipes go unmade. So what happened to my good intentions?
According to a Dorthy.com survey, 66% of adults start the year off making New Years resolutions but only 17% will keep them. So why aren’t we keeping them. There are several reasons:
1) Many of us make unrealistic goals. Setting goals that are unrealistic only ensures that we will become depressed and feel defeated. I love the idea of saying that I will cook my way through Julia Child’s cookbook in one year, but for me with my schedule and family, this is an impossible task so why would I torture myself. In the end, I will only feel defeated and be left with a sentiment that I can’t accomplish anything.
2) We don’t set timelines for our goals. Our goals should state what we want to accomplish by a certain date. In the movie, Julie set her goal to cook her way through the entire Julia Child’s cookbook in one year, 524 recipes in 365 days.
3) Break your goals down into small weekly or monthly goals. Once you begin with the end in mind, you can break your goal down into smaller more manageable bites. Julie’s goal was to cook her way through the entire cookbook in one year. There are 524 recipes in the cookbook and only 365 days in the year. This means Julie would have to cook 2 recipes a day nearly every day. It is important that Julie take into consideration that there might be some days she wouldn’t be able to cook at all. For Julie, it might be more feasible to say that she would cook 43 recipes a month. This way if she falls behind one or two days due to illness, etc., she knows what she must do to reach her monthly goal.
4) Write them down and keep them in a place where you can see them. For Julie, there was a count down clock on her blog. She knew how many recipes she had to go and how many days left to finish. It is important for you to write your goals down with your timeline and keep them in a place where you can see them every day.
Without a clear plan it is hard for us to stay on track and accomplish our New Years resolutions or any goals for that matter. It’s like that GPS you received for Christmas. You have to put in your final destination and it will guide you there step by step. Turn left here, go 3 miles, turn right, continue on 14 miles, until you finally reach your destination. So go ahead and make those resolutions, but just make sure you develop a step by step plan to help you get there.