I'm a little late to the game with today's topic, but better late than never! Being a deep thinker and needing time to reflect means better and more thorough information!!! So, lets get to it, today I want to talk about a question that I've been asked at the salon for many years. This year I was surprised because only one of my clients asked me this question. Usually it’s a hot topic in the month of January and I'm sure you've heard it as well, actually I'm sure you've asked yourself this question. The question is, do you set new years resolutions, if so what are your resolutions? It took me a minute to respond because I was trying to remember if I had even thought about setting a resolution this year. I realized I hadn't thought about it until that moment so I gave my typical response. "No" I said, "I'm not the type of person that normally sets a resolution. I set goals throughout the year and I revise those goals as needed."
We went on to discuss his resolutions or goals for the year and the conversation drifted into a new subject. However, that wasn’t the end of the discussion in my head. Later that night when I was at home settling into bed I thought about my response and realized it was a bullshit answer, the same answer I have been giving people for many years. I gave him an answer that projected I was spending time developing strategies for improvement, tracking and measuring goals, and adjusting those strategies and goals as the year progressed. I wanted to sound like I was a professional business women that had everything planned out. When the reality is I've been avoiding setting and tracking goals for years .Well I sort of set goals in my own way, I just make lists of things I want to do in my head. At least I had the thought and I might actually do it so that’s a goal…right? Here's an example of what this kind 'goal setting' looks like.
Year after year I tell myself I'm going to start tracking my income, expenses, and personal life goals. I set all sorts of 'goals' in my head that sound sort of like this…make more money, save more money, spend more time up north, workout more, start a creative hobby, start swimming laps, rescue a dog, eat healthier, buy a house, write more and so on. I start creating multiple lists of all sorts of tasks like the one I just read you. I don’t write them down or think about the actions I can take to make the tasks on the list happen. I just think about the lists in my head daily, some of the items on the list get checked off but most of them create stress, anxiety, guilt and shame about not accomplishing my 'goals'. I wish I could remember when I started creating these lists in my head, I'm sure its all connected to my anxiety, perfectionism and need for control. That’s a topic for another day! The point of my story is, I don’t set goals at all, I create lists that I often don’t even bother to write down. That night I decided this year was going to be different, I was going to take a chance at doing the opposite for a change. I was going to create goals for myself, write them down, and starting tracking my progress.
It was really hard for me to admit that I needed help in this area of my life and to ask for help was even harder. Luckily my boyfriend is very knowledgeable in business and is always willing to share that knowledge. When I went to him for support he was on board before I could get the words out, almost as if he knew it was coming. We spent the next couple of days dissecting my 2018 books and coming up with yearly goals and then breaking those goals down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Then we discussed different strategies to achieve these goals. The way I'm talking about it now makes it sound much easier than it was. I can be hard to deal with sometimes, especially when it comes to accepting help. There were moments when I was trying to argue with an idea, that’s right an idea! When everything was said and done I felt so much better about going into my next week at the salon with a plan to track everything.
Week one at work I started writing down and tracking all of the things we had discussed making me much more aware of each and every little habit that goes into my day at work. I quickly realized there are a lot of details throughout my day and I needed to create a more efficient routine in order to track all of this information. My boyfriend recently started Bullet Journaling and I realized this might be a good option for me. That night I started researching bullet journaling and other ways I might be able to make this new tracking system a part of my daily life. I was looking all over on Pinterest and YouTube when I stubbled across a video featuring a bald man that I had never heard of before. He was talking about making one small change everyday and that those daily changes or habits lead to big changes. My mind was blown as I listened to the 8 minute video, it was so simple yet so compelling and made complete sense! I had to hear more, for the next few days I engrossed myself with every video and podcast I could find featuring James Clear. I bought his book in digital, audio, and paper form. I was so excited to start taking in more information about Atomic Habits and the process of creating them.
The thing that really stood out to me when first researching and reading this book was the focus on tiny habits and small changes. I'm the kind of person that is always looking towards the end goal or the big picture, I've a hard time breaking that picture down into the tiny megapixels that created it. In my previous post I talked about how my inability to breakdown goals leads me to stress, anxiety and avoiding taking action to achieve anything. We put all of this pressure on ourselves to make some earth shattering improvement, an improvement that creates a defining moment in our lives that everyone will see or talk about. We see and hear about these break through moments all of the time on the news and social media, what we don’t see is the thousands of tiny daily actions or habits that built up the potential to unleash this 'overnight success' that actually took 20 years to create. These daily actions or habits are the first step towards reaching our goals, if we can make one small improvement everyday that leads to multiple improvements a week, a month, a year and eventually a lifetime.
Check back soon for my next post where I'll be talking about awareness and how becoming aware of our daily habits and routines can be the first step towards breaking old habits and building new ones.
Hi, I'm Jolene, I started my career in the hair industry over 12 years ago. I have learned a lot along the way, not just about being a hairstylist but about life. I'll keep you up to date on the latest hair color and cut trends of the season, educate you on all different kinds of hair products, styling tools, and everything life!