You ever have that moment where a lightbulb goes off in your head? Yeah same. I just had this happen last week. So I wanted to share my story.
You see, I had set up a tracker for myself. I’m working on being better in multiple areas to improve my health overall. However, the tracker I had set up for myself was one that was designed to fail. I put in all the things I wanted to track and had it dated, similar to a spreadsheet. But I forgot two things about myself. The first was that if I had a bad day, I’m more likely to neglect my tracker and things I need to do for my self-care. The second thing I forgot was that seeing the things I’m not doing will make me feel bad about myself.
So I talked to someone who helped me reorganize my tracker. Instead of all the things at once with the dates pre-set, I organized it into categories. I have physical, mental, and relational. Physical has things like movement (did I hit my steps goal or do some kind of workout), food (am I tracking what I eat and being mindful of what goes into my body), water (am I logging the amount I drink), and stretch (do I stretch at some point before bed so I can improve my flexibility). Mental includes meditation and things that strengthen my brain. Relational includes who I interacted with and how. I “sign in” by writing the date myself. Then I put a tally mark in each sub-category of my three main categories. At the end of my tally system, I re-write the date and put the number of tallies I marked. I also make sure that I have no judgment for myself. For example, I didn’t hit my movement goal this past weekend. But that was because I needed time to rest. I had a busy week (I have another one this week), and I just needed time to do nothing.
And while so far, this tracker has been a much needed improvement, it’s not the point of the post. (Also, if you’re interested in it, let me know!) The point is that my initial tracker was setting me up for failure. If I got myself out of line, then I felt I had too much to do to catch up. My newer tracker is helping me reach my goals while also creating a system of success.
It is so important to do things to set yourself up for success. A lot of times, there’s not really a right way to do most things. But you want to do things that will make you successful in the long run.
The end of the year to me is a time of reflection. It’s a time to look back at what happened over the course of the year. There are so many things you can do to improve.
It changes your mindset a lot when you can set things in a way to achieve them. In the education world (and in some other places), we use something called SMART goals. SMART is an acronym standing for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. There is such an important reason we have the Attainable part. You need to make sure it’s something you can actively do. It’s not attainable to say that every single student will turn in every single assignment. You set a goal that you know you can accomplish. Trust me, it’ll change your outlook on many things.
So either as we wrap up this year or begin the next, find a way to set yourself up for success. Maybe it’s getting your outfit ready the night before so you’re ready for work. Maybe it’s buying post-it notes so you keep yourself organized. Maybe it’s color-coding notes to help you study. I don’t know what goes on in your life. But I can tell you most things are better when you set yourself up for success.