“The Hurrier I Go, The Behinder I Get”

-Lewis Carroll [the White Rabbit] Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I seem to be on a trend, where I realize that just like Christmas, I have been behind the 8 ball when it comes to this new year, 2022. We are almost half way through the month, and I am just thinking about how I will approach the next three hundred and fifty days, and what I really want to accomplish for myself.

I believe that when Lewis Carroll penned the quote, he meant that before you do something, you need to think about it, and also slow down because when a decision is approached hurriedly, it can in fact hamper your progress. Believe me, none of us wants this!

Over the years, I have made resolutions lists, set goals, and in a short space of time, they were abandoned. This left me feeling like a failure, incapable of completing a list of maybe 5 to 10 items. This made me think about the items I wrote down.

Were they hastily written from a quick decision to alleviate my anxieties based on expectations? Or, did they come from overthinking(mulling over) them to make sure I covered all the bases, which is another method I use to alleviate my anxieties?

I have decided to do things differently this year, and hopefully from hereon into the future. I need to not set myself up to feel like I have failed, when I have not accomplished my goals. To tell the truth, I cannot afford to get, “behinder” because there are so many ideas and dreams I have pertaining to my personal and business life.

So, how am I planning to get closer to these dreams and putting flesh to my ideas? How can I get intentional in my actions to get there without listing every action and attaching a time frame to them?

On account of my faith, I believe and know that there are some things that require strength from within to do them, especially in light of the many times I have started and not finished. I also know that if I truly want to do something, I can, according to Philippians 4:13, ” For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Thinking about it, I realized that the reason I was all over the place, and not committed enough to accomplish my goals was probably because I have not been practicing good habits.

The Free Dictionary, defines a habit as, ” A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.” I can honestly say that there are not many positive habits I have developed in my life(apart from the basic ones of regularly brushing teeth, bathing, buckling my seatbelt etc.) In my business, I have not done this either.

The Health and Wellness company I represent, has created what they call, ‘The 7 Critical Activities’ that lead to success as a Marketing Executive. When I look at the status of my business, realizing I am not where I want to be, it is very obvious that I have not been in the habit of doing these critical activities via “frequent repetition.” The success of others who have developed the habit of doing the activities, is self evident.

Over time, we all develop habits, often times unaware. I realize that the tendency is to develop bad habits that create more problems than we would like. These are the ones that are very hard to break, and until we understand how they are formed, everyone, including myself will find it difficult to deconstruct, and eventually replace them with good ones.

What are some ways I can build better habits to attach to my ideas and dreams? In the context of my business I just need to do the activities daily, weekly, monthly, consistently until I do not even think about it before going to my office, getting on the phone, and doing the needful. Then, just keep rinsing and repeating until the desired outcome is attained. Maybe attaching a small incremental reward will help. In Jamaica, we have a saying, ” Encouragement sweetens labor.”

As it pertains to my personal life- this is where the really bad habits have been formed. These habits have to do with eating, exercising, and just taking care of myself- mental, physical, emotional etc. I tend to be all or nothing and if I “slip up”, I would just throw the towel in.

Building better habits here could be going on my rowing machine for 10 minutes, instead of not rowing if I cannot do it for 30 minutes or more. Or, rather than buying a large bag of Flaming Hot Doritos, I get the smaller one for when my cravings kick in. Instead of wasting time in front of the TV all day, I can exchange some of that time with working on a project, or reading material that will improve a skill. Making small changes here and there, consistently is what forms habits.

As an unravelling ‘perfectionist’, I need to remind myself that I must not strive for perfection when building better habits. Instead, I should seek to make sustainable changes consistently that will improve my life.

Here are three ways I believe will help me be successful without the usual New Year Resolutions:

I want to do more of-

  • Working my Hardest on the changes I am making consistently. Hard work does pay off.
  • Dreaming my Biggest dreams without hesitation and fears. Not doubting that they will materialize.
  • Being my Greatest self, and not allowing self created limitations to tell me I am not enough and I do not have what it takes to be successful.

I strongly believe when you have faith in yourself, and are convinced even a little that you have what it takes to be successful, forming better habits will be much easier. For me, it will no longer be about making a list to- lose 20 lbs by May, eat only veggies and clean protein, grow my contact list by 200, increase my revenue by so much money, be kinder to others, volunteer more, or such the like.

Instead, I will embrace what Mahatma Gandhi states:

Your beliefs become your thoughts

Your thoughts become your words

Your words become your actions

Your actions become your habits

Your habits become your values

Your values become your destiny

Will I get all my ideas and dreams accomplished? I can honestly say I will not be perturbed if not. It is all about consistency in doing the right things, knowing that I can accomplish them. It is about being kind to myself also, because I will not be making those long lists, and when I do not accomplish them, I feel like a failure.

I always keep my Promises!

Did you make a Resolution list at the beginning of January? How is it going? Have you been a late starter like me? Any other thoughts and ideas? Let’s chat!

I'm Valerie Darlington, a Jamaican born blogger, entrepreneur, wanna be philanthropist and writer, with a MBA in Healthcare. My forte is history and research. I am obsessed with researching and finding the best, most effective way to accomplish any task set before me. I am on a journey - committed to finding the best, productive, and most fun way to live after doing the parenting thing, and caring for elder parents ( I have so much experience here). I am committed to helping you, the mature woman figure out and do the same with the "what nexts?" of your life.

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