Be S.U.R.E. in 2016 (by Mattieologie)

I subscribed to the Mattiologie newsletter a few months ago. While sometimes the content doesn’t move me, overall it’s a good contribution to my inbox. 🙂

Anyway, the latest installment came today, in which Mattie James (the owner/founder/raison d’etre of Mattiologie) explains why she hasn’t been feeling New Year’s “resolutions” for quite some time, and why being S.U.R.E. is a better bet. Email text copied & pasted below–it’s worth your time to read it (and she’s not trying to sell anything!). Thanks for stopping by.

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The whole “resolutions” schtick is not really my ministry. In the past it was, but nothing ever got done. They sounded good in January, got further away from me in February and by summer were completely obsolete. Honestly, there’s a little bit too much hype on resolutions because of the year changed. If you want something resolved, RESOLVE it.

When you really want to, you will.

For my past resolutions, I always talked how I wanted to get in shape in the past or wake up earlier. “Oh, this year I’m going to get my body together. Let me buy this gym membership.” “I need to wake up earlier. I’m going to make sure I set my alarm every night.”

I never got in shape or woke up earlier. One year, I paid for a gym membership for the entire year and probably went about 3 times. I set the alarm only to condition myself to turn it off at 6:30a immediately once it went off.

Which brings me to my case in point today.

The one habit you need to break in 2016 is being vague.

It is singlehandedly why you you never keep your resolutions or stay consistent. Your goals lack specifics that are necessary to succeed.

If I really wanted to get in shape, instead of just saying it generally I would’ve made the goal of “strength training every Monday, Wednesday & Thursday and doing cardio on Saturday while being on a vegetarian diet to maintain my pre-pregnancy weight.” It’s specific and clear while creating guidelines towards reaching my goals.

But Mattie, how can I stop being vague? I’m glad you asked, friend. The opposite of being vague is being SURE. Here’s how to keep your new habits – not resolutions – SURE for 2016.

S – Speak It Into Existence

I really believe in the power of the tongue. We do speak things into existence. Good habits included. It’s important that we say what we want, because you shouldn’t expect it if you don’t express it. This is certainly the “what” aspect of creating a new habit. Declare what it is you want and say it in the mirror to yourself every morning if you need to. Write it down. I would even share with a handful of your closest friends and family so they hold you accountable. It’s okay to talk about what you want as long as you do more walking than talking. When you say it, you hear it & when you hear it, hopefully you’ll believe it enough to bring to fruition.

U – Understand Why You’re Doing It

The problem with us being vague is that a lot of us are setting “goals” that we think we should be making. You have got to be clear on why you’re doing something to do it on purpose and with purpose. Losing weight to lose weight isn’t enough incentive to follow through. If you’re losing weight because you know that your 10 year high school reunion is coming up and you want to slay, then that’s a real reason to get your butt in the gym. Again, I didn’t say your why had to be deep, just clear.

R – Repeat To Create Consistency

Repetition is your friend when you want to make something a habit. The problem is that when we make these “resolutions” we do them for one or two weeks when it’s easy or convenient. We easily stray when we have to sacrifice sleep, time or money. But if you can repeatedly work towards a goal during inconvenience, it becomes a habit. Something like second nature. It becomes engrained in you. Repetition isn’t glamorous and most times it isn’t “fun” but it always delivers results. Just ask the girl who lost 50 lbs last year because she committed to her organic diet and ran 5 days a week in the last 12 months.

E – Elevate

So, you know what you want to do and have spoken it into existence. You’re clear on why you’re doing it. And you’ve even committed to repeatedly executing to create a habit. So you’re all good, right? Not exactly. You want to get better. And you should. Elevating is part of the success process. You don’t want to be how good you were 12 months ago. Not even 6 months ago if I’m being honest. Always get better. If you wake up at 6a everyday for a year and need more time as you work your 9 to 5 while building your side business, then wake up at 5am. Once you hit a certain milestone, it is your duty to set a new goal and reach it. You don’t get credit for staying the same even if consistent. Complacency looks like consistency. Results will expose the difference.

Hopefully I’ve helped your realize why you need to create habits vs. make resolutions for 2016. I can’t tell you what it is, but I just know it’s going to be a big year for you. Just be SURE whenever you make new goals and habits.

Marvelously,

Mattie

P.S. – I know the site has been looking a bit funky in the last 24 hours. I’m transitioning to Squarespace. We should be back in business in a day or so. Thanks for your patience!

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Reflections on the Old Year

On New Year’s Eve 2014, I wrote a list of goals that I wanted to achieve in 2015. It totaled over forty items, spanning four sheets (single-side) from a small, ruled notebook. I sealed that list in an envelope and scrawled “TO BE OPENED ON DEC. 31, 2015” across the front and the seal of the envelope. I tucked the sealed list in a journal and went about my business.

Yesterday, I opened that envelope and went through the list, checking off those things that I accomplished and making notes otherwise (e.g., maybe I accomplished part of a goal, or the goal needed to be modified during the year). Sadly, I didn’t check off most of my list, though I was proud of those things I did (the year wasn’t a total wash!). Among those was:

–Established a business banking account
–Found an accountant that specialized in small businesses
–Set up my author website
–Did book signings at independent bookstores
–Guest blogged on a site
–Got new glasses & a fresh supply of contact lenses
–Regularly exercised 3 times/week
–Wrote more handwritten letters, which of course led to
–Getting new stationery 🙂
–Got a new winter coat (not that I’ve had much occasion to wear it, what with temperatures being in the 60s & 70s for most of November and December 2015)
–Got more involved in my college alumni association and local chapter of the alumni club.

I also achieved some goals that I hadn’t listed, such as having my sports articles published in major, national publications such as Sports Illustrated (via The Cauldron on Medium) and Ms. magazine, and other articles published elsewhere around the web WOOT!  I was fortunate to make some cool connections with some like-minded folks in both the same and different industries, and I’m looking forward to our collaborations in the upcoming year.

I tried some new things and failed (applied for writing grants and submitted short stories to two publications), but got positive, valuable feedback that will set me up for success when I try again (and I was actually encouraged by The Powers That Be at each organization and publication to try again. How cool is that?).

Even those goals that weren’t accomplished were valuable. For some, they were only partially completed (I wanted to publish four books last year, but only did two: The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic and Stormbringer. That’s still better than zero. I also released BFC: Dominic and a previous book, Blizzard, in mass market paperback formats.).

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This a speculative fiction novel (a new genre for me!), written under the pen name Tai Daniels

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This is the second installment in the Bastille Family Chronicles series

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Now avaolable in mass market paperback, only on my website, tiffscribes.com

For others, they gave me an insight as to the work that was still to be done in order to check them off my list. Some goals were too vague, and some were too specific and didn’t allow for the twists and turns of life.

Still others became no longer relevant in retrospect, and these uncompleted goals are the ones to which I’m paying more attention. Their lack of relevancy to my life is forcing me to closeer inspect them and discover alternate routes that may be better suited to my needs.

Oprah Winfrey is often quoted as saying “Man’s rejection is God’s protection.” While some of my goals weren’t reached due to personal error, others weren’t due to circumstances beyond my control. There may be a reason for this, and that reason may be that Goal X isn’t what I really need–or, upon reexamination, what I really want. Not reaching those goals may have been a divine form of protection, and it’s up to me to figure out if this is true, and the way forward if it is indeed true. And for those unrealized goals that were my fault, having a long, hard look at some harsh truths is the best way to garner progress. As the Twelve Steppers say, admitting a problem is the first step. 🙂

Though 2015 didn’t shape up to be all that I hoped it would, the year ended up a lot better than 2014 was, for which I am truly grateful. I’m excited and optimistic for 2016, and I’m looking forward to opening the sealed envelope of goals that is now inscribed, “TO BE OPENED ON DEC. 31, 2016”.

Happy New Year, all, and thanks for stopping by.