There is something about starting something “NEW” that we feel we have a “DO OVER” and with that comes the optimism we can do anything!  Of course, after the newness of the new beginning wears off, so does our enthusiasm to change things, and we give up before we really get invested.  Here are a few tips to help you make those personal goals, and manage to keep most of them, and not feel so bad about the rest. 

Make a Personal Pros & Cons List – Take time to actually write down the positive and negative things you see in yourself.  If you have trouble seeing the positive, write some of the nice things others have said to you over the years in your “Pros” section.  List even the smallest positive things about yourself.  It may be a simple task that you may be good at, but, list it anyway, such as you make your bed every day or you are good at making lists!  Whatever it is, put it down.  On the “Cons” side, I want you to do something different.  List only the true, negative things you want to change.  A lot of us have a list a mile long of all this negative stuff we seem to think about ourselves.  Don’t do that!  Pick the biggies that need work; the ones that hinder your life on a daily basis.  

Use Your Pros to Change the Cons – Now that you have your (hopefully) longer list of “Pros” and your concentrated short list of “Cons”, look at those “Pro” attributes you have and see how they can help counteract the “Cons”.  Here’s an example: Pro–I make my bed on a daily basis.  Con: I can’t seem to stick to a project until it’s completed.  LOGIC APPLIED: If I can do the same task every single day, then I can complete a project one day at a time if I work on it every single day without fail.  I know this is really a simple way to look at things, but, honestly, sometimes we make our “Con” list so long that it is overwhelming and we feel we can never change anything.  By taking those things we feel we are good at, and applying them to the negative, we simplify those big things that seem to get us down.      

Set Short & Long Term Goals – It also helps us to change those “Cons” by setting both short term and long term goals to combat them.  I struggle with anxiety and if I have to do something I am nervous or fearful about, I find if I set a goal to confront it right away, I feel much better after it is done, so I can do the other things I like to do.  Some things I can’t just do right away.  I might have anxiety anticipating something that is coming up, so, although that goal is down the line, I do little things I can do before that deadline gets here so that when I have to take a step of faith, I have prepared myself as best as I can to succeed.  Sometimes if your goal is to lose weight, well, there are so many steps to take to do that effectively and each little step can be a goal to the bigger, weigh-in goal.  Both short term and long term goals are needed when you are attacking your “Cons” list.  We all need little victories to help us keep pumped up to make it to the big one down the road!

Forgive Yourself – The hardest thing about any endeavor you may find yourself on is that you may fail.  Not once, but several times.  In fact, that may feel like that is a “Con” in your life–that you fail often.  However, if we never fail, how can we truly know how good it feels when we finally accomplish something that has taken us so long to do?!  Every time you fail, you learn something about yourself.  Every time you fail, you may learn something about someone else and every time you fail, you find out that life still goes on even if you messed up.  Most of us can look at someone else and see them fail and think, “that is no big deal, look at all the other stuff you are good at” but, when it’s ourselves, we don’t remind ourselves of our “Pros”; instead we run the list of “Cons” over in our minds and slap ourselves emotionally for failing. Stop it.  Find the “Pro” in your failure.  Figure out what you have learned or what you can change for your next attempt.  Look at yourself with the same rose colored glasses you look at someone you love with when they make a mistake or fail.  Give yourself that pep talk you would give your daughter or son when they fail.  Then, brush yourself off and start all over again.  You may feel you need to go back to making the “Pros” and “Cons” list so that you can come up with another plan of action.  That is not only okay to do, but, I recommend it.  The more you list all the tiniest “Pros” in your life, the more you will see the tools you have in your arsenal to combat the “Cons”.  The more you will build your confidence to face the big obstacles in your life that are keeping you from truly living!

This New Year make it a practice to not give up on yourself.  Don’t give up on the dreams that you have.  Don’t give up on the changes you want to make and don’t give up on being your best self.  You will fail at times, but, learn from those failures what you can add to your “Pros” list and keep on swatting at that nasty old “Cons” list.  Eventually, you will splat that thing dead in it’s tracks!

Until Next Time!

Jen Lush–Accomplished Mother, Grandmother and Real Estate Assistant
Photo Credit: Iga Palacz

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.