Happy New Year.
Did you see any of those holiday media messages urging you to review 2016?
“Find the Good! Blow-off the Bad! Make 2017 the best year ever!”
Ahhh, loving and hating those New Year’s Resolutions.
My sister, Missy, says her New Year’s Resolutions are always the same: Less sugar. More Yoga. Don’t procrastinate. (According to Nielson, American’s #1 New Year’s Resolution is getting fit; it’s also one of the first abandoned.)
Why do we create such lofty goals for ourselves? Such pressure. And, I succumb.
Using the 100-Percent Rule to Achieve Your Goals
Just before the new year, one of my mentors, Orvel Ray Wilson, sent me an article about the “100-Percent Rule.”
It goes like this: 99-Percent is hard—100-Percent is easy. Simply put, if you are not fully committed to something important in your life, even if you give it 99%, it is way harder than giving it 100%.
Hummmm, “I can do that.” No half-baked New Year’s Resolutions.
Determining New Year’s Resolutions
In 2017, I will commit 100% to something personal and something professional.
Personal: Working out every day for at least 30-minutes.
Professional: Writing every day for an hour, either for TCP Newsletter, a keynote, or towards a chapter in my upcoming leadership book for professional women.
Power walking is my go-to exercise. (My best marathon time is 5:27:14.) I practice yoga and occasionally strength train. Even less often, I take a spin class, which I hate. And, for the past few months, I do 17 “real” push-ups as soon as I wake up and another 17, right before I go to sleep. There’s no magic to 17. Sometimes, I can grunt to 20. I’m working up to 25, morning and night. Stay tuned.
Walking, though, is my most consistent exercise. Debi is my Tuesday/Thursday partner for 5-miles. We walk fast. The other days, I’m on my own which translates to: some days I walk, other days I don’t. Cobbled together, I work out 4-5 times a week. And I’m always mad at myself and feel guilty on the days that I don’t exercise. “Just do it, Tracy. Get it together.”
Jennifer Hudson still inspires me. Years ago, I read a grocery store magazine article where she said it didn’t matter if she were shooting a film or recording an album, the minute she got out of bed in the morning, she threw-on her workout clothes and power walked right-out-the-door. No coffee. No newspaper. No checking fan mail.
OK. I decided. This is it. In 2017, live by the 100-Percent Rule. No options. Walk. Write. Everyday.
99% is a bear. 100% is a breeze.
Overcoming Challenges When Fully Committing to Goals
On January 1st my husband, Henry and I spent the holiday weekend on the Oregon coast, which is a 90-minute drive from Portland. The morning was sunny and cold. It was hard to get my body going, but not my brain. The mental chatter and bartering began. “I’ll walk before we meet Sara & Kent for coffee. No. It’s a holiday. And we’re meeting early at the bakery. OK. Exercise after our visit.”
Two hours and a great conversation later, we said goodbye to Sara & Kent and then ran into Rick & David, then Linda & Neil… and others and then… you know how it goes. By the time we headed back to Portland, it was getting dark.
The “committee” in my head continued, “OK, it’s too dark to walk, so when we get home, I’ll do that “Sweat with Kayla” in the front hallway.” It’s a 28-minute workout that our daughters love: lunges, burpees and sit-ups for 28-minutes. “Add 2-more minutes of something and there’s my 30-minute workout. Wait. I haven’t even started my hour of writing today!” (Somehow, there was time to answer a few emails and text our daughters and families, “Happy New Year!”).
Now, my brain was on overdrive. “Tracy, if you don’t work out AND write today, then you will have screwed up your 100-Percent Rule for ALL of 2017. Hold-on, I can add-a-day at the end of 2017 (as in, January 1, 2018) and that will be the same as working out and writing 365-days… which is my 100% Goal.”
Can you see where this was going? I was exhausted. NOT from an epic work out. NOT from writing the best-ever newsletter, keynote or book chapter. It was from negotiating with the committee. That perfectionist team who says, “Get going. What is the matter with you? Just work out. Just write.”
Evaluate How You Motivate Yourself
What does your committee say? Is it critical? Supportive? Make you second guess yourself?
Here’s the deal. In theory, I believe in the 100-Percent Rule. It probably is easier to decide something once-and-for-all. No sugar. More yoga. Don’t procrastinate. Work out. Write.
In theory, I also believe in self-compassion… which is hard after falling down. We’re not always kind to ourselves.
The 100-Percent Rule is motivating me because, in a way, it is a daily, non-decision. I committed to working out and writing every day in 2017. And, now I’m doing the best I can to follow through.
It takes confidence to be curious instead of critical.
Critical: “What is your problem? Why can’t you do two simple things totaling 90-minutes in a 24-hour day?”
Curious: “I wonder why you didn’t work out or write on January 1st? You’ll do better tomorrow.”
As Brené Brown emphasizes in her groundbreaking book, Rising Strong, “We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we are feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall [no matter how big or small] is how we cultivate a [wholehearted life.] It’s the process that teaches us the most about who we are.”
Practice New Ways to Encourage Yourself
For the next 30-days, if you stumble at work, fail at leading your team through a project, mess up modeling & teaching your children, remember this from Brené Brown, “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
I’m not sure how the 100-Percent Rule will work for me. So far, so good. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’m confident that we will do the best we can in 2017.
Thank you for your support of the Confidence Project.
Commit to Your Goals by Building Self-Confidence
Boosting self-confidence can greatly impact your ability to examine goal setting behavior. Schedule a one-on-one workshop with Tracy to help develop your confidence skills today!
You can also bring the Confidence Project to your workplace where you and your team can “Practice life’s most valuable skill and use it everywhere.” Reach out to schedule a business workshop!