Everyone makes them, but most people don’t keep them. Am I right or am I right? ‘But this time will be different’, we often tell ourselves, but we rarely make any changes to our approach, that will ensure success. (I am speaking from experience here–I am with you, people).
I am here to offer some very simple (and executable) tools, to help you achieve whatever New Years goals you set for yourselves.
Let’s stop calling them resolutions, and start calling them goals. Isn’t that what they really are? To me, ‘resolution’ reminds me of another dirty, four-letter word–diet. It almost always promises a starting point and a failure point. Goals give us something to work toward. Resolutions feel like we are swearing off something, which feels a bit harsh, (to me), and leaves little wiggle-room for human error. So set your New Year’s Goals, this year.
Set a plan of attack. It is easy to write (or type) things like ‘lose weight’, ‘quit smoking’, ‘travel more’, ‘stop gossiping’, ‘less phone time’, etc. It actually feels pretty good to write these types of intentions down, because it restores a bit of hope that we can achieve our goals. The problem is, how. Let’s take our New Year’s goals to the next level this year, and devise plans of attack. So for example:
Lose weight: follow a meal plan, exercise at least 4 x a week, renew gym membership, eat 6 small meals a day.
Now you have created a bit of insurance for your goal. Be as elaborate as you need, or don’t need.
Keep your goals somewhere visible. There are so many ways to do this. You could get crafty and create a vision board, or do something as simple as putting your New Year’s goals in the notes section of your phone. There isn’t one right way to do this, but it helps to have some sort of visual reminder.
Find other people with common goals and be accountable to each other. Ok, so this is something I know for sure, and have experienced first-hand, having accountabilli-buddies is priceless. Seriously. There is something completely magical about relating to others. If you don’t have anyone who is on the same goal-path as you, I guarantee you can find support groups on Facebook, or other forms of social media. Personally, I don’t like competition groups, because I lose site of why I started, but for some competition is a great motivator. Really though, there is something for everyone; so whatever fills your twinkie!, (as I like to say).
Expect some bumps in the road. If your goals were easy, they wouldn’t be goals, right? They would be already-been-dones. There are so many ways you can prepare for the bumps in the road. You can create little motivational signs and place them around your home or work space. You can set little reminders in your phone, (I have a pray-alarm that goes off in my phone everyday at noon–my friends can attest to this. Not because I am super religious, but because it reminds me to pause.) And here is a phrase that really helps me; “you can start your day over at any time”. What this means to me is, if I screw up (which I inevitably will at some point), the entire day is not ruined. I can start my day over from that point.
Be kind to yourself–reward yourself! Let’s say your goal is to quit smoking. Set up a reward system for yourself. Maybe it looks something like this:
Smoke-free one week: coffee date with myself
Smoke-free one month: mani & pedi
Smoke-free two months: massage
Smoke-free three months: new shoes
It can be anything you want. It doesn’t even have to be things that cost money, just things or experiences that make you feel good.
Be (almost) realistic. What I mean by this is, everything and anything is possible, if you set yourself up for success. So be realistic about your goals, but don’t let self-doubt limit you. Does this make sense? Let’s take the ‘stop gossiping’ example:
Realistic: Don’t gossip about others’ business; if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all.
Unrealistic: Never have another negative thought about anyone else, ever again.
See what I am getting at here? Although I have to say, (in regards to this example), the more you practice the former, the more the latter is possible.
Last, but not least, try to keep your goals in the positive tense instead of the negative. Example:
Stop gossiping (becomes), Speak well of others, and mind my business.
Less phone time (becomes), Be present, spend more actual time with loved ones.
And so on. Positive affirmations tend to be much more powerful than negative ones.
At the end of the day, you are a human being doing the best you can. Also, you can.
Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, prosperous, successful, beautiful, memorable, joyous and F U N New Year!!!
*** Stock photos courtesy of Unsplash.