Not everyone likes having new years resolutions because they tend to fall flat by mid January; we’ve all been there. Over the years, I’ve found it’s great to bring fresh intention and purpose into the new year. If you don’t have a road map, do you really know where you’re headed? Perhaps you want to find more moments of peace, or travel somewhere new this year or simply be more purposeful in your day to day life. Whatever your goals or intentions are, here are a few tips to make them come to fruition.
#1 Before you even start looking to the new year, assess last year.
Make a list of what you accomplished last year, and where you fell short. This could include anything from paying off a credit card, making more time for the important people in your life, to learning to manage your stress and anxiety. Reflecting helps boost ones morale, seeing just how much growth can occur in the course of a year. It also helps to see where you fell short, which is important so as to prevent repeating the same mistakes. Keep it real, what worked and what didn’t? For example, maybe this year try not having your credit cards handy to prevent racking up debt again. Go into 2019 looking at how you can switch things up to make real progress toward your intentions. The reality is out of 365 days, not many are actually “perfect”. Such is life, that’s also the beauty of it! The point is to know that despite whatever happens in your day to day life, you still have the capacity to overcome and thrive if you have a plan! It just takes a little bit of forethought.
#2 Be intentional not vague
In past years, I used to write vague goals like losing 10 lbs or getting my finances in order with no plan in place as to how I’d execute, and was somehow mystified as to why at the end of the year I hadn’t accomplished much of anything. Last year, I started writing out very specific goals and it worked, not perfectly, but I finally started making progress. Even the mistakes were a lesson in what not to repeat going forward. What helped me? Getting specific. I write goals for the year and separate them into categories. For instance my 6 are: Health, Finances, Career, Spirit, Others, and Fun. Under each of those I write a few bullet points of what I want to accomplish in the next year. Now the real fun can begin.
#3 Break things down
It can be overwhelming to look at a big list, so make it more palatable and achievable by breaking your yearly goals down into monthly goals. Take it one month at a time, not worrying about the next month. This may be challenging at first, but once you get into the groove of things, it’s actually a lot of fun. You can put the list in the notes section of your phone so it’s easily accessible which is key, because you want to look at this list daily to keep it in the forefront of your mind. Personally, I’ve found that having a goal gives me direction and takes away the feeling of just living on autopilot. The key is to be very specific and even break it down into daily habits that will get you closer to your goal. This is just an example, but say you want to lose some weight. Instead of saying I want to lose 10lbs this year, give yourself a date, (again this is a very generic example) maybe June 1st. Thats 10 lbs/5 months = losing 2 lbs a month to be at your goal weight by then. It’s definitely an achievable goal and it gives you a better idea of what it will require to get there.
#4 Review weekly
Once a week review your monthly list ( I do it on Sundays) and see how much progress you’ve made toward your monthly goals. If you notice you fell short somewhere, change your approach but not the goal. Again, life isn’t smooth sailing, know there will be bumps in the road. It’s about having the tools in place to help navigate murky waters, that will make all the difference. To this end, I advise you to set realistic or SMART goals so as to not set yourself up for failure. By reviewing weekly, you can see that maybe it isn’t realistic for you to wake up at 5am to workout everyday because you’re just not a morning person (I tried and failed miserably). Instead of quitting, adjust by working out in the afternoon or evening instead. Not everyone is the same, thus goal setting should be very personal and specific to your own needs to really work.
#5 What’s your why?
This should’ve been #1 because it’s the glue that holds everything together. Without knowing your why, you won’t see your goals or intentions through. This will be your fuel when things get tough. Tap into your why. If you’re even reading this, I assume it’s because you want to make a change in your life. That’s awesome! You might be sick of feeling like you’re stuck in the same place you were last year. Perhaps you have an inkling deep down that you have more potential in you than what you’ve been tapping into. You have to know you’re value in order to do the work it will require to get to where you want to be. Nothing worth having comes easy but the reward is always worth the sacrifice. Where do you want to be a year from now? What will it take to get there? I hope you decide you are worth it, because you absolutely are. I don’t know anyone who just became there best selves by not having goals, direction, intention (whatever you call your compass). Remember, babysteps, one day at a time, one month at a time. Eventually it adds up. Time will pass either way.. so what is your why?