“New Year. New Me” We’ve all heard this a million times. While I don’t believe in trying to completely reinvent yourself, I do believe that after some thoughtful reflection on the past year and where you’re currently at, the new year is a great time to set some goals and intentions for the new year. Who doesn’t want to make improvements to their lives?
Many of us think about making changes in the New Year, but only really give these changes a quick thought and somehow expect them to stick. Apparently only 8% of people actually follow through on their New Years resolutions each year. That is pretty sad and I know we can do better.
I think one of the biggest issues with making resolutions or setting goals is that we often don’t really think things through. Our resolutions are vague and lack direction, like “I need to get more organized” or “I’m going to get fit” or “I’m going to dedicate more time to ____”. While these can all be great goals, they’re likely going to fail, because we haven’t thought about the why or how behind them. Lucky for you (and me-I’ve got some goals of my own that I’ll share) I’ve got some simple steps to guide us all through making New Years resolutions that will actually stick. Grab a pen and paper (or the notes section on your phone) and let’s get cracking!
1.Make a List of your general goals-Brain Dump
Just do a general brain dump to get your ideas down on paper- take three minute and jot all of the goals that pop into your head down. Don’t worry about being specific or thinking through things too much yet.
2.Be Honest with yourself & Narrow things down
Having too many goals makes them all hard to commit to. The success of your goals is also going to depend on how much they actually matter to you. Pick two to three goals max to ensure that you’re really going to be able to focus on them and follow through. Make sure you’re picking goals that you actually care a lot about. “Reading More” may sound great and be really important to some, but to others might just be a goal that pops into your head because you heard someone else say it the other night and it sounds like something you should do.
3. Get Specific
This is arguably the most important step! Be extra thorough and thoughtful with this one
Now matter how much we wish they would, your goals aren’t just going to magically manifest. We have to actively work to make them happen. So, this is when it’s really important to think about:
- what your goal actually is? what’s the end goal?
- What are your action steps?: What do you need to do monthly/weekly/ daily to ensure your goal gets accomplished?
- Is there a multi step process to achieving your goal? If so, what do you need to do first?
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
I think it’s safe to say that for most of us, just going through the above steps and telling ourselves we’re going to do something, isn’t going to cut it. We need to find ways to hold ourselves accountable to make sure that we’re actually going to follow through. Now, this is going to look different depending on your personality and your goal. Holding yourself accountable can be anything from setting check in dates with yourself to evaluate how your’e doing, to recruiting a friend to pester you everyday until you complete your action step for the day.
Again, this will look different for everyone and you may need to get a little creative here, but here are a few ideas on how you could hold yourself accountable.
- Write things down in your planner and set check in dates for yourself
- Go through the above steps with a friend and commit to holding each other accountable
- If you’re into Instagram or snapchat post a video or picture of yourself completing your action step each day
- Implement a reward system-think back to childhood with sticker charts and ice cream dates. Those things may sound juvenile, but they work on kiddos for a reason and most of them will work for adults too.
- Set an end date-many of us will set goals that we hope turn into lifelong habits, but for some people your goal might be to complete a marathon or get ready for a big presentation.