By Nicole Tinkham
2015 is almost over. Yes, you read that right, and you might agree when we say that this year has absolutely flown by. For most of us, we welcome a brand new year because it often gives us a chance to begin a new season in life; out with the old/bad and in with the new/good. If you’ve ever sat down and spent time mapping out your goals for the year ahead, you’d probably agree that creating a list of things you hope to achieve in the upcoming year is actually the easy part. When the New Year rolls around, you’re inspired to do all the things you’ve always wanted to do. For example, you might try and lose weight, save money, take a vacation, go on an adventure, do new things, etc. However, after the first few months the excitement begins to fade, you lose interest, and all your plans get pushed aside. In fact, only 8% of people actually complete their New Year’s resolutions (according to research from the University of Scranton). This happens when you don’t have a set PLAN. You can’t just create a list and magically expect those things to happen. It requires a lot of consistency, effort, and persistence. We believe that 2016 is going to be a great year for you, and we can help you stay on track with these 12 tips.
1. Choose something you really want
There are two types of New Year’s resolutions. There are the things you know you should do and the goals you actually want to achieve. For example, you know you should quit smoking but you may not be ready to do so at this point. If your heart isn’t in it, you’ll seriously struggle making a commitment to it. Only include the goals you’re passionate about and really want to accomplish.
2. Narrow your list down
You can come up with a massive list of things you’d like to see yourself accomplish in the next year, but are you being realistic? While we’d love to see you reach every single resolution you may have, you must narrow your list down to only a few goals so you can actually achieve all of them. Focus on the goals that will add the most value to your life.
3. Create a plan
Larger long-term goals are daunting but can be broken down into smaller, simpler steps. Create an action plan that gets you closer to the big picture throughout the whole year. Let’s say you want to start selling your artwork. The first step you may take is attending an art workshop to improve your skills. The next may be to network in your community, followed by setting up an online store, and so on. Achieving these mini goals will keep you focused on the long-term goal.
4. Be Specific
Instead of having the goal to exercise more, be specific by saying you plan to go to the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 pm. Don’t be vague in your resolutions. If it’s unclear, it becomes hard to judge whether or not you’re on track. Set specific days and times for your resolutions.
5. Schedule TIME
As you would an office meeting, pencil in time for activities that will help you reach your goal. Living such hectic lifestyles, sometimes we need to set aside time for ourselves. Some tasks may only take 15 minutes a day in which case you can do them on your lunch break. Ones that take longer should definitely be put on your calendar with a reminder alert on your phone. We suggest creating a schedule ahead of time to prepare you for what’s ahead in the week to come.
6. Always be thinking about it
Listen up because this is KEY to keeping your resolutions. Write them down! Keep them in front of you at work. Read over them before you leave the house. Talk about them. Think about them every single day. Visualize yourself achieving them. Don’t let your goals slip out of sight. Once they do, you’ll completely forget about them.
7. Record your progress
It’s a good idea to track your progress. You can see how far you’ve come, which will encourage you to keep moving forward. The way you do your tracking will depend on the resolution. Apps, spreadsheets, simple notes, or a diary are just a few of your options. You’ll also have to determine how often to record. Is it something that needs to be recorded weekly or just once a month?
Celebrate the small victories too. You don’t have to wait for the main goal to be completed to give yourself a pat on the back. Celebrate and enjoy the process of getting there. Remember, sometimes it’s all about the journey. Treat yourself with a special dinner, a small gift, a party, or whatever it is that makes you feel special (because you are!).
9. Work with a friend
Encouragement from a friend is the best way to stay on track no matter what your resolutions are. Friends push you, challenge you, and help you become a better person. Don’t forget to do the same in return. Talk about your goals and struggles frequently even if you don’t share the same resolutions.
10. Forgive yourself
Don’t become frustrated if you fall out of sync with your resolutions. You’re human and it happens. The important thing is to get right back into it with even more determination than before. Don’t stop going after a goal just because you fell off track for a little bit. Pick up where you left off and keep going!
11. Be positive
Always have a positive attitude when it comes to your goals. Believe in yourself. As soon as you begin having doubt and negative thoughts, everything will feel like it’s falling apart. Don’t let it happen!
12. Reassess your resolutions
If something isn’t working out no matter what you do, it’s ok to modify that goal. You don’t necessarily have to ditch it entirely. Make small tweaks so it’s doable in your life. If you can’t manage to save a certain amount of money and pay your bills at the same time, drop down that amount of money. No big deal.
Having a support system goes a long way in helping you achieve your goals. We want to see you SUCCEED! You are capable of so many amazing things and there is no better time to push yourself and create the life you want. We recommend that you pick out a morning or afternoon in the next few weeks to start writing out possible goals for the upcoming year. Get a cup of coffee, a writing pad & pen, and begin to jot down a list of things you’d love to accomplish in 2016. It’s free to dream, so don’t be afraid of writing down huge & scary goals. As you go deeper into the process, you’ll begin to narrow down your list and decide on goals that are reasonable and doable.
We’d love to hear about your process of choosing yearly goals. Leave a comment below with some of your resolutions for the New Year and we’ll cheer you on throughout your journey. Good luck and happy New Year!