2017 is a good year to have a good year, with January promising a new opportunity to be your best self and live the life you’ve always imagined. If you’re like 40% of Americans, this probably means that you’ll start by setting New Year’s Resolutions – but did you know that only 8% will cross the finish line?
Making and keeping New Year’s resolutions can be hard, but losing track of them doesn’t mean your goals aren’t achievable. It simply means that the methods used weren’t effective enough to take root. Here are a few tips on how to make your goal-setting a little less stressful and a little more inspiring.
Evaluate your life now.
When deciding on your New Year’s resolutions, looking at your current situation is a great place to start. Rate certain aspects of your life – such as finance, personal growth, health, family, relationships, and career – from 1 (not where you want it to be) to 10 (exactly where you want it to be). Recognizing the areas that you’d like to focus on can help you determine the goals that will make the most impact on your life.
Using your overarching resolutions as a starting point, create a list of smaller steps you can take in making them a reality. For example, if one of your goals is to reach a target weight, create a list of healthy and measurable ways that you can embrace a healthier lifestyle. This can include:
- Dedicating 30 minutes at day, five days a week, to working out.
- Packing a healthy lunch Monday through Thursday.
- Exploring a new fitness class, activity, or challenge each month, even if its outside your comfort zone.
- Walking to your favorite coffee shop on the weekends instead of driving.
- Joining an adult sports league or starting a weekly running club.
- Attending a new cooking class each month focused on healthy recipes.
Creating small goals that end up helping achieve a larger resolution down the line not only helps you feel as if your resolutions are within your grasp, but also allows you to build upon a solid foundation going forward.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Taking time each day to recognize the good in your life is a great way to keep a positive and healthy mindset. This gives you an opportunity to pay attention to the beautiful things in your life and continuously motivate you to create even more positivity moving forward. Use this opportunity to be kind to your mind as a response to your goals – celebrating the progress you achieve, reflecting on opportunities for growth, and cheering yourself on every step of the way.
Create a mantra.
Creating a phrase (or using one that already inspires you) can help to remind you why you are perusing your resolutions. Write it down and put it on display, or repeat it to yourself every day whenever you need to be inspired. Sometimes a few positive words are all you need to keep your goals in motion.
Get An Accountability Partner.
Goal setting is a very personal thing by nature, but the truth is that you don’t have to do it on your own. People are stronger when they can rely on each other, and letting a trusted friend in on your transformation is one of the most important steps you can take for yourself.
You don’t have to let this person know what the scale says on weigh day or how much you have in your savings account, but be vulnerable enough to let your accountability partner be your cheerleader when you smash your goals or pick you back up when you fall off track. Discussing your journey helps to put things in perspective as you forge ahead.
Make resolutions your personal policies.
Sometimes, refocusing your goals into something else can make them seem less overwhelming. For example, try turning your resolution of “more family time” into a personal policy of sitting down at the table at least once a week for a family meal. It lessens the stigma that New Year’s resolutions can carry with them and can make those goals seem more personal and meaningful.
Plan a monthly self-check to keep an eye on your progress and get back on track if you fall off the wagon. After spending a 5-6 months living your life in the new year, take the opportunity to reevaluate and readdress the resolutions you’ve set. This allows you to focus in on what goals have been achievable, what goals are still achievable, and what goals may require a change of approach.
A new year can seem overwhelming and scary, but it also can be beautiful and exciting. Above all, it’s a great time to recognize the accomplishments we’ve had in the past year and the successes we want to achieve in the next year!