10 Tips to Stick to your New Year’s Goals
‘Tis the season for family and merriment. In all the hustle and bustle of buying gifts, attending parties, and eating the delicious cookies and treats that are so prevalent this time of year, we can often lose sight of the truly important things in life. We can get so caught up in the day-to-day just living moment by moment that by the time Christmas comes, we are heaving a huge sigh of relief at having survived the holiday season. And then many of us will spend the last week of the year thinking about ways we’re going to make the upcoming year better than the current one and the goals we hope to reach.
In the past, I’ve been guilty of setting lofty resolutions. Within a few days of settling into the New Year, I’m ready to forget the resolutions and goals I’ve made. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I decided I was going to live mindfully. That instead of getting overwhelmed and wrapped up in the little things that don’t matter, I was going to focus on being present in the moment. And that means setting goals that are realistic while pushing myself to be better and stronger than ever before. Here are 10 tips that can help you stick to your New Year’s goals this year and every year from now on!
Create Reachable Resolutions
So many times, people give up on their resolutions within just a few weeks of starting the New Year. Sometimes it’s because the resolutions are simply too big. It makes it hard to start something that seems too large to conquer. In these cases, people often give up before they even start. By setting goals that are actually reachable, it makes it easier to take that first step toward making the changes you want to make in your life. Whether it is eating healthier, getting more sleep, exercising, trying something new, or creating a new business from scratch–be reasonable in setting your goals. It’s great to dream and want to do great things. But if your bar is set too high, it’s easier to push it off to “someday” instead of making strides toward reaching your goals right now.
Create a Vision Board
This is something that I do, and it helps to stay mindful of what I want to achieve. Creating a vision board doesn’t need to be an elaborate production. You don’t need to spend hours poring over ideas on Pinterest or buy any expensive materials to do it. You can very easily create a vision board online. There are also apps that you can download onto your phone or tablet to be able to carry your vision board with you wherever you go. Why create a vision board, you ask? Great question! Vision boards are wonderful for helping people to actually visualize how they are going to reach their goals. It helps to get organized and actually put an idea or plan into action. It’s more than just coming up with an idea or a goal or a list of goals. It’s an actual plan of attack that puts your plans into motion.
Reflect or Meditate Daily
Simply taking a moment to reflect or meditate on your goals each day keeps you focused on achieving that goal. Personally, I take a few moments to reflect on God’s word each day. It helps keep me centered and focused on my vision. It allows me to see the bigger picture and appreciate the beauty and glory of this life. If you can take a minute to see your greater purpose and envision God’s plan, it makes it easier to stick to your goals.
Tell People About Your Goals
When you tell people about your plans, resolutions, and goals, you are actually committing to them. And then, people are actually going to expect you to do them! It makes you accountable to not just yourself, but to others. This gives the added benefit of having an additional support system. When you tell people about your goals, you might be surprised at how many people want to help you achieve them.
Give Yourself a Timeline
When you set your resolutions, give yourself a “start date” for when you plan to start achieving your goal. When you set a date, you hold yourself accountable for getting started on reaching your goal. To take it a step further, create an actual timeline for certain steps along the path to reaching your goal. Remember that these dates (with the exception of the “start date”) aren’t set it stone and can change based on circumstances. After all, life can and will throw new things in our paths along the way. But by setting up a timeline, you give yourself a schedule and that gives you smaller goals within your individual journey.
It sounds silly, but it’s hard to start achieving your goal without a very specific goal in mind. It’s impossible to achieve something if you don’t know exactly what you’re achieving. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, set a specific amount of weight you want to lose. Don’t simply say, “I’m going to lose weight this year.” While that isn’t bad, it’s easier to celebrate achieving a goal if you say “I’m going to lose 10 pounds this year.” Instead of saying, “I’m going to save more this year”, set a specific amount.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
It’s great to have a lot of hopes, dreams, and goals. Having a lot of goals means you have a lot to celebrate when you reach them! What a wonderful thing to think about! The problem is that when you have too many goals, it’s very hard to reach just one. It’s easy to get distracted and then stretched too thin. And instead of celebrating the achievement of many goals, many of us find ourselves dealing with the crushing loss of yet another failure. Instead of setting many goals, think about one or two things you really want to accomplish this year, then focus on those one or two specifically. As soon as you’ve reached those goals, move on to your next set.
Take Baby Steps–But Be Sure to Take Them
It’s okay to move slowly when getting started on reaching a goal. The important thing is that you TAKE that first step. It is absolutely fine to move slowly. Just make sure you’re moving, and that you’re moving FORWARD.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
If you mess up, that’s ok. You may make mistakes on your path to reaching your dream. Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up over it. We are all human. We all make mistakes. The beauty is that each day (and each new year, for that matter!) is a gift that we have to start over again. If you make a mistake today, reflect on how you can do things better. And then tomorrow, do it better.
Celebrate Your Success
It’s a big deal to reach a goal. Whether your goal is big or small, it’s important that you take the time to celebrate your success. It doesn’t have to be a lavish party to tell everybody you’ve reached your goal. Give yourself a high five. Brag a little bit to your husband. Tell the cashier at the grocery store. And then let the appreciation of a job well-done wash over you. Allowing yourself to be proud and feel GOOD for reaching a goal is an addictive feeling. It can keep you on track to continue to reach MORE goals.
With just a couple of days left in 2018, we may find ourselves thinking about the things we failed to do this year and about the resolutions we let lapse. Don’t beat yourself up about the resolutions you didn’t keep. Instead, take this opportunity to think about the things you want to accomplish in the coming year. While we don’t need the change of the calendar to remind us to make changes, the start of a new year gives us a clean slate to do better and be better in the coming months. Take this opportunity to think about the positive things you want to accomplish, and put those plans into motion. Make 2019 the best year yet, wishing you much success with your New Year’s resolutions.
I have found my cancer journey to be a positive and profound transformational experience. I’m inspired to share my healing journey here, and trust you’ll find hope, encouragement and purpose as you discover the healing power that lies within you.