Everyone jokes that making a goal your “resolution” for the new year is the quickest way to ensure that it fails. It’s easy to approach every year with a “New Year, New Me” mentality, but it’s a lot harder to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to accomplishing lofty aspirations like losing 30 pounds, traveling to a foreign country, and being the happiest, nicest, and cleanest person you know. The older we get, the more pressure we feel to FINALLY accomplish those goals we set every year!
While calling a goal a “resolution” automatically adds an element of pressure, you CAN make this year’s resolutions a reality! Here’s how:
Break your goals down into bite-sized accomplishments
Big goals become a lot easier to swallow when you break them down into smaller, more attainable ones. For instance, if your goal is the ever popular “become more organized in 2018,” focus on completing little tasks that work towards that bigger picture. One week, you clean out the junk drawer- the next week, you go through your closet and create a pile to donate to Goodwill. Before you know it, your life will look more organized than ever before!
It’s all about the details.
A big reason why people have such a hard time accomplishing their goals is because they are so VAGUE! When you make your goal something like “exercise more,” it is a lot easier to blow off because it doesn’t involve a plan to reach it. However, by making your goal something more specific, such as “attend exercise class twice a week,” you are giving yourself a clear directive that is harder to wriggle out of.
Hold yourself accountable.
In addition to being detail-oriented, a successful goal should be based on some type of reliable reward system to help you stay motivated and focused on achieving it for the long haul. Think about a favorite treat of yours- something like taking yourself to a movie, indulging in a delicious dessert or a nice bottle of wine, or partaking in your favorite trashy TV program. A great way to hold yourself accountable for accomplishing your resolution is rewarding yourself with that special treat on weeks that you complete your goal, and withholding it on weeks you don’t.
Remember- slow and steady wins the race!
Above all, a resolution shouldn’t be overwhelming- it should be doable. Losing 30 pounds in one year becomes a lot easier when it is broken down into losing one pound every few weeks. Saving up for that trip you’ve dreamed about your whole life becomes a lot easier when done in small, steady installments. Working towards a goal is good for us because it adds purpose, invigoration, and focus to our daily routine- but you’ve got to make the process WORK FOR YOU in order to be successful!
Here’s to reaching our goals together this year- one small step at a time!