Happy New Year’s, friends! The new year is many things. It is a time for new beginnings, a fresh start, time to leave behind the negativity of the past year’s struggles. For some it may be the beginning of a new job, a new school semester, a new chapter in their lives. For many people, the new year means setting resolutions for how we would like the coming year to turn out. “Get healthy this year.” “Get all A’s in school.” “Have a better work/life balance.” “Receive a raise at work.” “Start a blog.” “Run a marathon.” While these are ALL excellent goals, and some that I myself have made in the past, I see (and know from personal experience) that very often we make these resolutions and goals, feel really focused and good about it for a few months, and then get distracted, life gets in the way, and we fall off track and forget about the resolution. Then, before we know it, it’s New Year’s Eve again, and we are making the same resolutions again, because we didn’t achieve them in the past year.
This year, though, I encourage you to draw a line in the sand. Leave behind those good intentions (my mom always said, “Good intentions paved the path to hell”), and instead, do something that could radically change your life. I’m still talking about setting goals, but going about it in a completely different, and much more intentional way. In a way that will make achieving your goals much more likely, and easier too. And the best part is that it is completely simple, it just takes a little bit of thought and planning.
First, decide on your goal. Do you want to lose 30 lbs this year? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to start a blog? Do you want to read 50 books this year? Once you have your BIG goal in mind, write it down. Then start to break it down into smaller steps. The goal is to break it down into as many small, manageable, time-sensitive steps as you can. So for losing 30 lbs, the first step might be to decide on a gym, or select an at-home workout program. Set a time-limit for this to be achieved. Something simple like this could just be a one week goal. By Sunday, your goal is to have picked out the gym/program. Step 2 could be actually joining the gym, or ordering the program. Step 3 could be going to the gym 3 days per week, or getting in at least 5 in-home workouts each week. Step 4 could be to start changing your eating habits, and you would need to break that down as well. Then you could start adding in more weight-specific goals, like, “by March I want to have lost 5 lbs. By June I want to have lost 15 lbs.” And so on.
If your goal were to read 50 books in the year, your first step might be to create a list of 20 books that you want to start with, and that list must be completed within the first 2 weeks of the year. That would leave exactly 50 weeks in the rest of the year, which means you would need to read at least one book each week to accomplish your goal.
Don’t be TOO hard on yourself if you miss some of these milestones. No one is perfect. The point it to break your huge year long resolution up into smaller, more manageable pieces. Success motivates us to keep going, and builds your confidence too. With each smaller goal that you reach, you are one step closer to your big goal, you are more likely to complete the next small goal, AND you are becoming more confident as an added bonus.
I even made a printable to help you break down your goal into smaller, monthly goals. Just make sure you hang it somewhere that you will see it everyday!
So, do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you accomplish them? Share your goals for this year below!