With a new, fresh year ahead, comes the pressure of creating new year’s resolutions. We see swirls of posts on social media, talk between friends and family, even co-workers about how this year will be the best yet and what each of them will achieve. From losing weight to getting that promotion or maybe even taking more personal time off for self-care, it’s the time of year that we all decide on one or two big things we will resolve in the year ahead. However, even with the best intentions to slay that lofty goal, come February, many resolutions have bit the dust. In fact, according to Forbes.com, studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them! So, what can you do to be one of the 8% this year to achieve the goals you set out for yourself?
You can make sure your ‘goal’ is actually yours.
You might think every goal you set is yours…but was that goal influenced by anyone? Likely you’re saying yes to yourself or at a minimum maybe, because given that everyone around you is making a resolution, you might have overheard the idea and thought it was a good one, or someone suggested something that you felt made sense. If that’s the case, there’s nothing wrong with that. You just want to make sure that the goal you’ve set for yourself is one that you feel passionate enough about to hold yourself accountable to. For example, if your friend who is a big fitness buff says “I’m going to run a marathon by the end of the year”, and they ask you if you want to join them. That might not be the best goal to set your sights on, especially if your idea of a marathon is binge-watching ‘YOU’. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that either!) Perhaps instead, a good resolution would be to cut back on your Netflixin’ by a couple of hours a day. That way you can use that time to spend more quality time with loved ones, or focus that time on journaling, hitting the gym or something else you’ve been trying to find time in your busy schedule for that never seems to happen.
Weigh the consequences of your actions.
When we make a new year’s resolution, after a few weeks we fall off the bandwagon and life takes over leaving our best laid intentions in the dust until next year. However, if you set a meaningful goal that you’re determined to achieve, a smart way to keep on track is to make sure you have a clear picture of the results of staying motivated. For example, if your resolution is to get up one hour earlier every day so that you can have a little more me time in your life, what happens if you make that happen or if you don’t make that happen. If you set your alarm a little earlier and you get up on time, that might mean you get to read for an hour and enjoy your cup of coffee in peace before the kids wake up. It could also mean that getting that time to yourself gives you the ability to relax a bit before your crazy day starts up, which can have a hugely positive impact on your mindset and how you roll through that big to-do list. However, if you don’t make time for that hour, the consequence would be waking up late, rushing around to get the kids ready for school, shoving a not so healthy lunch in their backpack as they run out to the car and your coffee, yet again, gets left on the car roof to topple off as you pull out of the drive. I don’t know about you, but a day like that is sure to set stress levels high and with a 0% coffee intake to kick off the day, who knows what that day will bring.
Be specific, like REALLY specific.
If you’re serious about making this year your best yet, create a new year’s resolution that not only is meaningful but that is also measurable – so when you do achieve that big win, you know you nailed it! Not only will you gleam proudly that you stuck to your resolution, but you’ll also have a way of holding yourself responsible for any missteps that pop up throughout the year. We all make mistakes and as you’ve heard me say before, mistakes are part of the journey and how we learn so don’t be too hard on yourself if you falter here and there. Just try sticking to your resolution the next day whole-heartedly. A good example of what I mean is this: New Year’s Resolution attempt #1 – Losing that extra weight you’ve been talking about for what feels like forever. It’s a great goal but not very specific, so how will you know when you’ve achieved success? When you lose 2lbs, 10lbs, 50lbs? That being said if we revise that to Attempt # 2 — Losing 15lbs by March 15th when you plan to reward yourself with a much-needed family vacation to Cuba. Now you have a S.M.A.R.T goal. You know, one that is “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.”
Whatever you decide to make your resolution, be proud that you’re actively deciding to improve yourself in 2020 and know that you’ve got what it takes to achieve it! One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year is to make every effort to inspire you in 2020 to reach new heights in your life, your relationships, and your career. As the new year is upon us, may all your goals be sought after with passion, and your results make you feel like you’re on top of the world!
“Follow your own passion—not your parents’, not your teachers’—yours.” —Robert Ballard