Yes, I’m referring to the ball dropping, champagne induced midnight vows to make the next year the best one yet. We all know that most New Year’s Resolutions fall flat shortly after these solemn promises are made, but it’s hard to resist the urge to blurt out our own resolutions when the ball drops.
The New Year is a wonderful time to reflect, be mindful of the present, and set your eyes on your future endeavors. If you are someone who would like to set a new goal for 2019, I don’t want your resolution to go by the wayside two weeks into the New Year! Here are some ways you can really make it stick:
Be Measurable and Specific
Goals should always be measurable and specific. You want to be able to answer the question, “Did I do it? How will I know?” For example, you might start by saying “I want to feel healthier” which is a bit vague and intangible. First, decide what ‘feeling healthy’ means to YOU (sidenote – it doesn’t matter what it means to anyone else). What are the outcomes you are looking for? That could mean that you have more energy in the morning, or that you get more sleep. You could use a journal to rate how you ‘feel’ each morning and write down what time you hit the sack each night. Boom – that’s a way to make something measurable. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or even scientific, but you must decide how you want to measure your success.
Get a Buddy
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far – go together.
Buddies make everything better. But when it comes to reaching your goals, having someone that can relate to your challenges can make a world of difference. That doesn’t mean you have to do everything together – it can be as simple as having someone to come over for dinner to try a new healthy recipe. Or it can be your partner reminding you that you said you wanted to get more sleep. They’re not a babysitter, and they’re not responsible for your success. But, they can help frame your surroundings in a way that get you a step closer to your goals. It’s even more helpful if they are also reaching for the same goal!
Have a Plan and Take Small Bites
Most goals set on New Year’s are big. They are audacious, and the ‘deadline’ is so far away – 365 days to be exact – that they feel like they should be big. Break down your resolution into the smallest possible bites. For example, you want to learn to speak Spanish in the New Year. What daily actions are you going to take to make this happen? Maybe you could purchase a program to help you learn that’s easy to listen to every day while you drink your coffee? Think as small as possible – little actions and small changes that you can consistently complete can make the biggest difference in the long run.
It’s also important to schedule “check-ins” with yourself. You could set a weekly or monthly reminder on your phone that asks you how often you’ve been studying your Spanish. With resolutions, we tend to ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ which leads to “Oh man it’s already June and I haven’t (fill in the blank here)!” Make sure you are able to get yourself back on track, even if you veer off course.
Ask for Help
Reaching your goal isn’t easy. It can be very simple, but not easy. If these actions were easy, everyone would already be doing them. We wouldn’t need an excuse to hit a ‘reset’ button on New Year’s Eve, toasting our dearest friends and promising to make some adjustment to improve our lives. It’s okay to make those promises to yourself (and those around you), but ask for help to achieve your goal.
So, if you’re wanting to learn how to paint, look into some classes. You’d like to learn Spanish? Awesome – get Rosetta Stone (and use it). You want to be more active? Ask your friends about their favorite gym and get a coach. Financial stability? Get an advisor. Want help with Nutrition? I have some ideas on who can help with that 😊.
Whatever your goal may be, your first step towards success is to reach out and find a coach/mentor/advisor/tool/ to help guide you in the right direction. Because the truth is, you CAN do whatever you are vowing to do at midnight while sipping some bubbly. You absolutely can. It’s just that most people won’t. Because most people will go 100% from January 1 to January 15. Most people will make the resolution they think they should make – not one that they actually care about. Most people don’t know how to reach their goals, and are too stubborn/reluctant/embarrassed/scared to seek someone to help them. Get rid of the noise, and just focus on what you want.
I hope that your New Year brings all that you want it to bring. I also hope that you reach for your goals and take all the steps to reach them. I pray that you even enjoy the process. Most of all, I wish for you that 365 days from now, you can toast your friends at midnight, and in addition to vowing to strive for future endeavors, you will also be beaming with pride from all you’ve already accomplished.
See you at the gym,