Happy 2016!!!! We are officially one week into the new year and, if you’re like me, the New Year brings on a renewed desire to improve upon yourself and your life in the coming 12 months. For me this means a laundry list of resolutions!
Looking at the last 7 days how are you doing with those resolutions? I find that some years are better than others with actually MEETING these goals. Unfortunately for me, a simple list or a vision board does NOT work to keep me motivated for the entire year. I need a plan of action, reminders, and some more stuff. So if you have already hit a road block with your goals or haven’t put forth much effort or thought into it, hit Control+ ALT+ Delete on your life and let’s get it together to crush these New Year goals!
There are 7 easy steps that I have found that can help increase the probability of meeting and exceeding goals that I wanted to share with you all. These tips are so simple that you can have yourself set up in one afternoon! Go grab your pretty journal, a planner, your favorite pen, and a cup of coffee and create your road map for success by following these steps.
1) Review your resolutions from last year.
I know… you’re like “HUH? How is that supposed to help me? I’m going to get depressed and feel like a failure!” But hear me out. Whip out that list from last year (if you can find it) and categorize those resolutions into 3 groups: Goals you accomplished, goals you did OK with and then goals you made no progress on. In doing this you can see where your strengths and weaknesses are.
First, celebrate all the goals you accomplished last year. Give yourself a pat on the back, treat yourself to a mani/pedi, or shout it out and let everyone know how bad ass you were by posting it on your Facebook wall. Next look at the other 2 categories and think about what prevented you from accomplishing those goals. Say you had a goal to stop binge drinking when you go out with your friends. You did okay for the first 2 months and then everything went to hell. Or maybe you didn’t do so well with your goal to go to the gym 5 times a week and only went twice the entire year. We all know why we failed to accomplish our goals. We just don’t like to get real with ourselves and admit those reasons.
Ask yourself some questions. Like, was I being realistic with my goals? Were my goals measurable? Did I fail to consider my home or work environment and the impact it has on me? Did I try to commit myself to too much? Did I fail to plan appropriately? Did I need more motivation or accountability? Knowing the answers to this can really guide you in setting and realizing your goals this year. So instead of trying to go to the gym 5 times a week, consider working out at home 3 days and go to the gym 2 days a week. Or find a workout partner or two to help you stay motivated. Instead of saying I’ll stop drinking so much, either give yourself a limit of 2 drinks OR simply decrease the number of happy hours you attend during the week and substitute it with other activities.
2) Create and write out MEASURABLE goals.
Too often we write out our goals with broad blanket statements like “I’m going to get fit this year” or we create goals that can be outside our control like “I’m going to find Mr. Right and get engaged this year”. When doing this it’s easy to get discouraged because you never know when you have reached that goal or the vision in your mind does not match the reality of your situation- even when improvements have been made. Further, you cannot make someone else do something they may not want to do. So expecting a marriage proposal as a New Year Resolution is setting yourself up for serious disappointment.
Try to create goals that only you have control over like “I will sign up for Match.com and when asked on dates I will say OK no matter what he looks like.” Instead of making blanket statements set measurable goals like “I will increase my credit score to 790”, “I will save $35,000 by December 1st” or “I will lose 6 inches off my waist”. This way at the end of the year you will be able to see in numbers and pictures how close you came to achieving your goals.
3) Create a resolution map.
Analyze each of your goals and break it down. Think about the steps you will need to take in order to accomplish the goal. This will be your road map to success. For example, if the goal is to lose 6 inches off your waist, your steps may include joining a gym, taking your starting measurements and “before” pictures, buying new workout clothes, hiring a personal trainer, committing to cardio exercises 3 times a week and weight lifting 2 times a week, cleaning out the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator of all packaged and processed foods, etc. With measurable goals it is important to note your starting point. We always think we will remember and sometimes we do… but too often, we don’t. You will love yourself when you see how much you were able to accomplish in 12 short months.
4) Set a time frame to achieve each step on the resolution map.
Now that you have written down your action steps for each goal you need to set due dates to accomplish each task. Using the example above, you would commit to joining a gym by January 9th, complete your first home cardio session by January 8th, have your workout clothes by the 7th, check on the prices for a personal trainer when your join the gym on the 9th, etc. Once these due dates have been established PUT THEM IN YOUR CALENDAR! If weight loss is your goal, schedule your workouts like it’s a hair appointment and put it in your calendar. It’s a good idea use your phone’s calendar to set reminders to encourage you to take these steps.
5) Share your goals with a close friend or family member who will keep you accountable AND encouraged.
Typically, people choose not to share or make resolutions because they don’t like others holding them accountable to their goals. One cannot achieve greatness without challenging themselves. So be great and put yourself ON the hook to accomplish great things! If you are serious about achieving your goals, recruit a good friend who will call you out when you’re slacking and will irritate you with reminders without making you feel like a complete failure. Make it a game or competition between the two of you so that you get that extra motivation. Have fun with it.
6) Check in with yourself at least once a month and tweak your resolution map if necessary.
Life happens and sometimes things don’t go as planned OR things can go better than planned. Take time at the beginning of each month (at the very least) to see how well you are progressing with your goals. Take measurements and progress pictures, track your spending for the previous month, see how much you’ve managed to save, etc. Think about the things, habits or people that may be hindering you from getting things done and what you can do about it. By checking in frequently you can stay on top of road blocks before they become overwhelming.
7) Understand and accept that you are not perfect.
If you find that you’ve fallen off your resolution map DO NOT GIVE UP! Forgive yourself and start over the next day. Don’t wait until Monday to restart! Do it the NEXT DAY!! NO ONE is perfect and everyone has their moments. Some people have several moments and that’s okay… Just keep at it! Recognize what happened, think about what led to that lapse and make the determination and plan to eat right and work out the next day. No excuses! Just don’t give up.
These are the 7 steps I will be using to increase my chances of crushing my New Year resolutions this year. The New Year is a wonderful time to try to improve and challenge ourselves to be the best we can possibly be. My hope is that everyone stays positive and determines to make 2016 THEIR year. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.
I want to hear from you. Let me know how you guys are doing with your resolutions and share ways you have kept yourselves on track to achieve your yearly resolutions. I look forward to what this new year has to offer and sharing these moments with you.
Love and Light…
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