We can say we want to improve until we are blue in the face, but until we have a very clear set of intentions for ourselves we are all simply full of it.
Here we are again, the new year. New year in a new decade, and it’s time for all the resolution setting in a big way. I know I’m a bit “behind”, but I’m actually not a resolution setter. In the past I’ve always felt resolutions were stupid. Partially because every year it was the same resolution. So clearly I wasn’t very serious about changing!
Every year I would watch my gym flood with people on the first week of January, and then drop back down to normal after a few weeks. Considering getting in shape is one of the most common resolutions, clearly everyone else wasn’t so serious either.
Now my intent here isn’t to bash on resolutioners, however offer a different way of thinking about new year goals. There are three things that could probably help a lot of people succeed in the long run, and I’m going to provide them below.
1. Create more small goals
One of the biggest mistakes is setting a large goal to be accomplished over 365 days that is lacking real boundaries. For example, “get in shape”, “save more money”, or “spend more time with family”. You get the point.
Try instead setting smaller goals that are easier attained and more defined, but still fit the overall purpose. It’s easier to complete a goal if it has a more structured outcome. Smaller goals sets you up for more success, and feelings of accomplishment. So take the three example I used before and turn them into, “go to the gym 3 times a week”, “save $100 per pay check”, or “visit my parents every other week”.
2. Don’t Get Discouraged
When I say don’t get discouraged, I mean don’t let minor slip ups to your plan derail you. Don’t let the fact that you didn’t accomplish your goal by the week you set out to, cause you to give up all together. Understand that as humans we make mistakes, we talk ourselves out of good things, and sometimes we let failure be a reason to not keeping going.
You have a goal, a plan, now stick to it! You will have obstacles while getting there, I promise you. But keep going. It’s not about the failures you have, but about getting to that finish line and realizing how much you can accomplish if you get out of your own way.
3. Don’t Make a New Years Resolution
That’s right, don’t do it. If you take nothing else away from this but this point right here, I will consider it a win. Don’t go into the year with a grandiose resolution that you think is going to be perfect. The way we romanticize resolutions in our culture is hurting us in the long run.
How many people lose momentum on their resolution within the first month, or even first week? How many people eventually give up all together because it didn’t go as planned and think “well there’s always next year.” By setting a resolution versus goals, we are giving ourselves an out when it doesn’t work.
If you can focus your energy towards achieving smaller “goals” without giving in at the first hiccup, you will be successful. Nobody accomplished all their goals in the first attempt. It’s those who keep working towards what they want that are successful. So now it’s your turn to be the accomplished one. Start planning out your goals, and get to it!
Let me know if any of these ideas resonate with you, or what your goals for the year are!
Until next time,
P.S. If any one is curious, I took that picture of the Golden Gate bridge on my solo adventure around San Francisco. One of my goals for 2019 was to step outside my comfort zone, and start doing things by myself. Since I travel so often for work I had plenty of opportunities to do this, and it’s been a huge place of growth for me that I am very proud of!