Tomorrow marks the 2-week mark since we’ve all started our New Years Resolutions. Have you stuck with it? Are you struggling to keep up? Or are you killing it like a boss? Either way, there is nothing wrong with getting back on your feet if you’ve fallen off track. Here are a few tips on how to make it happen all the way to next year and beyond!
New Years Resolutions
New Years Resolutions are often forgotten a few weeks or months into the year, or deemed too hard to keep up with. It is not necessarily because there is something wrong with us, or that we are flaky people, but rather there is often something missing in between the resolution and the end game. Lets get rid of all of the excuses, and pave the path for completing our New Years Resolutions.
How to Make it Happen
The number one problem is that people often set unrealistic New Years Resolutions. While we would all love to lose a ton of weight, or win some cool award, or make more money, it is important that we set a realistic GOALS. That’s right, let’s start by replacing “New Years Resolutions” with “Goals”, and then let’s focus on making sure they are realistic. Goals are meant to give us something to look forward to, strive towards, and make effort to achieve, but not discourage us if we only get close. Close is GREAT when it comes to goals. Of course, it is important to set achievable goals, but also set milestones along the way as encouragement, and a deadline (doesn’t have to be the end of the year either!). Almost like mini goals. The best part? Goals can be adjusted along the way to reflect any changes; keeping them realistic and achievable is key!
Now that you’ve got your goals and mini goals laid out, you need to come up with a plan to get there. You need to identify what you intend to do to go from one stepping stone to the next, like a roadmap, to achieve your goal. The more specific the better! If you say you are “going to eat healthy this year”, how do you plan on doing that? For example, instead of just setting your goal as “Eat Healthy”, write down that you will eat more vegetables, less processed foods like potato chips and candy, and cut back on pasta. These are actionable stepping stones to your goal, these are specific and measurable intentions that you can actually hold yourself accountable to do (or not to do, depending on your goal). The reason we need to do this is to give ourselves encouragement in order to move forward, and this almost-checklist of achievements gives us the satisfaction of completing our mini goals along the way, and keeps us excited to keep going towards our main goal.
Social media these days has come to be a ton of noise, but it also has its merits. For accountability, it is perfect. The only thing more fuel-firing than achievement is being guilted into finishing something. Use this fuel in the beginning to keep you going, and eventually you will come to learn that you actually fuel yourself out of motivation because you want to keep doing it and get closer to your goal. Getting together with a group of people who share a common goal is also a good option for motivating yourself. It is a beautiful thing when outside influences fade and you focus on what YOU want. On that note, only set a goal because you want to achieve it, not because someone says you should.
Set a Budget
Not everyone’s goal is an amount of money or health, but it is important to take them into consideration. You want to be mindful of stress levels, which can directly affect your health, because you can easily find yourself halfway through your plan only to realize that if you continue with it you will end up broke. It is important to sit down and look over all of the details of your main goal, and plan out the financial commitment required for it. If you decide to buy a gym membership to bulk up, you also need to consider the extra travel or parking fees you may occur getting to-from the gym, the increase in food you will need as you get bigger, and if you intend to include any fitness supplements/outfits/gear along the way. Suddenly that 90$ monthly membership has doubled, if not tripled. Don’t abandon the goal, just make sure you are prepared, mentally, emotionally, AND financially. If you set your goal to save money, you want to be sure that by buying things that are cheaper, you are actually saving money. For example, toilet paper and ziplocs are great to buy in bulk because they are non-perishable and are things you use almost everyday. Whereas fruit or dairy products that will go bad before you’ve had the chance to consume them all results in wasted food and no money saved, and you often spent more per item consumed than if you had just bought them individually at the regular store. And that off-brand item isn’t always worth the 27 cents you saved when you have to replace them twice as fast. The key thing here is to do your research in advance, and make sure that you have budgeted accordingly for the entire year to be able to achieve your goals without an extra bump in the road.
What are your New Years Resolutions –err– Goals?
My personal new years resolutions are to find happiness in everyday, which I am doing by running my 365 Days of Happy project and posting about something joyful every day, and to focus more and work harder on my newborn photography business. As a business owner, I have got the entire plan laid out, with actionable stepping stones, realistic and specific goals, and deadlines for many of them. My roadmap has been drawn, and I am very excited to take the ‘trip’!
I would love to know what your goals are, and if I can be of help. If you’ve got a blog where I can follow your progress, I would love for you to share it below in the comments!