Posted by Andie on January 27, 2016
I have a love/hate relationship with New Year's resolutions. I love the idea of change, renewal, growth and improvement- and believe wholeheartedly that we were put here on this earth as human beings to do just those things. But I hate the pressure society puts on us (and we put on ourselves) to come up with these elaborate, lofty (not to mention usually unattainable) New Year's Resolutions. After years of setting crazy resolutions for myself that I ultimately failed at within just a few weeks, I've gradually adopted a new approach to New Year's Resolutions that has proven to produce a much better success rate! And isn't that what we all want to do? January is nearly over, but in my opinion it's still the perfect time to get your goals for the year laid out- it's not too late to tweak your resolutions, or come up with completely different ones!
Here are some of my tips to help you set goals you can see yourself accomplish this year:
1. Pick one word or motto to focus on for the year.
I read about this concept a couple of years ago, and it was a total game changer! Before you start thinking about any specific goals, you should come up with one word. One word that you want to focus on for the year. To pick your word you: Step 1: Determine the kind of person you want to become. Step 2: Identify the characteristics of that person. Step 3: Pick a word. Resist the temptation to pick a handful. You want to focus simply on ONE WORD. This will give you clarity, vision, and a purpose for the year. My one word is a great resource to help you identify that one word for yourself! (Many people believe that simply picking one word should replace your resolutions--- I still like to set smaller goals, all of which should ideally fall under the umbrella of my one word- does this make sense?)
2. Don't set your goals until mid-to-late January.
I know this sounds so counterproductive when society is telling us we need to start being perfect on January 1st, but I like to avoid the hype and slow things down. I start thinking about what I want my new year to look like at the beginning of January, then I let those ideas perculate for a few weeks. Once everyone else has already given up on their New Year's resolutions, I finally write down and formulate goals for myself.
3. Avoid the extremes.
There are people out there that have the willpower to commit (and succeed!) at doing really,really intense things- like giving up sugar cold turkey, working out at the gym every single day, or putting a 365 day ban on online shopping. Power to those people! I hate to break it to you, but you are probably not one of them (sorry to say, most of us aren't good at all or nothing). Don't set yourself up for failure! Instead, give youself a little wiggle room. Bottom line? Avoid resolutions that are too strict or extreme, because you'll just end up quitting them.
4. Keep things organized.
I like to to break things up into categories because it helps me pick goals or things to work on that will help me in specific areas of my life. Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, Financial, Marriage & Motherhood, & Projects are the categories that I like to work with. Under each category I think of a handful of 'goals' or things I'd like to try to be better at. Many of them are simple, like ' get a babysitter at least once a month so that we go on a real date', or 'unplug every night at dinner time to spend more quality time with my family'. I don't get too down on myself if these things don't happen every single day, but I just make the effort to keep trying.
5. Revisit your goals often.
How many times have you written out a New Year's resolutions' list and then never looked at it again? Or forgotten about it? I'm totally guilty. I keep all of my yearly goals on my phone under the "notes" section so that they are literally always with me. I try to revisit and go over them at least once a week (preferably when I'm going over my calendar and schedule for the week). It's easy to get busy and completely lose sight of what your goals are- look over them often to remind yourslef, and you've got a much better chance of incorporating them into your daily routines!
What are some of the things you do to help you stick to your New Year's resolutions?