Keeping with your new years resolution (and any goal you set!)
Welcome to the new decade! We are almost two months in now, and I hope it is going well for you so far. If you’re anything like me (and if you’re reading this, you most likely are) then you are looking forward to the potential that the next 10 years holds for you. But before we all get overly ambitious and set goals for our future, we need to make sure we go about it the right way. There is a reason that only a small percentage of people actually fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. I certainly don’t claim to be a resolution queen, for I have set a fair amount of goals that did not get accomplished, but I have learned a few things about goal setting over the past few years. Hopefully you can take at least one of the things I share here and add it to your own goal setting toolbox.
First thing: Make sure the goal you are setting is one that YOU want to achieve.
It might sound weird at first, like, “why would anyone go for something they don’t care about?” but it actually happens quite a bit. I’ve even done it. All it takes is getting caught up in what others want for you. Others can be family, friends, and even society. So make sure you are going for the goals that are best for you, not just goals that are socially acceptable or that your friends and family would be satisfied with.
Second: Make sure those goals are S.M.A.R.T
Many goals go unachieved simply because they were too broad and had no end date. If your goal is to “eat healthy,” that could look a lot of different ways.
Know that it is okay to adjust your goals if you find that they are not working for you or you no longer want to achieve that specific goal. Modification does not equal failure.
Example: modifying a time management goal to allow more free time in the evening than you initially allowed yourself to have.
Example: deciding that you don’t want to cut out coffee completely, so you try limiting yourself to 2 cups per day or no coffee after lunch.
Before you modify your goal, be honest with yourself. Are you changing/quitting the goal because it doesn’t feel relevant to you or because it is hard and you aren’t used to feeling uncomfortable in that way? All goals and dreams are going to have some element of challenge to them. If you ask me, success with your dreams should be difficult, or you probably aren’t dreaming high enough.
Find a community that can support you in your goals:
If the people around you don’t care that you are trying to eat more vegetables in the new year, it is that much harder to commit to that goal long term when nobody else in the house are eating vegetables
People have a tendency to conform to their environment. Find a new group that runs weekly if you are trying to train for a race or an art group if your goal is to invest in and develop your creative muscle.
Failure is good:
If for some reason you don’t stay with the goal you set in the new year, that is okay! You can always try again. Sit down and take some time to figure out what happened. What were the factors in your environment that made it difficult for you to commit to your goal? See if you can change your environment to better support your success.
Remember, messing up is not a reflection of your intrinsic worth. Shift your focus to your environment (the things that help you achieve your goals, or inhibit their success) so you can move forward in confidence even when you mess up or don’t achieve your goal. Your mindset and motivation seems internal, but much of the time they are changed by your environment.
Last thing: Motivation comes and goes.
Many people wonder what ‘tips’ and ‘tricks’ are out there to sustain motivation for the goal they set. Honestly, while there are some things you can do to help with this, keep in mind that there will be days where there is no motivation. The key to success in this instant is doing the thing even when you don’t want to. This is something that happens to everyone. The difference between those who are successful and those who are not, is that the successful people will do the thing even when there is no motivation to do it. They know that it will pay off down the road.
Okay, Just kidding, the VERY last thing: visualize your success.
What do you want? Do you know what that will look like when you have it? Picture this in your head. Picture how you will feel having achieved that goal. Happy, confident, proud, energized, joyful, whatever the feeling is, practice it with the picture of your successful moment in your mind. Now put these feelings in your back pocket. Any time you have no motivation, sit still for a second, take a deep breath, and FEEL the way your successful day would look like. Now go do the thing, and remember that as you commit to yourself day after day, When you have your moment in real life, this feeling will be double, triple, quadruple of your practice feelings.
Hopefully something in this blog post will be useful for you. All you need to do now is get after it! Keep practicing accomplishing those goals over and over again. First the small goals, and then the big ones! In 10 years you will be awestruck with how far you have come!