Set New Year's Resolutions You Won't Ditch Before February
Happy New Year!
This may be one of my favorite times of year! Well - except for the super cold weather. I could totally do with warm tropical weather all year long. Maybe someday I can live in a place like that. 🤞🏻 A girl can always dream, right? 😁
At least this year, we've got snow. If it's going to be below freezing, we ought to have snow. And we got a foot and a half since last night. So, I guess it's all good. Well, unless we wanted to actually leave the house that is. 😏
ANYHOW! The first of the year. It's like a fresh start! A time to look back and see how far you've come. A time to look forward and plan for where you want your life to go. We get to set goals to achieve big AND little things. But how do you set goals for the next year without falling into the trap of the New Year's Resolutions that we ditch by mid-January?
Glad you asked! 😉
Let's chat about 5 essential parts of setting a goal so you can stick to it and see the progress you're hoping for.
1 - Look at the big picture
Our lives are not lived in a vacuum. We can't set a big goal that's going to take 75% of our waking hours and not feel the effects in other areas of our lives. So, as you set out to plan your goals, be sure to consider how those goals will affect other areas of your life and plan accordingly.
Years ago, when I first started working as an online fitness coach with Beachbody, I had BIG goals. I was going to build a team and make lots of money and help a ton of people to lose weight and get in shape. With the scope of those goals, I set crazy work hours i.e. I had no boundaries. I worked all the time. Believe me, I have never had any problem with dreaming those big dreams and going all in for the work that they were supposed to take.
BUT! It didn't work out. One of the problems was that those goals were not in line with where I was in my life at that time. I had 2 kids who weren't in school yet, plus the other 3 who would get home and need my attention in the afternoon. And my priorities were all skewed in a way that didn't sit well with me.
Instead, I should have looked at where I was and where I wanted to go and then built some boundaries that allowed me to live my life and take care of my most important priorities while working on those goals. With priorities in the right place, you can fit the work you need to do for the dream goals in the spaces you have without crowding out the most important things.
So, whatever your goal, be sure to remember to plan around the important parts of your life and help those goals fit into the big picture of your life.
2 - Make it Meaningful to YOU
Do you ever find that you hear someone else's goals and think, "Wow, that's a great goal. I should do it too."
We've all been there! Especially at the beginning of the year. There's this push to set goals because it's a new start. It's a fresh place to begin to work on becoming more amazing. And sometimes, those ideas others have already put together just sound so great, there isn't any need to put together your own ideas.
It's like when I'm sitting in church and someone says they set a goal to read the entire Book of Mormon in one month, and I'm like, "Ya, that's an awesome goal. I'm gonna do it too!" And even though it is important to me to read my scriptures, the timeline really isn't so much. So, like 3 days into it, I'm like, well, I'm now 50 pages behind, I'm never going to catch up, so I just quit. You know what I mean?
I recommend finding some alone time to write your goals. Don't do it while listening to motivational speakers. Don't do it while chatting with your bffs or your mom. Do it when you have time to reflect on what is really important to you so that you make goals that are YOUR goals, not theirs.
3 - Break Long-Term Goals Down
When we set New Year's Resolutions, we tend look at what we want to accomplish in the next year. That's a LONG time! Then, either the goal is so big for the year that we feel overwhelmed when we look at it, OR it feels like we have so much time to accomplish the goal that there's no urgency to get started.
Either way, we give up on that goal before February is over and then set that goal again next year. Am I right?
Instead, I recommend breaking that goal down into small manageable goals. Something you can accomplish in the next month or quarter - not easily, it should be a bit of a challenge to accomplish in that time frame so you can feel excited to work for it. But the shorter time frame will create an urgency you need in order to make yourself get started on it right away.
4 - Re-evaluate often
Achieving goals is not like cooking in a crock pot. Don't set the goal and forget it.
One of the most common goals is to get into shape. We say all through Christmas that we are going to start on the first Monday of the year to workout every day and eat healthy and replace all our soda with water.
Then the first Monday comes and we hit the ground running. We do so awesome we may even start to lose some weight and feel really great... and sore for a bit. And then life comes and throws us off course and it can be pretty difficult to pick ourselves back up from that.
Instead of throwing in the towel because it's not working out on the first go around and on the timeline that we initially set our sites on, take a moment and reevaluate what is going on. It's good to do it monthly or any time things feel off track.
Remember. It's not about being perfect with our goals. They are supposed to be hard to do... otherwise they wouldn't change us. Which means we aren't supposed to get it on the first go around.
Do your best.
See where you're off track.
Make the needed changes.
Keep on going.
You'll get there as long as you keep rolling with the punches and never give up.
5 - Work on Only 1 Goal Per Area of Life at a Time
Another pitfall I have seen in myself and others I've worked with is the tendency to bite off more than we can chew. We get all excited about the changes we're going to make and then as we get moving on it, we realize we've taken on more than we can handle and all the plates get dropped.
Some people recommend only working on one goal at a time. I tend to disagree with this idea because then we become very lopsided with the singular focus in our lives.
Instead, I recommend looking at a few different areas of your life and figure out a few things you want to improve in your life in the next few months.
For example, areas I have goals in are spiritual, relationships - mothering and wifing, (Yes, it's okay to make up words 😉), physical, business and home care. That could totally seem overwhelming, but when I only focused on my business goals, everything else fell apart. I didn't spend near enough time with my family. I was really uncomfortable taking trips that would make it so I couldn't spend time working. My house was a horrifyingly embarrassing mess. And I really dropped the ball on my scripture study and serving in my church.
Because I don't want my life to fall apart to focus on one goal, I make plans to focus time on these other areas as well. But there is one caveat.
When you've got a list of different areas of your life you want to improve, pick JUST ONE goal to focus on in each area. After a month or so, you can move on to something else that you feel like you need to improve on but stick with just 1 at a time.
AND - and this is a very important "and" - only 1 of those goals should be a big goal. Don't try to tackle the hardest things in all the areas at the same time. So, figure out what the most important goal is. Then look at the other things you'd like to improve and pick a goal that is manageable but will serve to make sure you don't drop the ball in those areas as you focus on the one big goal.
No matter how important that goal, if you reach it but your life fell apart in the process, you'll never feel like it was worth it.
This year, my goals include building this blog with 1 post a week for now, preparing a couple weeks ahead of time to work with the kids at church on their singing time so my lessons aren't rushed, spending plenty of time really studying my scriptures each day (in the Old Testament this year) and finishing losing the baby weight from baby number 6. I'm close, but I've got a few more clothes I'd like to fit into better. 😊
Now tell me. What is 1 goal you're working on this year?