The New Year has begun, and like me, you probably have a few goals on your resolutions list for 2017. On New Years Eve, you vowed to yourself this year you are going to follow through, just like the beginning of every year.
While that’s a great spirit to have, most of us get caught up with life and find it hard to follow through on our resolutions. Then, we start on a self-destructive pattern of failing, beating ourselves up, failing more and a lot more negative self-talk that makes us lose complete site of our resolutions list.
This year, you can have success with your resolution by starting off right, with 5 must-have things for setting your resolution!
1.Set a clear goal!
Make sure the goal is clear by answering ‘what is it that you really want?’ Ask yourself some clarifying questions:
- What will this change do to enhance my life?
- What does it look like, feel like to have achieved the goal?
- What changes will I need to make to achieve this goal?
Really let yourself day dream about what this resolution will mean for you and your life. For example, if losing weight is your resolution, write down how much, by when and what size or other characteristics you want to be. Envision what losing weight looks like to you and paint a vivid mental image of what your goal will feel and look like.
2. Take it one step at a time!
Now that you have a clear picture of what you want, figure out the steps on how to achieve it. Make sure you have actionable steps that you can reach. A lot of the time we rush in and push ourselves to hard at the beginning and then end up giving up on our goal because it’s too overwhelming.
In January every year, the gym is packed. New members flood in the first week, then slowly start dropping off. It usually takes about three weeks until the crowds start thinning. If you start slow and reasonable, you will have more success. Instead of throwing yourself into a 1hour-7 day a week workout schedule, try building up to it. The first week go 2 times, then increase to 3, etc. Whatever it is that you have planned for yourself, break it down into manageable steps.
With your resolutions list broken down into manageable steps, use these steps to acknowledge your achievements. Too often we are so focused on the end goal that we forget to congratulate ourselves on the steps we have taken towards that goal.
If we don’t recognize our achievements who will? There are many ways to recognize and congratulate yourself on your success, big or small! You can:
- Keep an achievement journal
- Write yourself post-its with your successes
- Share achievements with a friend
- Congratulate yourself in the mirror.
I think we all fall short on this one a lot of the time, but it is one of the most important things! Be your own cheerleader!
4.Reevaluate your resolutions list regularly!
Along with recognizing your achievements it’s important to have an honest check in with yourself about your goals. Ask yourself:
- Are these steps working for me?
- Is this still important to me?
- Is there something more that I want to add to this goal?
Life is ever changing, so make sure your goals are as dynamic as you are. If something in life has changed, which it inevitably will, adjust to continue to reach your goal. Maybe you have had success and need to set the goal post even further. Schedule a time every couple weeks to evaluate your goal and your progress, then readjust what is not working. Take the time to give yourself an honest check in!
5. Try kindness!
The way we treat ourselves is often way worse than how we would ever treat another. We judge, criticize, shame and blame ourselves. The negative self-talk is a detriment to achieving our goals. Many of us feel that if we are kind to ourselves, we won’t be motivated. We feel that if we give ourselves positive caring words of encouragement then we will just become idle. We have this belief that beating ourselves up will push us to excel.
Think about it have you ever had a boss who was hypercritical and found fault in everything you do… Did you feel motivated? Would you ever try to encourage a child to learn something new by criticizing and degrading them? Of course not, so we shouldn’t do it to ourselves. Try kindness and see what happens!
Whatever you are aiming for in 2017, these 5 steps can help you achieve the goals on your resolutions list. I use them all the time when I am working towards something and find them essential to success. Best of luck to you in reaching your resolutions!
Let’s make 2017 an epic year!