It’s about that time! The time when you start thinking about what the new year might hold for you. New Year’s Resolution Time. After the trashcan fire of 2020, it might feel even more overwhelming than usual.
Maybe you’re thinking, “I want to finally lose some extra weight” or “I resolve to be more organized this year.”
Or maybe you’re thinking, “Ahh, screw it. I never stick with my resolution anyway.”
Year after year, many of us throw up a “hail Mary” resolution of sorts, hoping that this will be “the magical year” when we will reach our goals. After all, January 1st is an amazing starting line. You get to unwrap your brand new calendar and take a huge *Sigh of relief* with the fresh start that it seems to promise.
As a mix between a go-getter and a free spirit, I often set goals but also often struggle with my follow-through. My lifelong bucket list is a mile long, and I love the “idea” of accomplishing each and every thing on it. But as you well know, life has a way of flying by and I‘m guilty of letting my goals fly off the radar too…out of sight, out of mind.
With a mere five days standing between us and the new year, I want to propose five guidelines that will help us both ACTUALLY ACHIEVE our 2021 goals and new year’s resolutions.
1) Inspiring, yet manageable.
What will get you out of bed in the morning (besides your hungry kids…or the smell of coffee)? What gets YOU excited? Yes, take a moment to think about what you want to do this coming year.
Jot down a few things. Yes, I know it’s counter-intuitive for you to think about yourself when you’re used to focusing on others, but this is important. Now, put a little star by the one or two goals that you want to proudly look back on when 2021 is over and say “Yep, I wanted to do that, and I actually did it.”
(When I get myself into an intense goal setting session, I find myself trying to essentially save the world. I easily have 20 goals I want to make into a reality. I just get so excited! Then my level–headed hubby brings me back down to Earth and reminds me that we still have two babies under two, and that I should probably bite off a little less. I don’t have to accomplish ALL of my lifelong goals in 2021. Neither do you. Keep it manageable.)
There’s very little more crippling than trying to accomplish uninspiring or overwhelming goals.
2) Isolate one or two goals, then break them down into attainable weekly and daily activities.
Think bite sized chunks. Big goal…little bites. Love this quote from my new Curly Girl Calendar:
“Someday is made up of a thousand tiny nows.”
My New Year’s Resolutions which have plans attached are two things I have always wanted to do: run a marathon and write a book. I have been following a 7 month marathon training plan, so the daily goal is spelled out for me. All I had to do was write down the daily mileageon my calendar and in my planner…(which I will look at this year.) As for the book, I have made a detailed timeline with specific deadlines. I plan to register for a writers conference (accountability!), where I plan to submit my book proposal in person to agents and editors.
3) Write out your New Year’s Resolutions
This is a biggie. Only 10% of people actually write down their goals, according to the Boston Business Journal. Half of that tenth actually read these goals everyday.
Writing down and reading your goals daily will make a distinct difference in your ability to achieve them this coming year. For me, the refrigerator is a place I visit multiple times daily, so my goals are posted there. Top of mind awareness is key!
4) Visualize success.
Imagine what you will feel like when you reach your goal. A new year’s resolution is a good beginning, but manifesting that goal is even better. The brain is a powerful, powerful tool. Use each of your five senses to explore what you will feel like when you reach your goal. Won’t it be so worth all the work and sacrifice to reach that moment in time?
YES. IT WILL.
5) Accountability. Accountability. Accountability.
This is taking it a step further than writing it down. You need to tell someone or everyone about your goal for the new year! Comment below and tell me what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. Consider starting your own blog and journaling about your journey for the world to see.
Do you want to lose some weight? Join Weight Watchers! I know a few people who love it. (Erin J’s post on a healthy new year has some great ideas .) Want to grow spiritually? Start attending a church or join a small group. Want to defeat your fear of public speaking? Join a local Toastmasters group.
Whatever it is that you dream of achieving, you will be so much more likely to succeed if you surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable and encourage you along the way. Instead of making a new year’s resolution, implement a plan for accountability.
The world is full of people who “like the idea” of doing great things. But very few create a follow through and actually DO great things.
Let’s be those people. Let’s resolve not to make any abstract New Year’s resolutions this year, but PLAN to reach our goals.
You can and will reach your goals this year if you stick to your plan, and it will be so worth it! One day at a time.
You got this, mama.
What is your most pressing goal for 2021? I would LOVE to hear about it, and I’d also love to hear a little bit about your plan to make that goal happen.
I look forward to reading about what you will have accomplished by this time next year.