It happens around this time every year, there’s a build up of excitement for the new year and a burst of motivation for all of our new goals.
The positive energy seems to be contagious and we all write down or share with friends or toast at parties to our new goals, feeling like anything is possible and we have a new beginning. We do this every year and it’s no secret that most of us fall off the “new years resolution” wagon a few months in; only to pick ourselves back up come December and give it another go. This seems unproductive and who wants to start over every year? Goals are meant to be made and conquered, not meant to be made and then swept aside by new ones every twelve months. There are some key things we can all do that can make any of our goals more of a done deal. The first is reframing how we approach goals, followed by prioritizing, checklists, consistency and accountability!
1)Reframing how we approach goals.
When we approach goals circumstantially, (the goals we set at new year’s) we’re making it harder on ourselves to achieve these goals because when the circumstance changes, our goals tend to “lose their luster”. If we approach goals non circumstantially, with a clear and solid idea of what it is were working towards, we’re giving ourselves a head start on achieving them. When the goal itself is the reason we’re making it and why we’re excited about it, (not the circumstance surrounding it) it makes staying focused and motivated a lot easier.
Goal setting can be a scary thing. It can seem daunting or overwhelming, but what we need to remember is that a goal can mean or be anything we want it to. Waking up early one day a week, going for a walk everyday after work, having more meaningful conversations, checking our email less any of these could be a goal. What tends to happen though, especially around new year’s is a lot of pressure to make big, life changing goals that sound really good, but in reality are not practical. When these goals don’t happen, it leaves us feeling disappointed and discouraged in ourselves. When we spend the time to really think about what it is that we want and prioritize our goals, even if they’re big ones we’re able to break them down into smaller goals a lot easier and achieve those big life changing goals little by little over time.
Making lists may seem like an annoyance or mundane, but it’s a helpful too when it comes to setting goals and doing things in steps. After prioritizing, we know what we’re working with and can easily make a plan. Making a checklist of what needs to done in order to achieve our goal is a good way to gauge how much time and work it will require and if we can reasonably handle more goals at the same time or if one is enough. The pressure to have “big” goals might be there, but what leads to accomplishing goals and a sense of fulfillment are goals that mean something and have importance in your life.
4)Consistency and accountability.
These are tough, but are two of the most important things we need when setting goals! We can have the perfect goal, that we are focused on and excited about with a checklist and plan in place, but without staying consistent and someone to keep you accountable, it’s going to be a lot harder and will take a lot longer to reach your goal(s). Consistency is one of those things that take intention and practice, but makes a big difference in getting things done. Accountability is necessary because it requires us to take responsibility for ourselves and calls attention to where we might be going off track or falling short. When we ask someone to help keep us accountable for our goals, we can do the same thing for them and doing things together or as a “team” can be a great source of motivation and encouragement.
New year’s eve is here and the question of the hour is “what’s your new year’s resolution?” This year when you’re asked that question, instead of throwing out the same answer as last year or the first thing that comes to mind, spend sometime thinking about what it is you really want and what it will take to get there. This time next year, you could have a whole set of goals behind you and be looking forward to new ones that you feel good about and know you’re going to conquer!