Ways to not renig on yourself or your New Year’s resolutions
By Briana Barnes, MSW, LGSW
New Year, new you? Maybe, maybe not! But it’s no secret–there’s nothing new about making New Year’s resolutions, and truthfully for a lot of us falling off less than halfway through year has become even more common. There is nothing wrong with using the New Year as a jump start to reset yourself, your goals and your priorities. In fact, most people would say as the clock strikes 12 on January 1 all slates are wiped clean and it signifies a fresh start for all. But with less than 10% of people actually sticking to their resolutions for the New Year, it may make one wonder how to crack the code of consistency and reach those goals we’ve set once, twice, maybe three times before. But don’t fret; it often seems impossible until it gets done. You owe it to yourself to make that change, to start that business, to get the help. Two weeks into 2019, where are you with your resolutions? Try these 5 sure-fire ways to ensure you slay your 2019 goals and keep your promise to yourself to make this your best year yet!
Don’t compare yourself to others!
We all do it. We’ve all done it. It’s been done to us! This day in age, social media plays a huge part in how we see ourselves and others. It has become a measuring stick for how successful or unsuccessful we are based on what someone else is doing. It is natural for us to search for role models or images that we want to recreate in our own lives. However, looking at someone else’s success and instantly feeling like we have somehow failed if our outcome does not match is where the trouble lies. People only show what they want others to see. Don’t get caught up in the highlight reel mentality. Theodore Roosevelt once said “comparison is the thief of joy”. Comparing yourself to someone else robs you of the way you view yourself and doesn’t allow you to see the not-so-pretty parts of their journey that led them to where you want to be.
Write the vision. Make it plain.
The well-known scripture from Habakkuk 2:2 gives us a clear guide on goal-setting. Whether you’re religious or not, writing down your goals can help you stay accountable. It also is a good way to release the worry over the goal and actually get to the work! Seeing is truly believing. When you write down your intentions, your goals, your dreams and aspirations somehow it makes it more real than just a fleeting thought you might say to yourself. You can write your goals in a journal or diary for close keeping, or maybe you prefer to have them posted in plain sight as motivation. Whatever your preference, write it down and get to work!
SMART means more than just having intelligence. It’s actually an acronym coined by former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company, George Doran, for a highly effective method used by high achievers to consistently achieve their goals. It was created with business and management goals in mind, but this acronym breaks it all the way down to make goal attainment in any area easy!
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
Check in and check off!
Setting goals might seem like the hard part, but actually reaching them is where the hard work comes in. It is important to take a moment to see where you are in reaching the goals you’ve set. Periodically, review your goal list and have a little check-in with yourself. Which goals did you complete? Are you close to completing any others? Once you accomplish a goal or complete a task, check it off the list! There are few things more satisfying than accomplishing a goal and seeing your task list dwindle. *sigh*
Prioritize and adjust
There may be times when your goal list needs a tune up. Maybe you’re realizing that one of your 2019 goals won’t come to fruition until 2020 (and that’s PERFECTLY OK!). Or perhaps a new goal pops up that takes precedent over ones set before. It is always ok to rework the plan and make adjustments as needed. In addition to checking in and checking off, go through your list every once in a while to rearrange or prioritize by level of importance or completion. You are a work in progress and so are the goals you set for yourself.