Alright y’all, don’t get too excited here, but it’s time for the annual New Year’s resolution posts.
We all know that everyone is going to do one, because for some reason people really like the idea of becoming “a new me” at every next year. There isn’t any issue with that. As you may be able to tell, I’m a big fan of personal growth and change. I love it. I live for that stuff. Mostly because it’s what I’m doing, but also because I like seeing people being their best and brightest selves.
The issue with this “New Year, New Me” attitude is not the thing itself, but the fact that so many people write down all these goals and resolutions, but don’t actually do them. Once they write them down, it’s like they think “damn, look at that, everything is going to change now”. But then… they never act on it.
And I mean, hey, if you just want to participate in writing out your 2018 goals, then go for it. I’m all about participation. The more participation, the more points you get (not really, that’s actually a quote from one of my fall semester professors). But really, if that’s as far as you get, that’s farther than a lot of other people.
It’s hard to follow through with resolutions, especially if you want to reach a huge goal or change every aspect of your life around. Not that I think there is anything wrong with lofty goals either, but the bigger you make them at the beginning, the harder it’s going to be for you to follow through unless you take the time to make sure that you have a plan to do it.
Now, I have some suggestions. I think they’re pretty good, but you can adapt them in anyway that you want. Whatever works for you, I’m down for it. But I want 2018 to be a big year for all of us, and I think this may be the best way to make it happen.
Let’s do this.
1. Start Big:
This advice is probably going to go against everything that you have ever heard about creating a goal. Everyone always says to start with the little things first, so that you can make simple progress every day. I think that that can work, but I also think that only focusing on the little things distracts from the big picture of what you want.
What I suggest is that, first and foremost, right when you get that pen and paper out, you start with the big idea. For me, it’ll probably be something like “1. Run a Half-Marathon, 2. Go (Completely) Vegan, 3. Be a Minimalist, etc.”. These are the some of the big ideas I have for what I want to accomplish in 2018.
Do I believe that I’m going to immediately be able to do these things? Heck no. But at least now I have a grand idea for what is important for me to accomplish in the next year.
2. Establish a Timeline:
Next step: look at those big goals that you have on that page and plan out the months/dates/weeks that you want to have it accomplished by. This is what I did during this last summer of “The Great Change”, and it really helped me out.
By designating when you want to have reached your goal, you give yourself a deadline. Although no one really sees a deadline as a wonderful thing, it does help you to actually get where you want to go. If people didn’t have deadlines for things, then we’d just keep putting whatever it was off indefinitely. By mentally telling yourself that you have to reach that goal by a certain time period, then you’re more likely to do it.
This takes some personal discipline, but it’s definitely worth a shot.
3. Narrow it Down:
Now we’re at the point that you can start narrowing things down. Take another look at the big idea that you have, and for each goal that you have written down, plan out the steps you think you have to take to get there. This can get tedious, but knowing each step that you have to take makes the big goal a lot easier to manage.
Like for me, if I want to go vegan by the end of 2018, I would start with a list of all animal products that I want to get rid of in my diet and lifestyle. From there, I would write down the ones that will be easiest to get rid off and then I would write down what I think would be the most difficult for me to abandon. Each week I would plan to retract whatever is next on the list from my life until I’ve gotten rid of everything on that list. The I would put together a Pinterest board (which I already have) of all the food replacements and recipes that I think I would like to have once I start going vegan. That way I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by not knowing what I could or couldn’t have.
You see where this is going?
Breaking each big goal down into smaller pieces makes it easier for your mind to wrap around the change you want to make because you don’t feel as overwhelmed as you would if you just tried to do something all at once with no guidance at all.
4. Put Them Somewhere You’ll See Them:
This one is pretty obvious from the title. Goals don’t mean anything if you never look at them or think about them. Put your goals somewhere visible on a daily basis for you, wherever that may be. For me, I put them in my bullet journal so that I can see them whenever I open it up to use it.
You could put sticky notes on your mirror, or have them as your computer background. Whatever it is, do something so that you can see your goals every single day, that way you can focus on accomplishing them.
5. Make a Vision Board:
Affirmations don’t work that well for me for some reason, but if they’re your thing, you can do affirmations along with this. For me, vision boards are a big help when I’m trying to reach a goal. I personally like to use Pinterest for this because there is so much content in one little space, but if you want to be more creative with yours and make it in real life, you can do that too.
On my vision boards (which you can find on my Pinterest account linked in the social media menu if you want some inspiration), I put everything that I think will inspire me to work towards what I want in my future. So to continue with the vegan example, on my Pinterest I have a board that is completely dedicated to vegan/vegetarian meals and recipes so that I have them immediately on hand when I need them.
But I think vision boards can be used for any kind of goal that you might have. If you want to get fit, create a board with workouts and exercises you want to try, and maybe some fitness gurus that inspire you. If you want to be more minimalistic, make a board with articles about minimalism and pictures of minimalistic fashion. Whatever you think could encourage you to work towards your goal, put it on your vision board.
6. Don’t Tell People:
This is a big one for me for some reason, but whenever I tell people about what my goals are (except for the examples I gave, okay, that was necessary) I never seem to end up reaching them. I have no idea why this is, I’m assuming there is some kind of psychology about it, but its a thing for me.
So my recommendation is that you keep them to yourself. That way you don’t feel like you have to do what you’re doing for other people, and maybe you can avoid the feeling of not being good enough if you tell people you’re going to get there, but for some reason you don’t. If you’re doing this just for you, it can be more personal and special too.
Plus I always believe that the more humble you are about something, the happier you’ll be about it. You don’t have to brag about something for it to matter to you.
7. Put in the Time:
This is another no brainer, but it still feels like something I should say. Nothing is going to happen over night; change takes a lot of time. And if your goal is something really meaningful to you, it’s going to take even longer than something like “do your laundry once a week”. Usually the goals that you have that are important to you are ones that are going to take a chunk out of your time to achieve.
And that’s okay.
As long as you know this and put in that effort that we love to talk about on this blog, then putting in the time will always be worth it.
I hope that this helps you out in some way, whether it’s a slight kick in the butt, or just a little reminder to start your 2018 strong. Let me know what you think about New Year’s resolutions and how to achieve them down in the comments, and I hope that you all have a fantastic, wonderful, super-great year.
Over and Out,