I embrace clean slates and fresh starts. I love the crisp feeling of opening a new day planner and the roll of the pen as I start to fill my planner in. That is probably why for as long as I can remember I tend to feel a little bit giddy when the New Year rolls around.
I truly believe that if someone wants to make a change to themselves or to their lives, if they have enough courage and stamina they can make it happen. Yes, I said stamina, because we all know those resolutions are easy when the year is shiny and new but a little harder when it gets smudgy at the end. Since I have loved this whole goal setting thing since I was old enough to know what a goal is, I feel like a bit of an aficionado. Below are the 5 tips I follow when setting my own goals for the new year:
1) Make it Important
It needs to matter to you in a big way. It can’t be something that you care about a little bit because your mom thinks you should care about it. Find something that you feel passionate about doing or changing and you are already halfway there. I have a friend who recently said she has tried to stop drinking soda every year and fails. When we asked her why she wanted to quit drinking it in the first place, she didn’t really have an answer. If you don’t know the why, it’s probably not important enough.
2) Make it Simple
I remember in my naive days of New Year’s goal setting I would list 10 unrelated goals I had for the year. Trying to keep up with 10 goals on a daily basis is actually a lot of work and in the end nothing is really accomplished. Pick one major goal to work towards or if you feel the need for 2 or 3 maybe make sure they are related somehow. Over complicating your goals is an easy way to ensure failure.
3) Make it Measurable
Last year, I wanted to set a goal to strengthen my marriage. It was a great goal, but I needed a way to measure it. My husband and I decided a way to bring us closer would be to date more, so we made a goal to go on a date twice a month. It was easily measured and I am happy to say that we were able to keep it! Making it specific and measurable is important.
4) Make it Visible
Put it somewhere, anywhere, that you will see it on a daily basis. I think this is one of the most important things you can do because in our busy world of multi-tasking and errand running, our goals can easily be brushed aside in our minds and eventually forgotten. It can be as simple as a handwritten note on your bedroom door to a once a week reminder in your phone. An idea I had for this year is to find some free printable art with a quote that reminds me of my goal to hang in the house. Pretty and functional.
5) Make it Known
The buddy system works and there is nothing more helpful than saying your goals out loud to a friend to make it real and make yourself accountable. When I told my husband my goal of writing at least once a week he was often the one nudging me to my computer when I would rather have been watching Parks and Rec reruns.
Boom! There you have it, 5 easy ways to make 2016 the year that you keep those resolutions. Now get out there and make some, and more importantly, make 2016 your best year yet!