As the New Year begins, our minds turn toward new beginnings. A new year might represent an opportunity to wipe the slate and begin fresh, establishing new routines and rituals, improving ourselves, making resolutions. It’s a time to set goals for ourselves, but it can be daunting! Here are some tips for choosing resolutions that are attainable and achievable.
First, think about your goals. It’s really important to give your resolutions a good deal of thought before adopting them. Choose resolutions that encompass who you currently are, and who you want to be. Make them meaningful, satisfying resolutions – ones that really speak to your soul, instead of ones that are frivolous. The more committed you are to your resolutions, the more likely you are to achieve them.
Once you’ve considered the resolutions you might make, make them yours. Be specific about your goals, make sure you can attain them. Make your resolution something you really want, because if you don’t feel that deep yearning to achieve that goal, you won’t get there!
Be detailed and specific. Don’t set out with a generalized resolution like “lose weight.” Own the resolution, and dial it down into a very detailed plan. Establish specific goals, like “lose 25 pounds,” or “run a 5K”, but be sure they aren’t overwhelming. Lay out a plan for how to help you reach that goals. Maybe you need to write out a Monday-to-Friday meal plan to help you lose weight, or a training schedule to help you smash that 5K. Find what works for you!
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Resolutions are goals, things we want to achieve, but they aren’t written in stone. Acknowledge that as time passes, your goals and resolutions might shift, or they might become irrelevant to where you are in the moment. That’s OK! Don’t be critical of yourself if you find that a resolution isn’t working for you. It’s time to revise that goal and move past it. And equally important when you’re establishing your resolutions, be real. Make sure your goal is attainable for you. Don’t feel the need to compare! What you might find achievable may be a pie-in-the-sky dream for someone else, or the reverse might hold true. That’s ok! Your goals and resolutions are deeply personal.
Hold yourself accountable. Let people know your goals, and ask them to help you. Join a support group, talk to a friend or family member, recruit your partner to help. The goal here is to find someone who will serve as your cheering section, someone supportive who will help you keep your eyes on the prize. You can do this!
Finally, set rewards! Incentivize your goals, with whatever rewards motivate you! Maybe you set a goal of a 100-pound weight loss, with a reward of a trip to a favorite amusement park. Maybe it’s a new wardrobe, or new earrings, or a dinner at a fancy restaurant. Find what encourages you to meet those goals and stretch yourself for those prizes!
Remember as the new year approaches that this is a time of reflection and renewal, and that resolutions are meant to help you become your best person. Make them achievable and exciting, and be proud of yourself for committing to your goals. Knock off each little step, and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way toward a better you. Focus on establishing good habits, and remember that set-backs will happen. Set-backs just serve as a reminder to refocus on the goals, but they don’t define who you are. A new day brings a new opportunity to re-establish good habits and start fresh on your journey to a new you.