For the longest time, I didn’t make New Year resolutions. For me, it seemed silly to pick one day of the year and make all of these big promises to myself that I probably wouldn’t keep. I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. Over the past several years with the help of my husband (who is also contributing to this blog post!) I have made some big changes in my New Year resolution habits. These primarily happened because of a shift in mindset. As soon as I swapped out the over used and cliched word “resolution” for the more practical phrase “goal setting”, things started to click for me. Changes aren’t made overnight. As Darren Hardy says in his book The Compound Effect, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” My husband and I have spent the last 5 New Year Eve’s taking time to goal set and I want to share some of what we have learned so that you can goal set your way into a better 2018 and the best version of yourself.
#1. Make it Attainable
Think about the most common resolution people make at the start of the year. Exercise. The first week of January is when the gyms are packed, everyone is stocking up on new workout clothes, and buying personal training packages. But come March (or even February) the gyms have cleared out, the workout clothes are just dog walking/errand running outfits, and the personal trainer’s clients aren’t showing up. This happens when you make a goal that is not attainable for your personal self. If you work out 0 times a week, do not set a goal to start exercising every day! Start small. tell yourself, “I will go the gym twice a week.” When you accomplish this, it will feel like a victory! You will feel accomplished and then you will have more confidence to keep pursuing your goals. And at this point you can change your goal to exercising 3-5 times a week. Your goals should continue to evolve, develop and change just as you do! And if a goal is not working out for you, step away from it for a month, attack a different, potentially easier, goal then come back to the original one with a sense of self-confidence and accomplishment.
#2. Think About the “Why”
Darren Hardy also talks about “finding your ‘why power'” (side note, if you have not read his book, do it!) Your “why” = your motivation. For example if you tell yourself, “I’m setting a goal to lose 20 pounds” but you are actually happy with your body and don’t want to lose weight, you will fail. Never set goals based on what you think other people expect you to do. Make your “why” for yourself. Be selfish. At the same time, sometimes pettiness …”this person never believed in me so I am going to prove them wrong”…can be an incredibly powerful tool. It’s ok if proving someone wrong is the driving force behind your goal as long as it is also a goal that you want to achieve personally.
#3. Write it Down.
This is so important. A goal not written down is merely a wish. I think in our worlds of phones, tablets, and laptops, we forget the cementing feeling of picking up a pen and physically writing something down. Take the time to write out your goals or an affirmative statement on a notecard and leave it on your bedside table. Every morning and every night, read the notecard written in your own hand, out loud. The visual and audible realization of your goals will lead to success. In addition to this, it can also help to make your goals public by posting them or talking about them on your social media, to close friends or an accountability partner.
#4. Begin With the End in Mind
Take a few minutes before you set your goals and imagine where you want to be 3, 6, or 12 months from today. Meditate on what that result is going to look like and then live your life as if you have already met your goals. Something a lot of people don’t realize is that the hard work isn’t over when the magic number of pounds falls off or you make your last student loan payment. You have to live intentionally every single day; whether that is eating healthy, spending wisely, etc; to live out your goals in a sustainable way. It’s as if there is no end. Once you start meeting your goals, you are going to be excited and more goals will build upon previous results!
#5. Create a Plan
Create an actionable, attainable plan that you can build upon daily. This is where most people falter, creating the bridge between their idealized goals and where they currently are. Just as if you were building an actual bridge, keep your plan simple and incorporate into your daily routine the steps that will help you achieve your goal. Once you create a stepwise plan, you can put yourself on autopilot! This makes achieving your goals something you are subconsciously working on every single day, and increases your chance for SUCCESS!
We truly hope this helps some of you reach your goals in 2018. Whether you are planning to exercise more, spend less, or just be a more joyful person, we are so excited to watch all of you grow over the next year and meet our own goals alongside of you! Follow along on Instagram and drop me a comment on my latest post about your goals for 2018!!
Happy New Year!!
-Gretchen and Adam