Do you struggle with keeping your resolutions? Follow these steps to re-think your resolutions so you can finally achieve your goals this year and beyond.
January is the perfect month to think about new beginnings, creating a fresh start, and for dreaming about all of the things we want to do in the new year. Resolutions can vary from getting healthier, to connecting more with family, to creating a plan for financial fitness, but one thing they have in common is that they are often hard to keep. Sadly, 80% of all resolutions fail within 2 months!
Some reasons resolutions fail include feelings of overwhelm or discouragement. Perhaps your goals aren't clearly defined or you don't really know why you want to achieve the goal. Well, I challenge you to look at this year's resolutions a bit differently by focusing on creating habits that will lead to real change. So, get out a piece of paper and a pencil for note taking and let's get ready to create a plan that will move you to action!
1. Reflect on Last Year
First things first. Before we begin thinking about our year ahead, let's take a moment to reflect on last year and what we appreciated about last year's moments.
When looking back on your last year, think about things that made you smile, things that you felt proud of, and the experiences that were fulfilling. Write these down.
Now write down why you enjoyed each moment and what feelings were associated with each. I want you to keep this list near you as you brainstorm about the new year. This list will serve to remind you of the feelings of contentment, joy, and fulfillment you felt so you can incorporate goals that are in alignment with what brings you happiness.
2. Think About the Big Picture
The perfect place to start is by taking a big picture look at various categories, or areas, of your life. Make a list of the different areas of your life and think about how satisfied you are in each. You can use a scale of 1-10 to help you, with 1 = not satisfied at all and 10 = fully satisfied. Some categories to consider might include:
If you need more guidance, you can use the Wheel of Life Tool below and watch the accompanying video tutorial for help. The Wheel of Life Tool is used by Life Coaches to help people evaluate each area of their life and get a visual representation of how balanced their lives are. It allows you to rank areas by satisfaction. See directions below.
Easy version of the directions:
Look at each category and briefly think about what each area means to you.
Rank each category from 0-10 -- not satisfied (0) to fully satisfied (10).
After scoring, connect the dots around the wheel and look at the shape - is it a wheel? Does it seem balanced?
This tool will allow you to visually see which areas you are less satisfied with and can help you prioritize goals for the year.
Remember, this is only one tool out of many you can use to help you prioritize goals.
I use this tool every year and it has helped me tremendously in determining where my energy should be focused. If you want to work along side me as I work through this process, watch the video tutorial linked here - Video Tutorial: Using the Wheel of Life Tool to Help Re-Think Your Resolutions
After evaluating each area of your life, choose 1-2 categories you want to focus on. A good place to start is with the area/s you are least satisfied with. Write these down and begin brainstorming goals under each category that will improve your satisfaction. Always think about why you are wanting to achieve the goal and what feelings you want to have afterwards.
3. Be Sure Your Goals are S.M.A.R.T.
Now look at each goal you have written down. Evaluate and re-vise your goals based on the following criteria:
Specific - is it well defined, clear, and unambiguous (who, what, when, where, why)
Measurable - what criteria will you use to track progress towards achieving the goal
Achievable - is the goal attainable, do I have the resources I need, what do I need
Realistic - is it within reach, realistic, and relevant to your life
Timely - does the goal have a clearly defined timeframe, a start and end date
Yes, you did it! You should now have some S.M.A.R.T goals that will help you achieve more satisfaction within certain areas of your life. Look at your list. How does it make you feel? If you feel a bit overwhelmed be sure you are not trying to take on too much at once. Remember, you can just focus on goal at at time and adjust timeframes to meet your needs. Okay, so now what? Well, this next step is vital for moving you from a goal on a piece of paper to actionable steps. So, let's get to it.
4. Break Down Goals Into Tasks
Some tasks like flossing or taking your vitamins can be paired with other things you already do (like brushing your teeth) to help you establish a new habit. Other goals like running a 10k may have to be broken down into smaller tasks and added to your schedule based on a timeline you have set. For example, if your goal is to be able to finish a 10k and you sign up for a 10k race 6 months from now, you have to evaluate your current fitness level and add in a workout schedule that will help you achieve the goal. Maybe you add jogging 30 minutes 3 times a week into your calendar during the first month and then up your time each month.
Now take a look at your goals. Under each goal list the tasks you need to do to accomplish the goal. Then, get out your calendar and plug in the tasks - remember to be realistic.
5. Stay Inspired
Be sure to put your goals list up somewhere you can see them. It may be beneficial to make a vision board that reflects your goals for the year. Our family has a lot of fun making individual and family vision boards every January and we put them up in our bathrooms so we can see them every day.
Creating a vision map is an excellent way to help you define and outline clear steps for accomplishing what you desire. A vision map can take the form of a list, timeline, illustration, mind map or diagram.
A really fun way to keep motivated is pairing up with a friend or family member for support. We like to do health challenges with the whole family and we incorporate the workouts into our daily routine which really helps keep us all on task. You might have an app that helps you track activities like Fitness Pal or Headspace meditation app.
Finally, don't forget to think of ways to reward yourself after you accomplished your goal. If your goal will take a long time, you can reward yourself when you hit milestones along the way too. Rewards might include a fun party, an outing or trip, a piece of clothing -- skies the limit. You deserve it!!
6. Give Yourself Grace
If you slip up, it is okay! Everyone slips every once in a while. Give yourself some grace and forgiveness and then, re-set your mindset and jump back into building up those habits that will help you feel more satisfied, accomplished, and content in your life. You can totally do this - this is your year!
One of our family goals is to have the kids outside for 1000 hours this year. Comment below with some of your goals.
By following these steps to re-think your resolutions, you will move your goals into action and accomplish more! I cannot wait to hear about all of the goals you achieve this year! Happy New Year everyone - it is a year of endless possibilities!
Nancy & Family