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This time of year many of us begin planning all of the ways that next year will be different. Make more money, chase a passion or even find a partner. Self-reflection and goal setting are powerful tools. But if you’re like me, you usually find yourself looking back on the year, wondering why you weren’t able to stick with your resolution. Here are a few tips on how you can stick with your resolution and hit your goals for the new year.
Isn’t it always easier to strive to be better next year? Planning for our goals can be it’s own method of procrastination. I don’t know about you, but I love making lists detailing how I’m going to achieve each of my goals.
You know what this doesn’t accomplish? You got it. Your actual goals.
There’s no problem with a baseline level of planning when it comes to brainstorming your plans and resolutions.
But the planning phase consumes most of us. Combat this by thinking of a few ways to begin working towards your goal today.
Maybe your resolution is to eat more vegetables. Well then plan a veggie-filled dinner for yourself tonight. Even if it is the tiniest step towards your goal, it is forward movement. Taking one baby step today is better than spending hours planning ways to be better next year.
Usually, we are the only person holding ourselves back. Think back to what your resolution was last year.
Why weren’t you able to follow through with it? This requires some serious reflection. The answers can be difficult to navigate. Sometimes even emotional to think about. But our thought patterns are what eventually creates our outcomes. If our thought patterns don’t change, than why would we expect the outcome to change?
Be honest about what has made achieving this goal so hard in the past. Write it down and revisit these reasons often. Try not to let yourself fall into the same patterns as you did in the past. It won’t be easy, but once you know the root of the problem, the problem becomes easier to solve.
We are all busy. Maybe you feel like there are not enough hours in the day to make any meaningful progress towards your resolution. Take a look at what is filling up your time. Are you excited about all of the things on the list? Filling your day entirely with things that light you up may not be 100% realistic at first. But what if you could trim a few things off the list that don’t bring you joy?
It can be surprising how many things we do out of obligation that take up tons of our time. Practice saying no to the things that don’t feel like they are moving you in the right direction. Make your resolution a priority. Practice saying yes to things that make you excited.
Now I know what some of you are thinking. My resolution is to go to the gym 5 days each week. Going to the gym doesn’t make me feel excited. Well for one, I feel you there. And for two, continue reading because this is the topic of the next section.
Focus on why chose your resolution. What will going to the gym mean for you in the long run? Do you want to go to the gym so that you will have more energy to spend with people you love? Instead of thinking about how much you don’t want to go to the gym, spend some time thinking about how good you will feel once this becomes a regular part of your day.
I can guarantee with 100% certainty, that there will be periods of the year where you will feel sluggish or tired. These are the times that trigger our old thought patterns and habits. Try writing yourself a letter explaining the reasons achieving this resolution is so important to you. Revisit the letter when you’re feeling uninspired about sticking with it.
New year resolutions are about taking a few steps towards the life of your dreams or the person that you have always imagined becoming. This should be fun! Celebrate the fact that you are trying to grow as a person.
Allow yourself some flexibility in how your resolutions get accomplished. We can’t predict how the year is going to unfold – no matter how detailed our plan is. Life happens. Forgive yourself often and keep moving forward. You’ve got this!
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