Several years ago, in a different life (before I had a house full of little kids), I was a leader in a direct sales company. I loved my business and my favorite part was meeting with and trying to inspire my team members. I remember one of our meetings at the end of the year so vividly because of the answer I received to a question. I had planned to talk to the team about goal setting and strategies for how to keep New Year’s Resolutions. So, I asked the question:
“How many of you set New Year’s Resolutions?”
The Surprising Answer
I fully expected almost everyone to say that they did. And then I would follow up with the question:
“How many of you actually keep those New Year’s Resolutions?”
But it turned out to be a completely different experience. When I asked how many set New Year’s Resolutions, it was like crickets in the room. I was amazed that in a group of women who owned their own businesses, women who were working to improve their lives, that they were not even setting New Year’s Resolutions!
They knew they wouldn’t keep them anyway, so why even bother setting any resolutions?
Wow! For a goal oriented person like me, this was eye opening!
I know that New Year’s Resolutions have become a joke, but I really believe that without them, or goal setting in general, our lives lack direction and we don’t live up to our full potential.
A Brand New Start
I love a new start! The hope of a brand new day to start fresh. The excitement of a brand new week before me to be better than I was last week. But my favorite is a brand new year . . . I typically go overboard in my enthusiasm for New Year’s Resolutions, but even if I miss the mark, I always end up in a better place at the end of the year than if I had never set the goals in the first place.
So, with that in mind, I urge you to set some New Year’s Resolutions. But I’m going to share some tips to make them as effective as they can be, things I’ve learned over my year’s of goal setting. Because the worst thing is coming to the end of the year and not making any progress towards your goals at all. It can be a real depressing realization. So, let’s make this new year better than last!
Tips to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions
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- Review the last year: Before setting new goals, take some time to review the past year. What successes did you have? Celebrate them! What was challenging? Can you find some ways to overcome those challenges?
- Where do you want to be 1 year from now: The first step to figuring out what goals to set is to picture yourself at the end of next year. Where would you like to see your life going? What things will help you to be the person you want to become? What changes can you make that would have the biggest impact?
- Don’t go overboard: It is so easy for me to take a look at all my faults and weaknesses and determine that I’m going to change it all in the next year . . . plus do everything I want to do in my life and fit it all in in the next year. Making unrealistic goals is a sure way to get yourself discouraged and overwhelmed to the point of doing nothing. If you have a house full of little ones, you might go for goals like getting a good laundry system in place or finding creative ways to get your kids to eat vegetables. They don’t have to be huge goals to move you in the right direction! And even moms with little ones need goals!
- Work on 1 goal at a time: Many years ago I read a great book called, Unstoppable Women: Achieve Any Breakthrough Goal in 30 Days by Cynthia Kersey. I probably should read it again to refresh my memory on the great tips. But the thing I remember about it was that she said to work on one goal at a time and do it for 30 days. Especially if you’re working on building a new habit like drinking more water, daily exercise, better quality time with the kids, if you focus on just that one thing for 30 days, you’ll be much more likely to succeed than if you tried to do 10 new things at one time. And at the end of the 30 days you’ll have established a new habit and can then move on to work on a new goal. Using this method, you can accomplish 12 big goals in a year!
- Keep a list where you’ll see it: It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to make a list of goals and then tuck it away where you won’t see it (and won’t think about it again) until the end of the year. After you’ve made your goal list, find a place to keep it where you’ll see it daily or make a plan to review it on a regular basis. Let it motivate you, not discourage you.
- Break it down into smaller steps: Often, the big goals seem overwhelming and they just don’t ever get done. Instead, break each goal down into smaller steps. Want to organize the house this year? Break it down room by room and cross each item off the list as you finish it. It’s a whole lot easier to take a day to organize a closet than it is to find the time to organize the whole house at one time.
- Gather your supplies: Whatever the goal is, there’s bound to be something you can get to help you accomplish it. Don’t go out and spend a ton of money preparing for all your goals. Remember to take them one at a time and get a good handle on one goal before moving on to the next. Don’t buy all your supplies at once because you never know what my change during the year . . . which leads us to the last tip.
- Be flexible: Especially if you’re a mom, but really this applies to everyone because life happens! Maybe your goal to exercise gets derailed when you break your leg. Maybe an onslaught of sick kids gets in the way of some family outings you had planned. Don’t be so stuck to your goals that you are stressed out and unable to enjoy life.
So, what will your New Year’s Resolutions be? Share one in the comments below and I wish you much success this year!