It’s that time of the year again. Out with the old and in with the new. You’ll see people posting inspirational messages about resolutions and goals and reinventing yourself.
How many of us are writing resolutions? How many of us are recycling last year’s resolutions? Do you have goals instead of resolutions? Or do you follow the “theme” for year plan?
Whichever way you go, I know that most of you are looking towards 2018 with some kind of hope. Whether it’s fitness, health, career, love or home, we all have an area in our lives that needs improvement. But how do we turn a list of goals/resolutions/plans into an actual list of achievements in just 12 months?
We all know about SMART goals by now. Creating goals that have a game plan and that aren’t completely impossible, right? And yet, I still see so many people creating their New Year without this idea.
If you decide to focus on your fitness this year, simply writing *Lose 10kgs* is not going to help. Especially if you have never set foot in a gym before.
If you want to start working for yourself, you can’t expect *Start business* to be achievable.
I decided in the beginning of 2015 that since resolutions never worked for me, I would have a “word of the year”. Which falls into the “theme” idea. I chose the word Courage. I needed to gain courage to do simple human things, like finally have my wisdom teeth removed and start driving! This worked for me, 2015 was a year of conquering fears and at the end of the year I felt amazing for actually following through. But for 2016 I chose the word Passion. It felt like I had lost all passion for life, and I was simply going about everyday activities because I had to. I had just started a new job and so I felt like I would have more time to find whatever my passion was. I did not. So I spent the year like all the years before, doing what needed to be done and sparing very little thought on what I actually wanted to be doing. At the end of the year I felt like I had failed. And it wasn’t even a list of resolutions that I failed, it was just one word. I hadn’t been able to find my passion at all, for 12 months I had managed to evade anything that ignited passion in me.
For 2017 I gave up on my words and I set goals again.
This year I worked hard for these goals, and they were reachable too; lose all that extra weight by creating a fitness lifestyle that I could keep up with, finally get those braces on, get my drivers licence! And yet, I must say that I achieved absolutely zero of my 2017 goals. I did however find that passion that I had been looking for in 2016! So, there’s that. I realised though, that I had set myself the goals without giving myself a plan on how to achieve those goals. Sure, I had joined the gym and tried to go often, but I had failed to keep track of my progress, which really helps with motivation on those days when you just don’t feel like it! What, you ask has all of this taught me?
- When going for a word themed year, it’s still a good idea to outline some areas or things that you would like to improve on inside of this word or theme. If you choose dedication, remind yourself where you feel you are lacking dedication, so that if you get lost you are able to bring yourself back on track.
- Don’t just open a journal or diary, write your goals/resolutions/plans/theme and leave it there until December 2018. Keep going back, even if it’s only once a month. Track your progress. Track your failures too. Write notes to yourself to read when you need motivation.
- Be fair to yourself. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you wouldn’t expect a loved one to achieve all that you expect yourself to achieve in only 365 days, then you know that you aren’t being fair to yourself.
- Have patience. Like I said the passion that I was hoping to find in 2016 I only found in 2017. Sometimes things are meant to find you in their own time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after what you want. But have patience.
- Get back on the horse. Just because you didn’t lose those 10kgs in 2017, doesn’t mean you failed. I picked up weight this year, but I did so many new fun things! If you really need to recycle your goals, do it! Every failure is an opportunity to learn how to do it better next time.
- Celebrate the wins. The world is full of people who will criticise every small thing you do wrong without even glancing at the huge things you’ve done right. Don’t be one of those people. If you planned to get your degree, but only managed to do a short course, that’s a win! You’re one step closer. Give yourself credit.
- Don’t wait for a reason to restart. New Year is a great time to relook your life and goals. But it doesn’t have to be the only time. When I was a teenager I use to make resolutions on my birthday, it seemed an easier time and I felt like I had more control over my life rather than in the rush of the festive season. If you feel like starting a new career in march, do it! If you are inspired by a Pinterest board to be more organised in September, it’s ok. You don’t need to wait for the next new year.
- And lastly, if you get half way through the year and realise that your goal was unrealistic, or that you have changed your mind. Scrap it. Allow yourself to change, and don’t hold yourself accountable for something you no longer believe in.
Are you doing a New Year, New You list? Do you have goals you want to achieve? Are you using a theme for your year? Share it with us.