New Year's Resolutions. We all make them. We all fail to follow through. We are full of expectation, motivation and determination.. until we aren't. How can we actually start something and keep it going? That's the million dollar question right? I hope I might have a cheaper answer for you, one that is easier and won't break the bank, or you.
I think we set ourselves up to fail. We dream too big and too broad. We don't make our goals personal enough. We want to ACHIEVE. ALL. THE. THINGS. We are influenced by peer pressure. Instead of making goals, intentions and resolutions that are personal to us, we try to do what everyone else is doing. And that, my friend, is why we fail.
Your best friend is going to lose weight, declutter and stop drinking on weeknights. "Oh, I'll do that too!" you say. Your sister is going to exercise more, drink more water and read 1 book a week. "Great", you say, "I want to do that!". You hear a co-worker talking about living minimally, creating an amazing kitchen pantry and doing more charity work. "Hmmm", you say to yourself, "I need to do those things too" and before long your list of resolutions is a full page long, NONE of it was your original thought and you feel overwhelmed, defeated and like a failure before you have even begun or before the countdown has started on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve!
My friend, you self sabotaged yourself. You literally set yourself up for failure.
Your goals, intentions and resolutions need to be personal and thought out. They need to be simple and doable. Here are some suggestions on how to set reasonable goals and stick with them:
1. Don't make a notebook page full of goals, resolutions and intentions. Make 1, 2 or 3. NO more than 5. You have to reasonable or you won't follow through.
2. You need to set them before New Year's Eve, but even doing it now is good. It really doesn't matter when you start, as long as you start. Don't give up just because you didn't begin January 1st.
3. Don't revive an old resolution that you previously failed at.
4. Don't base your goal on what everyone else is doing.
5. Break down your goal into smaller steps. Set dates for when you will achieve those smaller steps. Work backwards from the end results to get those smaller steps leading up to the finished goal.
6. Be accountable. Telling family and friends can help you keep your word to yourself.
7. Remind yourself of WHY you made the goal in the first place and and of the benefits. Stick up post it notes, or set reminders on your phone.
8. Reward yourself for reaching those smaller goals on your way to the finish line! These don't have to be large or expensive. Rent a movie, buy a favorite coffee, or small treat.
9. Write down your plans and progress. Journaling can really come in handy. You will see how far you have come!
10. Don't quit because of a momentary set-back. Get up and keep going!
I like to think of them as intentions, instead of resolutions. I have activities that I'm wanting to be more intentional about in the coming year. I know that is takes approximately 21 days to change a habit, so I'm also focusing on making it through that first 21 days, or 3 weeks, whichever sounds better! If I can make it that far, then it should get easier from there.
If you give a specific goal some time, and you aren't doing well with it, it might be the wrong goal for you. Maybe it wasn't personal enough, maybe you didn't set measurable small steps to get you there. Don't quit; Just re-evaluate and make some changes. The important thing is don't just give up because of one bad day, or even one bad moment on your way to the big goal. Life will give us challenges and we need to rise to meet them instead of letting them run us over.
Here are my personal goals and intentions for 2019:
*Daily prayer and quiet time before starting my day. (This has been the BEST thing for me! It helps me stay more calm, focused and relaxed throughout the day!)
*Kick the soda habit once and for all.
*Lose weight by finding some form of movement I like while also be more mindful of what I eat, how much, when and WHY. Eliminate grains and cut back on sugar! (The holiday goodies really got me this year!)
*Be more intentional about my relationships with my children and friends.
*Stop the morning FB scroll. Limit this time by setting a timer or mentally checking a time on my clock that I will stop at. (So far, so good with this one... I have had extra time during the day and it has made me much less stressed!)
Share yours in the comments! I hope you have a Blessed year and reach all your goals!