Well I do! And it's that time of year again - the start of a new year, and a chance to make resolutions and set goals for yourself. They say rules are meant to be broken, well resolutions are NOT! Never give up on something good, even if it takes a long time. It's exciting to think big but as exciting as this prospect can be, it can also be daunting if you're not sure where to start or how to keep up with your plans throughout the year.
Depending on where you fall on the optimism scale your resolutions go from showing gratitude for waking up each morning to "I'm going to make 1 million dollars this year!" I'm a firm believer that a new year can begin any time of year; The Chinese Lunar New Year turns Year of the Rabbit on January 22nd, which is the symbol for courage, mercy, beauty and good fortune. The Ethiopian New Year begins on September 12th. For some of us the new year begins on our annual birthday or the first day of Spring. So there's ample opportunity to implement a new year's mind set throughout every season.
No matter how many zeros or pushups come with your goal there are some simple tips and tricks you can use to stay on track and make sure you achieve the goals you set for yourself. Here are a few ideas to help you stay focused and accomplish your resolutions:
1. Break your resolution down into smaller, achievable goals – Instead of trying to tackle your overall resolutions all at once, break them down into smaller steps. This will make it easier to focus on short-term accomplishments and build up momentum over time as you get closer to achieving your final goal.
2. Set weekly reminders – Take a few minutes each week to remind yourself why you made this resolution in the first place, then take one step closer to making it happen. Whether it’s setting aside time for exercise, cutting out unhealthy habits or getting involved in a new hobby, just taking one small step per week can eventually lead to big results. Here's what my January 20th looks like. I get very specific, but this what I can share!
3. Celebrate successes – It’s important to recognize when you’re making progress and congratulate yourself for doing so! Don’t hesitate to treat yourself every now and then with things like a movie night or special dinner out with friends when you reach certain milestones as this will help keep motivation high as the year goes on.
The bottom line is, consistent, predictable rewards are best for establishing new habits. Intermittent rewards are best for ensuring you continue those habits over time. Always be aware of and open about what the goals are and make sure that you and others are using intermittent reward for the right purpose. -Wanda Thibodeaux for Inc.com
4. Make a resolutions list – Writing down your resolutions for 2023 or YOUR new year helps solidify them in your mind and makes them easier to remember throughout the year. I shared about 75 ideas for resolutions so there's no way to have a mental block. Use this list as inspiration. Try creating an easily accessible list that outlines each of your goals along with what steps need to be taken in order for each of them to be achieved (such as the weekly reminders mentioned earlier). There are psychological reasons why writing (in my opinion, hand writing) lists is a game changer for winning in life.
5. Utilize outside support – If possible, try enlisting a friend or family member who is working towards similar goals so that they can act as an accountability partner and provide additional motivation when needed. My good friend reached out to me about holding each other accountable for writing our weekly or monthly blogs. I'm super grateful, not because I need the accountability on writing, but because my sister friend is putting in effort to make sure I do the little things to rebuild our twice deleted/hacked website. Simply, having someone else hold you accountable is also incredibly useful if you find yourself struggling with self-discipline while keeping up with your plans throughout the year.
6. Avoid perfectionism - Practice contentment to find peace of mind, but do the uncomfortable things to build strength of mind. As a self proclaimed perfectionist, i'll share one of my resolutions: Start before you're ready, Grace! Holding off on plans until they are perfect has stopped the flow of many a project. And while having high standards is certainly admirable, sometimes it is better not put too much pressure on yourself by being overly critical and expecting perfection right away. Like I said above such expectations may lead one towards frustration or burnout if not reached quickly enough. Instead focus on small successes along the way — even if it isn't perfect — this will allow one the satisfaction of growth over time which should be celebrated regardless of its size!
"When you are discontent you always want more, more, more. Yuor desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment you can say to yourself, "Oh yes, I already have everything that I really need." -Dalai Lama
By following these tips, staying organized, and focusing on progress rather than perfection, anyone can make strides towards their New Year's resolutions in 2023 and beyond!