When it’s time for a change, creating a plan helps direct what you want to do and where to get started. Setting goals is a great way to prepare for the year ahead. Here are some tips to help you kick off your New Year’s goals and stay on track as time goes on.
Here are goals you might consider striving toward in the new year:
- Read more: Reading is a great way to stimulate your mind and learn new things. If you have a stack of books waiting to be read, make time to incorporate reading into your daily routine, even if only in small doses. Reading can enhance your vocabulary and expand your knowledge, making it a worthwhile activity.
- Take a break from social media: social media is a necessary tool for communication, but sometimes it's beneficial to take a break from it. It may also contribute to negativity in your life. Consider tracking or limiting your screen time to help you reach this goal.
- Practice healthy sleeping habits: Getting the advised amount of sleep can increase productivity and can also boost your mood. One way to implement healthy sleeping habits is to go to bed earlier each night, starting gradually, until you reach the desired bedtime. Be sure to stay consistent with the routine.
- Confidence: The way you dress can say a lot about you, and wearing the right clothes can make you seem powerful and confident, which in turn can help you land a job, etc. Find clothes that make you feel good and stand out in a crowd. If you are confident, other people notice it, and it is much easier to have your opinions heard and get ahead. A good dose of self-confidence will help you lead a much happier life overall.
- Let Go of Grudges: Times can be hard, and it may take a lot to overcome hardship, but sitting around and moping about it is just unproductive. If you have a big fight with someone and fall out or get hurt over a small issue, you will only lose a friend or life partner and remain sad and bitter. Forgiveness is a much healthier way to deal with issues that should be left in the past.
Making your resolutions happen
- Mentally prepare for change
The first breakthrough in change is taking a personal inventory. Being that it’s the end of one year and the beginning of the next, it’s perfect timing to take stock of the past year’s accomplishments. Think about the following:
- What did I set out to do in the past year?
- Where did I make progress?
- Where didn’t I see progress?
2. Limit resolutions to a manageable amount
A common mistake in the resolution setting is having too many and spreading yourself too thin. We all want to learn 25 different languages, 15 new job skills, and eliminate 5 bad habits, but we are not superheroes. We only have so much attention span we can dedicate to self-improvement, so having too many resolutions is a great way not to achieve the many goals you have set out for yourself. Here is an exercise that you can embark on to help you figure out what is most important in your life.
- Write anything you want to accomplish for self-improvement purposes on a post-it
- Each post-it only gets one prudent tactic
- Place each post-it on the wall
- Group together similar post-its
- Place the topics you feel strongly about at the top of the wall
- Put the topics you feel “eh” about on the bottom
- Spend a lot of time thinking about the order of the first 3-5 post-it (groups)
3. Break up big goals into smaller goals
A lot of us tend to be over-eager when it comes to resolutions. We have the best intentions and may accidentally take on a goal that is too big to achieve. Thus, it’s helpful to divide a big goal into smaller goals that are more achievable. Let’s say you are the leader of an alien race, and your resolution for 2023 is capturing the planet Earth. You can’t just tell your intergalactic fleet of spaceships “take over planet Earth,” and expect success. You have to chunk up into smaller more management accomplishments:
- Claim New York City
- Sack the Tri-state area
- Dominate Eastern Seaboard
- Capture the USA
- Occupy North America
- Similarly, you can break up your year-long resolution into weekly or monthly goals and have tasks planned for each month.
4. Write down your goals
While it’s great to have goals, it is critical to document them in some way. They are easy to forget. We set goals to move forward, but there is a natural resistance to change. Your written goals spur you forward when you hit a speed bump or obstacle. Finally, written goals are a reminder of how far you have come and what you have achieved. It’s a nice feeling to look back at the end of next year and know your resolution has come to completion.
5. If you fall off track, get back on quick
We’ve established it will take time for your resolution to become a reality, and we know change is difficult. Keep the following ideas in mind:
- Skipping an intermediate task is not a complete failure
- Missing a goal by 10% or even 80% is not a complete failure
- Finishing a task late is not a complete failure
It’s important to understand what led to that moment and how you can avoid a similar situation in the future. Once a mistake is made, own it and move on to the next thing.
A little bit of support can go a long way when it comes to making changes and going after goals, and we hope these tips have been effective at helping you set your resolutions. Here's to an amazing new year!