It’s that time of year again to make New Year’s Resolutions. If you are already thinking “why would I set goals that I won’t even be able to keep,” you need to read on! Of course it can be hard for anyone to keep a goal for an ENTIRE year, but here are some tricks. Pick something you are passionate about. It sounds good in theory to set a hefty goal, but if you are not willing to put in the work or even take the first step, just skip it. Look at your lifestyle and set goals that are reasonable and within your limits. If you have a support system, you are more likely to succeed. Find someone to do the goal with you, or at least someone who will hold you accountable in a positive manner.
I noticed this helped when for the first time last year, I actually kept my new year’s resolution. Fueled by my desire for knowledge, I decided to read two books a month. I was inspired when I read that the average CEO reads 52 books a year, although I knew with my daily routine that was just way too far off. I made a plan to use the Hoopla app in conjunction with my library card to listen to audiobooks or read ebooks for free. Another thing that kept me accountable was being lenient with myself. If I only managed one book for a month, I didn’t let that stop me from achieving my goals. I simply rearranged and read three books the following month. You cannot let setbacks stop your goals from happening.
Below I listed four main areas to help guide your resolution in an area you are passionate about. Choose one and make it a reasonable, measurable goal, or if you have multiple passions, choose a goal from each category.
Why: I come from the camp that we can always improve ourselves and it is not good to be stagnant. Gone are the days of 1950s “American Dream” contentment with a job, middle-class income, and your own home. In this decade there are a plethora of options to be better people in general, and no reason to just be stagnant.
Ideas: practice mindfulness meditation daily, read more books, listen to an educational podcast, try a college class, complete a certification, go to church more often
My Goal: Read three books a month. I am hoping to improve on the goal I achieved last year. If you want a rundown of all my book recommendations from 2019, be sure to subscribe to my blog to be notified when I post my book list!
Why: As humans, we have a strong desire to help others and to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. When we are so blessed, we should pass that on to someone else, even if it is just a small gesture. Choosing to give back to your community will help increase your self worth by being part of something more and give you a sense of purpose.
Ideas: volunteer, clean up trash at the park, join a committee, adopt a highway, start a non profit, help at a school
My Goal: Volunteer once a month with my family. I am lucky that my church provides monthly events that are already organized and we can easily sign up for. You can sign up through something similar in your church, or join a local Volunteer Group.
Why: Fitness is always at the top of new year’s resolution lists, but it can be one of the hardest goals to stick to because it involves a lifestyle change for most people! Follow my advice above to set realistic goals, and start off small. It is more about consistency to keep this goal alive, so even if you hit the gym just once a week, the slow and steady progress will give you more success in the long run.
Ideas: more yoga, join the gym, run twice weekly, get outside everyday, complete a New Years bootcamp (like my virtual Get Your Fit Together Challenge with a cash prize), do the Whole30 diet, run a 5k, try a new gym class
My Goal: Once baby is here, run twice weekly again (walk twice weekly before that). By sharing my walks on social media apps like Strava, I help to keep myself accountable to my friends, and am inspired by their activity.
Why: We all have a purpose in life, something we get up to do everyday. Maybe it is your career, or maybe like me, you stay home with the kids. Making a small, positive change to our daily routine will have the most effect in 2020 because we do it daily. Need to push yourself to new limits? Going for a promotion? Maybe you overexerted yourself in 2019 to a career that doesn’t appreciate you. You are in charge of your purpose, and it’s time to make some changes.
Ideas: get that promotion, earn the commission bonus or trip, go to the conference, earn a qualification, complete a big project, create a daily routine, make your space comfortable (add inspiring art to your office or redo a room in your house), start a weekly family game night, OR quit your job to pursue something you love, say no to long hours
My Goal: Reduce screen time in half to spend more time present with my family. My husband has called me out on this many times, and I’ve tried to ignore it when I knew it was a problem. My new phone tells me just how long I’ve been on it, and what apps I’ve been using. I will use this to measure my success.