I can’t believe that 2020 is almost here! It seems like the year just flew by so quickly. And now it is time to start thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions.
The Holiday season officially began with Halloween, and well, it was non-stop activity that ended with New Year’s Eve. How many of us lose sight of our goals during the holidays? It’s during that time, we resolve to start over, maybe with new goals, this coming year. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to look ahead, with all the hustle-bustle behind us, and we make New Year’s Resolutions to get back on track with our goals, or develop new ones.
So what are New Year’s Resolutions? The Merriam-Webster dictionary states they are “something that is resolved”, such as I “made a resolution to mend my ways”. One of the main problems with resolutions is that the act of making the statement and telling others gives us the feeling that it is something we have actually accomplished. Think about it, it actually feels good to say “I will lose 30 pounds this year”, doesn’t it? We visualize ourselves eating healthy food, working out at the gym, and looking good in our clothes, and it is satisfying. We might even make some changes, but soon, our old habits return, and we mindlessly head for that doughnut in the break room.
Review Last Year’s Resolutions
One of the first things to do is look at your goals from last year. What worked? What didn’t? What is important enough to continue into this new year? What needs to be modified or discarded? Was it the goal that was the problem, or was it something else, like lack of boundaries that was the problem? The top New Year’s Resolutions are related to health (eat healthy, lose weight, exercise more, or stop smoking), finances (get out of debt, save money), getting organized, spending more time with friends and family, and learning a new skill.
Determine What You Want to Do
Listen to your inner-talk for the next few days. I’ll bet you don’t hear yourself talking in SMART Goal language (not that it’s bad, it’s just not the first step). What do you hear yourself saying? “Ugh, my jeans are so tight they hurt”, “I really don’t like how this outfit looks on me; if I didn’t have this belly, I’ll bet it would fit better”, “I don’t have the energy to jump out of bed anymore”. “I just don’t have enough money to do what is important”. Want to make a change? Start here! Making a goal of having clothes that fit and don’t hurt is a good goal. Losing that belly would make your clothes fit nicer. And having more energy could help you in so many ways.
Sometimes, we make conflicting goals. For instance, maybe we want to lose weight, but we want to be a baker. It might be difficult for someone struggling with their weight to be around sweets all day long and have the determination to resist. In this case, you might want to find something that works for you, maybe meet in the middle. You can learn to bake relatively healthy treats, resolve to not over-indulge, or determine to be “healthy” instead of “skinny”. This way, you can have the best of both worlds.
Determine How You Want Your Life to Be
When we start with the end in mind, we make better choices. Designing a life is much more effective than chasing a goal. A goal is designed to help move you in a direction. Your life is your destination. Chasing goals can be very frustrating. You turn down opportunities because you are so determined to meet a goal, that the goal becomes more important than anything else. For instance, my friends love to go out to eat, but I am trying to save money. A compromise might be for me to go out to eat once a month instead of every week, and to order low-cost items (by eating at home before going out). So instead of a zero budget for eating out, I include something in my entertainment budget to allow for.
Determine How Much Control You Have
Let’s say you would like to be taller. Well, aside from buying platform shoes, there’s not much control you have over that. But you do have control over the food you eat and how you structure your day. Sometimes, we worry over things we have little control over, but when we learn acceptance, we save our energy for the things we do have control over. It wouldn’t make much sense to fret over goals if we have little chance of actually achieving them.
Now make SMART Goals
A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Write your goals down. Goals that are written down will get done. Write them in your journal. In your calendar. On your wall. Your cell phone lock screen. Just one suggestion… LOOK AT THEM. Have you ever written a goal and placed it on your mirror? What did it say? I have three there now, and only a vague recollection of what they say because I don’t make the effort to read them every day. Also, start them right away! If you wait to take the first step, you may not even start. So right now, do something towards your goal… make a grocery list, determine where you will go to the gym and call for pricing. Make a list of writing topics.
By the way, I highly recommend Michael Hyatt’s book, Your Best Year Ever. I have been following Michael for several years, and as a leadership expert, he is skilled at helping people achieve their goals.
I wish you much success and happiness in this new year. May 2020 be your best year ever. And I mean that!
So what are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2020? Share below. I’ll start with mine.