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You guys! I can’t believe another year has come and gone. 2016 has had its up and downs. For the most part, for me, personally, it has been pretty great, filled with new opportunities, friendships, travel and so many things to be thankful for. For the world, we’ve definitely seen brighter days, but I’m thinking it can only go up. Here’s to hoping!
If you’re like me, you love setting goals and resolutions for the new year. And if you’re like a lot of people I know, you have a little trouble knowing how to make you New Year’s Resolutions last. Your finance goals may fall by the wayside, your healthy diet becomes more of a light suggestion, and your productive morning routine takes a backseat to sleeping in a little longer.
It always feels great to have a fresh start at the beginning of the year, but as time goes on, we either forget, become busy, or lose sight of our goals. Life happens and that’s that, but when you have resolutions that are really important to you, it’s essential you take the steps to make them stick!
This week I got together with my business partner and we set measurable goals for our business for the year ahead, and also wrote down our strategies for reaching these goals. Something I’ve learned is that it’s one thing to have goals, it’s another to make a plan as to how you’re going to achieve those goals. Without a strategy, you have no direction. You know what you want but not how to get it, which is ultimately the most important part.
If you have resolutions you are dying to stick to this year, check out my best tips for making your New Year’s resolutions last!
1. WRITE DOWN MEASURABLE RESOLUTIONS
Writing down your goals and resolutions is a great exercise. Don’t just think about what you want, write your resolutions down so you can keep track of what you want and whether you’re taking the steps to achieve it. Writing your resolutions down makes you more committed to them. I like to write them somewhere I will see them every day.
This year, I’m using the Day Designer to write down my goals, set intentions and schedule my days. It’s so much more than a planner and I’m so in love with it (PS. no this is not a sponsored post, I’m legitimately just obsessed with it!). Check it out if you are planner-obsessed like moi!
Also, make sure your goals are measurable. Don’t just write “I want to be successful this year”. This is too broad and vague, and can’t easily be measured. What does success mean to you? Perhaps you’d like a promotion at your job. Maybe you want to start monetizing your blog with sponsored posts. Or you want to make more home cooked meals inspired by your ethnic background. Make your resolutions measurable and put pen to paper!
2. KEEP YOUR RESOLUTIONS REALISTIC
It’s great to dream big (I highly recommend it!), but dreaming too big can result in feelings of failure. Not only that, it actually might make it more likely for you to give up before you even give your resolution a fair chance.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you know someone who doesn’t work out (they rarely go to the gym, yoga, boxing, spin class, etc.) at all. They want to, but they’re super busy and life always seems to get in the way.
So they make a resolution to go to the gym 5 to 7 days a week to kick their bad habit and get in shape. Sure, they may do this the first week or two, but for someone who barely worked out before, going to the gym 5 to 7 days a week isn’t realistic.
A better goal to start off with is going 2 days a week. Make time for 2 days a week and try it out for a few months. It’s not that you can’t do more, but just hold yourself accountable for 2 days. If you’re able to fit in a day or two more here and there, great! But make a promise to yourself to go 2 days a week,
The thing is, if you hold yourself to 5 to 7 days, and you don’t go 5 to 7 days, then you feel like you’ve failed. But in reality, for someone who went to the gym zero days a week, 2 days is a great starting point. And if sometimes you can only go one day, you don’t feel like you’ve failed as badly as if you went one day and were holding yourself accountable for 5 to 7 days.
See what I’m saying? Same goes for writing blog posts, or making home cooked meals if you eat out a lot, or drinking less coffee if you’re a coffee fiend. Make sure your resolutions are realistic for YOU.
3. CREATE STRATEGIES / AN ACTION PLAN
If you take away one thing from this post, let it be this: You can’t reach your goals without a strategy. Okay, maybe you can, but it is much less likely than if you have an action plan!
This is why some of my resolutions haven’t been met in the past. I had dreams, goals and resolutions, but I didn’t have strategies to attain them. I wanted more page views on my blog, but all I did was post articles to my blog and hoped people would find them. I wanted to read more novels, but didn’t do research to find books I really wanted to read. I wanted to find more freelance writing jobs, but didn’t always plan out where I’d go to find them or what websites I’d pitch to. And so on, and so on.
Raise your hand if this sounds like you. How can we follow through with our resolutions if that’s all they are? If they don’t come with an action plan? That’s right, we usually can’t.
4. REVIEW YOUR RESOLUTIONS
If you don’t review your goals and resolutions, you’re more likely to forget about them and let them slip. Post sticky notes on your desk; write your resolutions down on a pretty notecard and keep it on your bedside table; post them on your vision board you keep in your home office; make them the background screen of your laptop.
Make sure you put them in a place you see on the daily. You don’t have to review them daily, but at least they’re there as a reminder. Try to review them once a week. This way they’ll always be on your mind and you’ll be more likely to follow through!
5. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS (AND DOWNFALLS)
Whether it’s in a journal, the notes section of your phone, or an Excel spreadsheet, keeping track of your accomplishments, or what is and isn’t working for you, will help you stick to your resolutions. If one of your strategies isn’t working for you, switch it up. If you see a lot of success with another one of your action plans, keep going with it and put more time and energy into it!
Keeping track of these things (whether they’re working or not working) will help you moving forward. Don’t get thrown off if one or two of your strategies doesn’t pan out. Take it as a challenge to figure out what will work for you and how you can rise above it!
6. CREATE A VISION BOARD
I absolutely love this idea and it’s something I’m going to do this year for my personal resolutions. When we had our business planning session this week for Lipstick and Muffin Media, we created a vision board with our goals, strategies, personal responsibilities, and individual goals as well. This is one type of vision board.
You can also create a vision board with photos. Places you want to travel, the newest tech accessory you’re lusting over, family in another country you haven’t seen in years and want to visit, the clothing pieces on your wish list, your dream kitchen, etc. Place it over your desk, in your bedroom, wherever you want. Looking at your vision board each day will remind you what you’re working towards and keep you motivated!
Do you have any tips for making your New Year’s resolutions last? I’d love to hear them in the comment section below!
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