It has been 113 days since January 1. The day when all things become new and most of us resolve to change almost everything about ourselves. So, how are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Mine are going well, but only because I resolved not to have any resolutions this year.
However, even with my no-resolution resolution, in the back of my mind I had a list of things I wanted to improve. The main one was eating right and exercising. I thought I was being very wise by not making those resolutions because I really just needed to make a lifestyle change instead adding another checklist to my life. But without a set goal, life got in the way. Busyness, sickness, and laziness pushed my non-resolution resolutions to the bottom of my list.
If you are one of those rare individuals who made resolutions and stuck to them, congratulations! However, if your enthusiasm for your resolutions waned about February, welcome to the club. However, don’t feel defeated! You don’t have to wait until January 1 rolls around again to make a resolution! Start now! January is an awful time to start health and fitness related goals anyway. Spring time is a much better time to get in shape. First, the weather is wonderfully conducive for outdoor exercising and being more active. Second, fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available, which makes eating healthy so much easier.
As a person who is experienced in failed resolutions, I think I have finally found the route to success.
1. Limit your resolutions.
If you are like me, January feels like a good time to set a resolution for every aspect in your life that needs improvement. Usually that doesn’t work. We become overwhelmed, stressed out, and give up. So if you are looking for a New Year’s Resolution redux this spring, figure out what is most important to you and start there. Sometimes even improving one area helps the other areas fall into place. For example, I want to eat right and exercise; that is my primary goal. If I do this then it makes my other goals of wanting to get up early to read my Bible and writing more easier to accomplish because eating right and exercising gives me more energy and helps me sleep better.
2. Set specific, measurable goals.
As a teacher, my objective for any lesson has to have a measurable goal. I have to be able to answer the question, what do I want my students to be able to accomplish from this lesson, and how am I going to determine that that goal was met? The same strategy can apply to personal goals as well. Ask yourself what exactly do you want to accomplish and how will you know you have succeeded?
3. Goals should be small.
While lofty goals are to be admired, you are more likely to be more successful if you break your lofty goal into several smaller goals. So break your goal up. Tell yourself, “I will do this much of my goal by this particular time.” After you have completed that small goal, set another small goal that while get you closer to achieving your big, lofty goal. Breaking up a big goal helps prevent becoming overwhelmed and giving up all together.
4. Make your resolution a verb, not a noun.
Resolution is a noun. It is a decision that was made. Something to check off the checklist. Turn your resolution into a verb. Instead of a thing, make it an action. The definition of resolve is being determined to do something. So instead of passively making a resolution, be proactive and resolve to do something!
5. Be accountable.
I know! This is the worst step, but you have to make your goals public. Either to an accountability partner, to a group, or on social media. It is so easy to let your goal slide if no one knows you are trying to accomplish something. You can find a partner or group with similar goals to yours and work together to achieve them. Post your goal on social media. This is a great way to keep yourself accountable. I know if I think someone is going to ask me about my goal, I will work harder to achieve that goal. Also, sharing your goals and achievements will inspire others to go for their goals!
So, Happy New Year! If you have a goal you want to achieve, it doesn’t matter if it is 100 days or 200 days past the new year, go for it! You can do this!
Please share in the comments about your goals and achievements! I would love to hear how you are doing!