How to Set Realistic Goals for the New Year and Beyond
It's now the 5th day into the new year, the new decade. This is the first Sunday of 2020. If you're anything like me you're finally realizing what day it is, the champagne is all gone and you're slowly coming out of that holiday haze and getting back into the swing of things. Tomorrow things begin to go back to normal. However, there's this weight on you that you didn’t have a few months ago. I'm sure we've all gained a few pounds from the festive eating but that's not the kind of weight I'm talking about. I mean pressure. The pressure to change and do something epic. Ya, know "new year, new me"! Right?
But why? I mean I know having a starting point helps everyone but why do we put so much emphasis on starting over or improving ourselves just because it's a new year? After all, we had 365 days prior to this and we could have made those changes then. Just like God willing we've got 365 days ahead of us and we can choose any of those days to start.
When the clock struck 12am on January 1st what changed? The day, year and month changed. But what else? Did we magically change as well?
I say all this to say, we've got enough we're trying to do with our lives. Don't let new year’s resolutions add to unnecessary stress.
Instead of trying to make such drastic changes all at once and resolutions that just don't stick,
Write down everything you're hoping to achieve this year. Make a nice long list.
Once you've got your list start giving yourself deadlines to when you want to accomplish them by. Make sure they're realistic goals and deadlines.
Then break everything down into steps and check points so you don't get overwhelmed. So basically, you're breaking down your goals into baby steps. It’s great to have BIG goals. Some of mine are absolutely HUGE but we need to have a clear and precise plan how we’re going to achieve those big goals.
For example... you want to lose weight. Cool! Don't just say I'm going to the gym 5 times a week when you haven't seen the inside of a gym in 6 months. Start with how much weight you want to lose. Then set a target date. Is there a special occasion coming up? A birthday, wedding or vacation? Now lay out your plan. Going all gung ho right off the bat will tire you out before you even get started. Burnout is the worst!
Maybe start with changing your diet, go for walks then gradually add in time at the gym. Baby steps.
Vision boards!! I swear by a good vision board! Don’t over think it! If you don’t have a stack of magazines lying around you can use Pinterest and make your board private. You can even make a digital vision board on Canva. I’ve got a physical vision board I keep in my room and one I made using specific images I searched for on Pinterest then I made a grid in Canva and popped my pictures in it to make a digital vision board for my home screen on my phone and for my laptop background. That way it is always in my face! When I get lazy and want to scroll on Instagram the first thing I see is my vision board with my goals staring me in the face and it helps get me out of that slump and focused.
Last but not least, leave yourself positive notes, little affirmations everywhere!! I have a lot of sticky notes on my desk in all different colors. Every time I sit down to my desk and see a sticky note, it’s like a cute little message I’ve left for myself.
I hope this helps. Remember to be gentle with yourself. You’ll reach those goals you just have to keep at it. Every day do something that is going to get your closer to where you want to be.
Now go forth and concur!