We all do it. Start out on New Year’s Day with a list of resolutions that you know you are going to finally achieve. This is the year you finally live your best life! But then, inevitably, you find yourself slipping and come February 1st, you don’t even remember what your goals were. It’s not your fault. It’s human nature to become overwhelmed by lofty goals and feel lost when you don’t know how to reach them. Have no fear! I’m here with my tips for not only setting achievable resolutions, but actually reaching them.
Be Honest You’ll never reach your goals if you aren’t brutally honest with yourself. You aren’t going to fully give up your chocolate addiction. And there’s nothing wrong with that. You shouldn’t have to live the rest of your life without chocolate! That’s madness.
Before you set your resolutions, try writing down your “never gonna happens”. Things that you know you just won’t change no matter how hard you try. I’m never going to give up my big bowl of popcorn every night. But I want to be a healthier me. So when I set that as a resolution, I’ll just work around the popcorn addiction rather than trying to eliminate it from my life. I can eat more salads and increase my exercise if it will let me hold onto popcorn. And I can make that addiction a little less unhealthy by switching from microwave popcorn to air-popping. Eliminating things you love feels like punishment and you’ll never stick with a resolution that doesn’t also reward you.
Visualize It “Best Life” gurus will tell you that the key to achieving your dreams is to visualize having what you want. I do this with my clients at the start of projects by having them think about their dream home and then creating a vision board that encompasses this.
The key is creating the vision board and putting it in a place where you will see it every day. If you tuck it away into a drawer or make it as a Pinterest board, or worse just skip this step altogether, you won’t get the daily reminder of what you are working toward, making it easier to let the resolution fall by the wayside.
One of my big resolutions for 2018 is to create a new home decor line for my Etsy shop. I’ve started a notebook with my ideas and sketches that I always carry with me. I open it every day to work on further developing my line and keeping track of what I need to do to make this dream a reality.
Break It Down The biggest reason most people don’t achieve their goals is because they are making lofty resolutions with no clear path on how to get there. If your goal is “live a healthier life”, that’s a big undertaking with many different ways to go about it. Instead, break the goal down into monthly, then weekly, and then daily challenges. These easy-to-achieve baby steps won’t feel so daunting and will have you excited to tackle every day.
Sticking with the “healthier life” resolution, set “cut down on sugar” as January’s goal. What can you do each week to reach this? Each day? Maybe cut out one sugary drink each week. If you tend to have dessert every night after dinner, try switching to a piece of dark chocolate (healthier and still satisfies that sweet tooth).
These little steps may not seem like much, but they are the building blocks that will let you work toward your resolution and stay on track all year.
Check Yourself When it comes to achieving your resolutions, accountability is everything. And the only person you are accountable to is yourself.
Again being brutally honest, do a weekly check to be sure you are truly working each day to hit your goals. At the end of the month take measure of how far you’ve come by reviewing the daily challenges you checked off.
This also means admitting to yourself where you slipped up (and don’t get upset because we all slip up at some point!) It’s not just about recognizing you slipped, but about why it happened so that if the same trigger pops up again, you are mentally prepared to face it and not let it derail your progress.
All of these tips are the fundamentals of professional organizing: analyze, visualize, break it down, analyze again. By applying this technique to your resolutions, you can stay focused which will help you stay on track. If you are struggling with how to build out your monthly, weekly, or daily goals, let me know and we can set up a time management consultation to get you focused and on track to making 2018 your best year yet!