It is that time of year when the world proclaims the many infamous New Year’s Resolutions. People ditch the booze, hit the gym and give it their all for about a month. Come Valentine’s Day, most of these resolutions are simply a monthly credit card charge for a year long membership that will go unclaimed until next January, or a shrug and a “well, I tried” attitude.
Although I totally support resolutions, many are not realistic or well-planned, regardless of goals to get in shape or to re-organize a basement. And well…to achieve a goal, it requires a lot of hard work, commitment and dedication.
Here’s a few steps you can take to make your goals last far past Valentine’s Day.
Sit down and think about your past year. What were your favorite parts? Least favorite? What do you want to do more of? Reflecting on your past can make it easier to plan for the future. Look at 2018 in its entirety. Make a list of everything you want to do (my list was literally two pages long!) Don’t limit yourself or think about how you will achieve them ALL (yet)!
Once you finish your “word vomit”, take a look at your list. Highlight the things that you want to accomplish the MOST. I’ve got about 10-15 major goals for the year, but you may have fewer or more, depending. Make sure you’re choosing ones that you feel like you can accomplish in ONE year. This can be anything from choosing to eat out only once a week to save money or to finally take that well-deserved vacation. Oftentimes, if the list gets too long, it gets discouraging fast.
Once you have your 2018 goals chosen, it’s time to get to work fine-tuning them. If one of your goals is to get into shape or lose weight, you’ll need to be more specific. What does getting into shape mean to you? Does it mean lowering your blood pressure and getting a clean bill of health from the Doc? Is it fitting into your “goal” jeans? Is it improving your 5k time by five minutes? It is easy to have a goal to lose weight, but harder to make it happen if you aren’t realistic with yourself on what that means to you.
The next step is to write out your MONTHLY goals that will help you slay your YEARLY goals. Start with January and plan your month. Want to lose weight? Maybe your goal for January is to walk 10,000 steps a day. Little steps over a long time lead to big change!
For example, one of my 2018 goals is to run at least one 5k or similar race per month. So, my January goal was to sign up for one race–and I did already. I wrote down the date, time and place, along with my training schedule. I also went ahead and signed up for a February and March race, so when it is time to write down my next month’s goals, I can focus on steps to take for that race (i.e. improve my time from the last one). See where I’m going with this? Build your goals off of each other.
Another thing to keep in mind is to give your goals a deadline. It makes it much easier to accomplish if you have an end date in mind. For example, one of my yearly goals is to have X amount of dollars in savings. My first January goal towards that overarching financial goal is to meet with a financial adviser to tweak my 401k account. I set a deadline to have that appointment at least scheduled by January 15th. It’s about breaking down your goals into simple, achievable steps.
Something that has always helped keep me on track is a planner. I review it and write in it just about every day. A planner has always helped me stay accountable for appointments, goals, deadlines and overall organization. I bought a super cute Lily Pulitzer one for 2018.
By the end of 2018, you’ll be able to look back and see how each of your monthly goals brought you closer to achieving your yearly resolutions. And it’s a great feeling!
What are some of your goals or resolutions for 2018?!