Why do we think the only time we can make new ambitious goals or chase the fresh start we’ve been craving is when a New Year rolls around? While I probably don’t have to tell you the stats on how many resolutions actually eventuate (according to Forbes it’s a measly 8%), I’m willing to bet that you have more than one repeat offenders that make the list yearly. Personally, I’m not blaming you—yearlong resolutions are hard to keep.
It is that time of year again, we are about to say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019. With the year coming to an end and New Year resolution lists being drafted as we speak, it’s a time for both reflection and forward planning. But firstly, can we just take a moment to pat ourselves on the back for making it through 2018?
There is no denying this sort of self-evaluation and goal setting is necessary for personal development (who wants to stand still year after year?) but I think it’s something we should all be doing it way more often. We need to create a habit of reflecting on the moves we’ve made and the moves we want to make in the future. I’m guilty of getting caught up in the daily grind—eat, sleep, work, repeat—but where exactly does ‘me time’ fit into all of that? No wonder we have no time to figure out what we want and where (or who) we want to be. Let’s be honest, it’s a recipe for disaster and many, many tears.
So, I propose this. Stop focusing on yearlong goals and take a trip back to school with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time orientated) goals instead. It might not sound cool, but it works. It is fine to have an idea of where you want to be this time next year but writing it down without thinking through all the little wins and all of the hard work you’ll need before hitting the jackpot will be your downfall. But creating smaller, easier to achieve goals will help keep you on track, allow you to celebrate the small wins, and hold you more accountable along the way.
Next, find a routine based on what works for you… and what doesn’t work. If sorting through your goals once a year is enough for you then roll with it, but you may find it works better with your lifestyle to go through these monthly, weekly or even daily and not get disheartened if your bigger yearly goals change and adapt as the year goes on. A lot can happen in a day (let alone a year) so don’t put so much pressure on yourself to stick to every little thing. Your wants and needs will grow with you this year and every year… let them.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m someone who definitely struggles with this, I don’t make New Year’s resolution lists or any form of goals ever. So, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll make an effort to take some me time and reflect on where I’ve been and where I want to go if you promise to do the same.
So, what are you waiting for? Start living your best life right now.