“New Year New You” is a statement we hear often this time of year. But can you really recreate yourself? People seem to think that when the ball drops and the clock strikes midnight that a new self emerges but that’s just not true. Into the new year we carry our habits, cares, and baggage.
How can we really change?
Change happens one choice at a time. January is a great time to make changes because it’s easy to track during a calendar year. But in order to make those changes we have to choose to do something different. It’s difficult to change behaviors that have been repeated for so long.
Here are some steps you can take to achieve your goals this year:
Tackle one change at a time
Don’t fall into the trap of making several goals at the same time. Changing your diet, editing weekly rhythms, adding in exercise, or focusing on self-care are all great goals but can’t be done well all at once. When you stick to one goal, you can focus on one change at a time. Once you reach a goal it will encourage you to tackle another!
Make a goal that you can control
Your goal should be something that you have control over. Goals are for us, desires involve other people. You may have a desire to have better communication with your partner but that isn’t a goal. You can’t control how they communicate with you, but you could have a goal to work on your own communication skills. If your goals involve others, you may find yourself frustrated if that person lets you down.
Make your goal measurable
Find a way to track the progress of your goal. When you track your progress, you are encouraged to keep going. Getting into a routine of measuring your results weekly also helps keep this goal in the front of your mind. If it’s something that can’t be measured it may be easy for you to forget about it entirely.
Have grace for yourself
No one is perfect and like we’ve said, change is hard. You will mess up at some point, but don’t let that derail your progress. If exercise is your goal and after 2 weeks you miss a day, it’s easy to be tempted to give up after “your perfect record” is ruined. But don’t let a mistake stop you from achieving your goals. Positive self-talk is essential to reaching a goal. Instead of being angry at yourself for slipping up, encourage yourself with how far you’ve come and why you are doing this. It’s important to consistently remind yourself of your “why”. Why are you making this change? Why is this important now? Why should you work hard to change this habit? Having an answer and reminding yourself daily will be your best motivator.
Make your “why” visible
Create a vision board! This can be made with photos that resemble your goal or encouraging quotes or words. Have fun and get creative! You can print this out, cut out pieces from magazines and do it scrapbook style, or create a collage on your phone. Make sure that you place this vision board somewhere where you will see it every day! Tape it to your mirror, put it on your desk at work, or make it your screensaver on your phone!
Hopefully these tips are helpful for you and they makes goal planning a little less stressful! Remember, it doesn’t all have to be done in one day. You got this!