New Years Eve is the time when everyone wants to set goals and expectations for the incoming year. But let’s face it, there’s no cut off switch from 2016 to 2017. You don’t wake up January 01, 2017 and all your problems from last year are gone! They’re still there! You’re still 10 pounds overweight, your bills are still due and you still hate your job. You only wish for a moment that at the stroke of midnight your fairy godmother shows up, and turns your pumpkin into a carriage. But since fairy godmothers only exists in movies, and last I checked wishes come true only for a lucky few….Here are a few more realistic tips on setting your goals this new year, and sticking to them (at least until march!)
1. Determine which things are most important: don’t let the urgent crowd out the important. Make a list of priorities, for example: quitting smoking is very important, losing weight may not be as much, unless there are health issues like blood pressure or diabetes; but take into consideration that you have all year to lose weight. Things like renewing your passport is also important, especially if one of your “resolutions” this year is to travel.
2. Set a timeline: Once you’ve determined which items are a must do for January 2017, give yourself a timeline to when you’ll complete your task. Set periodic reminders on your calendars. If you’re like most procrastinating and forgetful Americans, you have a wall calendar at home, a cell phone calendar, your personal computer calendar, and even your office computer calendar. Set your reminder for the old rule 2.2.2; 2 days, 2 weeks, and 2 months. Then set an alarm on ALL your memory devices! This will guarantee to remind you where you are in the process.
3. Reward yourself when you accomplish, but don’t kill yourself if you don’t: When you complete a goal, treat yourself to your favorite coffee or a yummy ice cream to reinforce the fact that “hey, I can do it!” but at the other end, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t actualize your vision in the time you’ve given yourself. I’m sure there were other “urgent” things that took precedence over the important.
Goals are best reached when they are realistic! You’ll only let yourself down if you hold yourself up to some outlandish unrealistic expectation. If you suddenly decide to take up running, don’t sign yourself up to run a 5k marathon. Start with power walking, and then work your way towards that 5k! Remember that you are either your ‘own best friend’ or your ‘own worst enemy’ so be true to yourself, and truly dedicate time and energy to those things that are really meaningful for you.
Focus on the things that will make you truly the happiest. Don’t do things because other people say you should. Do it for you, and only you! When you commit to your goal or resolution, follow your heart, and come up with something personal. And if your fairy godmother shows up at the stroke of midnight to grant you a wish….you probably fell asleep. WAKE UP! The New Year is here!!