It’s getting to be the end of the second week of January now, so I’m wondering how everyone is doing with their resolutions for the new year?
(Can my resolution just be to keep warm around here??)
I’m bringing back an old process I use that has served me well. It’s about making new habits, and keeping an actionable schedule.
Here we go!
How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
1.) Make a List:
• Write down everything you wanted to change and/or accomplish this year.
• Then cut that down to achievable, reasonable things.
o No, seriously. If your goals are super lofty to begin with, you’re just setting yourself up for failure, which will make it hard to do anything at all.
• For example, “eat healthy” might be better than, “marry that movie star.”
o BUT that’s still vague. So let’s fix that with the next part:
2.) Detail That List:
• Having things like “Go to the gym more often” wind up meaningless really fast because they are unclear, and therefore make it easy to come up with excuses to avoid.
• Instead, write actionable things like, “Go to the gym X amount of hours, X amount of days a week…”
Even specify which days that’ll be, and write exactly what you plan to work on while there.
o Also helps to literally write this on your to-do list, and on your calendar as a scheduled appointment to yourself.
• You can even go to someone who works at the gym the first day and ask what kinds of exercises or machines you should use to achieve your goal.
o Then write that down too.
o Yep. All of that. Write it down.
o No, you will not remember. Just- Just write it the Hell down, okay??
This process works for pretty much any goal, not just working out!
• Want to diet? Ask a nutritionist, a dietitian, your primary care physician, and so on. …And then write stuff down.
• Want to draw more? What will you be drawing? What kinds of references do you need? Find some online tutorials. Ask an artist you like and admire for tips. WRITE THOSE TIPS DOWN.
Then turn those actionable tips and tricks and all that scheduled stuff into the next step:
3.) Mini Goals:
• Having mini goals along the way can help you remember that you are making progress, which will help your desire to continue.
o This means aiming for only three weeks before we actually say THE WHOLE YEAR.
o Oh, and that stuff you put on the calendar? You’ll be able to mark off as you go, and check out the amount of days you did The Thing later on.
• Mini goals also give you something to build on in order to get to another level or step of your ultimate goal.
Heeey… Here’s an important question when it comes to our goals:
4.) Check in With Yourself. Do You Wanna?
• Make sure you actually WANT to do the things on this list, or that they will make you healthier, or better your life in some way.
• If not? Rearrange! Pick other things.
ONLY pick things you really want to do for YOUR life. Not someone for else.
Sometimes, we say we’ll do things just because other people want us to do them. This makes it less likely to actually stick to it, for obvious reasons.
•… That being said, if something is on your list because a friend is doing it also and wants a buddy, you should probably stick to it if you think it’ll be good for you too. That’s just nice.
5.) IN FACT! Have a buddy:
• It isn’t necessary, but having someone else hold you accountable and having the drive to stick to it too will benefit you both.
o This can be in person or online.
There are other kinds of buddies too. Help is good!
• In some cases, you may want to go to your doctor to see what the healthiest way is to achieve your goals.
o Do this especially if your goal involves ANY kind of diet or exercise plan.
• In other cases, you may want to find and go to a counselor or a psychologist if your goal involves facing a long standing fear or even attending to social struggles.
o Please remember that it doesn’t have to be something huge in order to seek professional help.
• In fact, asking for some kind of help is always recommended, no matter what your goals may be.
6.) All Else Fails, (Break Glass) Think About This:
• If you can find an excuse to quit, you can find an excuse to continue.
o Make up a reason why it would benefit you to stick with the resolution, even if it is just a sense of pride and bragging rights.
• Along those lines, if you don’t really want to eat more healthy or keep track of something else medical but your doctor tells you to do so… You might want to just suck it up and try it anyway.
Who knows? Your doctor might be right and you might start to feel awesome.
• If you find that it isn’t working out, you can change something about your routine.
• Ask around and see how other people achieved similar goals.
Form a habit!
• Like brushing your teeth, if you do something every day, eventually you’ll do it without even thinking about it.
This works for above examples, as well pretty much everything else in life.
• Want to learn a new skill? Find a teacher or online tutorials.
o What does it take? What supplies will you need?
o Start small though.
!!! Getting too involved, too fast may cost you a lot of money for something you might wind up not actually enjoying.
o You can always build up on supplies once you know that you want to continue.
I love writing lists. Can you tell? So, write down your progress:
• Like I said earlier, on a calendar, or even sticky notes, write down every single time you accomplish a part of your goal.
o Even a tiny accomplishment.
o Say how many hours you did it, or what mini goal you met.
• If you organize your main goal, mini goals, and steps to get there “by date on the calendar” to begin with, this will be easy to see.
• You can always add goals throughout the year.
Every day is a new day, so we don’t have to wait for the next year to make goals.
This makeshift system has helped me accomplish quite a lot, so I hope you can benefit from it as well.