As the year comes to a close, I will openly admit that this past year was, for lack of a better term, pretty whack. 2016 stole such incredible individuals from us like David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Carrie Fisher, and many others (RIP) and planted the seeds for potentially dramatic political and social changes in the near future. On a more personal note, this past year marked significant and exciting changes for myself such as graduating, starting my full time job, and moving into my own apartment … and with it came my fair share of struggles when it comes to adulting. Even with all the difficulties 2016 may have thrown my way, I am still so grateful for the new faces I have met and for all the wonderful moments I did share with my family and friends. I think if anything, this past year has only made my lazy, daydreaming butt more optimistic and determined to make 2017 a year that is truly special.
I am not proud to admit that I am part of the large majority (nearly 92%*) that falls short of accomplishing their New Year’s Resolutions. So, through personal experience and some research I’ve curated my top 5 tips to developing and sticking with goals for the New Year.
Tip 1: Start With a Question! Create Measureable Goals.
Many people (including myself) fall into the trap of writing down resolutions that are very broad and non descriptive such as ‘eat healthy & exercise’ or ‘get good grades’. The issue with goals written in this manner is that it leaves little to no accountability to actually follow through. Try using this as a starting point to a question when framing your objectives. How can I start leading a healthier lifestyle? Then, you can set tangible, realistic goals that allow you to actually reach your overarching objective.
Tip 2: Create Checkpoints
Life can be a rollercoaster. Routines can change, schedules can change; it would be silly for most to expect a static lifestyle. This is why it is key to take the extra 5-10 minutes now to set up some sort of loose timeframe (whether it be every month, every 3 months, etc. – it’s totally up to you!) in which you can check up on yourself as the new year progresses and reevaluate your goals if needed. This also ensures that the measurable goals you’ve set are realistic.
Tip 3: Tell Someone About Your Resolutions
This is undoubtedly the toughest action for me to take because I am terribly afraid of failure and even more so at the thought of others acknowledging my failures and inadequacies. But I have also come to realize that this has been a crucial step in keeping myself motivated. Find a person you trust: a friend, sibling, your mom. By engaging them in your resolution-setting process, they become interested in your growth and act as additional checkpoint on the progression of your goals.
Tip 4: Don’t Be Afraid to Spice Up the Plan
For some, finding a routine allows them to accomplish what they need to in an organized and timely manner. For others, like myself, it’s a surefire way to become bored and lose sight of the overarching intentions for setting such goals in the first place. Be open-minded and flexible with the way you set up your resolutions because by developing a more dynamic plan it will help keep you motivated throughout the entire year.
Tip 5: Anything is Better Than Nothing
I am probably the number one perpetrator for making excuses the second I fall short of one of my goals. If I start the morning off by “accidentally” eating a donut, it’s so easy for me to rationalize to myself about how I should just start my healthy diet tomorrow instead. Instead of allowing another cheat day, continue with the goal to eat healthier meals and snack throughout the day. Another example is if you wanted to read every night for 30 minutes before bed and find yourself one night unable to, reading for 10-15 minutes instead still goes a further way than reading for zero.
And just to keep myself liable, I’ve written out my own New Year’s Resolutions here 😉
- Become a dedicated blogger
- Create and post content at least two times a month
- Take photographs every or every other weekend
- 1st Checkpoint: end of February/early March
- Lead a healthier and more active lifestyle
- Incorporate some sort of vegetable into at least two of my daily meals
- Log in my meals on MyFitnessPal to better keep track of what foods I have been eating
- Exercise at least three times a week
- Try out a different type of workout every other month
- Learn SQL
- Dedicate at least one hour a week
- Read more
- Spend 15-30 minutes reading before bed
- Grow my brand Bar Mode (www.shopbarmode.com)
- Connect with social and fashion influencers
- Portray the concept of Bar Mode in a way that is simple and impactful
- Increase awareness through social media outlets such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook