Don’t bother with New Years resolutions this year as they rarely work. Pressure from what everyone else is doing coupled with the cold and dark days in January makes starting new challenges very difficult to follow through with. Instead, allow yourself some space (especially if you are quarantining!) to write down some goals for the year ahead. We’ve got some tips here to help you along.
1. Set GOALS not resolutions: Resolutions pile on the pressure to achieve a certain outcome whereas goals are carefully thought out plans that can be worked on in a timely and realistic manner. By putting aside some time to think about what you would like to achieve over the year rather than jumping head first into something in January and hoping for the best, you can prepare and make realistic life changes.
2. SMART goals: A well known goal setting structure is the SMART framework that many swear by for making a list of goals. And sure who doesn’t want to be a smarty pants?
S- Specific: Think about what you want to achieve exactly and why.
M- Measurable: Ensure you have a way to quantify your goal, perhaps you can take photos of your progress on your journey to weight loss or perhaps you aim to save more money each week, keep a note of how much you put aside.
A- Attainable: Be sure that whatever goals you set for yourself can be achieved, regardless of how bizarre your goal may be, if you have the means to work at it then go for it!
R- Realistic: Are your goals relevant in both your personal and professional life right now? If you can see a way to work at completing these goals then that is half the battle.
T- Time bound: Putting a deadline on a goal helps keep us focused and more likely to work towards it effectively by creating a sense of urgency.
3.Rope in a friend: Telling a friend or family member of your plans will help you take accountability for your goals. Even better again, get them involved too so that you can motivate each other!
4. Sticking to it: When is the last time you used a pen and paper? Write down your goals in a list and leave it somewhere like maybe your bedside locker where you can see it regularly. Popping little notes around the house can also keep you focused, as well as setting reminders on your phone.
5. Have fun: Any change you intend to make in your life is a journey so focus on how you can make the most of achieving your goals rather than fixating too much on the deadline or desired outcome. Things do not always go to plan but remember to take each day as it comes and if you have a setback wipe the slate clean and go again fresh the next day! It’s a good idea to have a funny or quirky goal too so it’s not always serious – maybe take up juggling or learn a party trick or aim to try a new food every month.
The most important thing is remember why you set these goals for yourself and refer back to your list. Celebrate the small wins as you go, 2022 is your year!