9 Tips to Make Your New Years Goals Happen
We’re two weeks into 2015! How are your lovely New Years goals and plans going? Are you on your way to reaching your goals, or have you fallen off the wagon? It’s totally ok if you have. The beauty of falling off the wagon is that you can always get right back on. Jump on that hayride whenever you want.
Do what you can today, this week, right now.
9 Tips for Making Your New Years Goals Happen:
- Write them down. I love Leonie Dawson’s 2015 Create Your Shining Year planner. This is the third year I’ve used it and it’s seriously amazing. But a nice blank sheet of notebook paper and a pen work well too. Whatever your goals and dreams are for 2015, whatever beautiful visions fill your head for the new year, get them down on paper. Writing things down grounds them in the new year and gets them out of your head and into a place where you can see them. Grab a notebook and write write write!
- Go public. Don’t just hide those goals in your notebook where no one can see them. Tell someone! Going public with your goals makes you accountable. People expect you to reach those goals. They might ask you about them, and it’s kind of embarrassing to be like “LOL. Didn’t do.” Granted, changing priorities is definitely legit, and it’s ok to explain that. But goals that ARE important that you didn’t do just “cuz”? A lot harder to justify. Come out of the closet with your goals. Tell your partner, your best friend, your mom, your book club. Post it on your blog or Facebook. Read my 2015 goals here!
- Review, review, REVIEW! Life is busy, and we get forgetful. It happens. Stuff comes up and those beautiful goals you made last December 31st get forgotten. Then they don’t happen. No bueno. Instead of letting that notebook, you know, the one you wrote your goals in, gather dust and never get opened again, review those goals! At least once a month! Write it on your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, whatever you need to do to get out those written goals regularly so you can go “Oh yeah! That is important to me! I’m going to jump back on that!” The more you review, the better.
- Surround yourself with support. This is similar to #2 and you can definitely double dip on these, but make sure that you share your goals with people who believe in you. If your family doesn’t think you can be a writer, don’t tell them about your plans to write a book this year. Instead, tell your best friend who will get excited with you and be your cheerleader when you’re having a sucky writing day. Join an online forum who can provide encouragement and support if you don’t have anyone else in your life who will. Make sure to get yourself at least one good source of support for your goals.
- Post them. Make yourself some little signs or sticky notes to post around your living space, your car, your desk, your wallet, anywhere you’ll see them often. That will keep your goals at the front of your mind and exponentially improve your chances of actually doing stuff that will help you reach your goals.
- Set measurable goals. How will you know when you’ve reached your goal? Phrase your goals in a way that will allow you to check them off once they’re accomplished, or at least know you’re on track if it’s a year-long habit making goal. For example, instead of “exercise”, set a goal to work out at for at least 30 minutes 3 times per week. Instead of “write more fiction”, try “write at least one page/paragraph of fiction per day” or “finish a rough draft of my novel”. A measurable goal is a clear goal, one with defined terms that you can fulfill and cross off your list. A goal you can check off is a satisfying goal.
- Break them down into mini goals. Sometimes our goals are huge and intimidating. “Write a book”, “Lose 30 pounds”, “Pay off $20,000 of student debt”, etc are massive goals that kind of make you want to pee your pants when you contemplate the sheer magnitude of what they’ll require of you. Instead, break those big scary goals into little baby goals that aren’t so overwhelming. Start with one chapter, five pounds, or a few hundred dollars. Break them into tiny steps you can accomplish today, this week, this month, right now. What can you write today? What healthy choices can you make today, this meal? How much money from this paycheck will go toward your student loans? Itty bitty baby steps. Keep breaking them down until you feel like “Yeah. I can do this”.
- Schedule them. Finally, schedule those goals. If you’ve broken them into baby steps, schedule those steps. Get a planner or calendar and give each action a spot in your schedule and a deadline. Review that planner or calendar regularly. Get yourself an awesome pen so you can scribble those suckers out when you’ve done them.
- Record Your Progress. If you’ve made a massive goal that takes a lot of baby steps to accomplish, it’s easy to look at how far you have to go and get discouraged. Make sure you acknowledge your progress! Schedule regular rewards, or make a satisfying visual way to track how far you’ve come. If you’ve made a quantifiable goal like weight loss or debt repayment, make yourself a little chart that you color in or a jar that you fill with something as you go. Congratulate yourself profusely for what you’ve done so far.
I hope 2015 is wonderful to you and that you accomplish all you’ve set out to do!