Two weeks before the start of every new year, it is evident that everyone is thinking their lives will be everything they want it to be the coming year. Everyone waits for a new year to start approaching to think of the ideal life. Yes, its time to make a change, its time for new year resolutions. Funny thing is I actually agree with this model and I am as guilty as sin when it comes to setting goals just when a new year is approaching.
Fastforward to two weeks into the new year and the memes begin to float on social media and they often read : GOOD BYE NEW YEAR RESOLUTION, IT WAS GOOD WHILE IT LASTED. Not to sound overly dramatic but these memes are the perfect depiction of the direction that most new year resolutions take. For most ladies, the eternal resolution is to lose weight. This is usually followed by money and career goals, finding a man, getting married and the list drops from there. If you are a lady, you will agree with me that these goals go in circles and we make exactly the same resolution the following year, swearing on Everything we treasure that we will make it happen this time. Then mid January comes and we realise we just can’t and then its back on ice again. So how do we then make Changes without getting so overwhelmed that we give up without accomplishing our goals?
1. Change Perspective
A change of name may be the first Place to start. The word ‘Resolution’ is binding in its definition and usually comes with the do or die mentality. Being resolute leaves no space for adjustments or flexibility and leaves us feeling overwhelmed. Using connotations like goals, plans, wish etc which are all light weight words may reduce the stress and give us the right mental space to start working.
2. Make achievable goals
Achievable should always be key to every new goal we set. For most goals to be achievable they must also be realistic given the time, opportunity, resources and just maybe the right aligning stars. Just like all goals, making a new years resolution without giving thought to the Resources needed to achieve them is the first step towards a mid January crisis. Its often safe to divide the goals into categories, make sub-goals and extend them over a reasonable time frame. It should feel like working towards something without attempting suicide in the process. Making a working plan that fits with our personalities is so very underrated because of the textbook proposals on how goal can be best achieved. Who we are as people should be an important factor.
For example if you have the personality that is too hard on yourself, if you give up easily, if you must walk on a straight line, if you can do Everything necessary to achieve a goal, if you like me cannot afford to fail, if you are the type that must see things through when you start them etc. All these different personalities and more bring stress to the process and therefore must be factored in when making achievable goals.
3. Be kind to yourself
The reason we make goals or new plans mean we are working on somethng we lack, need or want which we have not necesserily had or put much energy into. Sucess comes from the understanding that you will not be able to achieve Everything in the time frame within which you want, that you may fall short sometimes, you may get derailed, your motivation may fail you, the goal may be so big and Life changing it gets overwhelming. In moments like this its safer to step back, re-evaluate, redefine the purpose and find a way forward. It is not failure if you decide to scale down and do just what is doable given the circumstances. It is not failure you did not get to the finish line. Often times we do not give enough kudos for our thoughts and efforts, we mourn the lack of the results we hoped for. Being too hard on oneself may kill motivation completely and lead to us dropping our plans without giving it enough space to grow. Being kind to oneself and understanding the shortcomings could be our ticket out of the bind.
The ladies on Bodytalk have been very open about some goals that are likely to fail and most of it have to do with the decision making process or the motivation behind the goals we make. A new year goal should stem from a personal nag to do better. Making plans because everyone else is making one may break us early. Plans that are made without real motivation, a need or a want breaks early too. When this is decided, the next step should be the process. Some questions to ask include:
- Does it make sense within the time frame we are looking at?
- What are the different steps I need to take and in what order do I have to take them?
- What are the short term goals and how do they connect to the long term?
- What could be the obstacles to my plans and how do I work around it?
It is even important to think about what could possibly make us lose motivation in the process and when to recognise by yourself that we need a pick up?
Giving this much thought to a new year goal may seem excessive but it is also the key to not making endless goals that never lead to anything. Succeeding with one goal is usually enough motivation to set other goals because we then work with a possibility mentality. So…..proposal…
Your new year goals are probably well underway and probably going really good so re-evaluate your plans instead. If you have already fallen short, ask and answer the necessery questions to get you back on track. If you, like many others are tired of making new year goals because you never go all the way to achieving them, why not start one now, TODAY, with the right plan and motive.
You can download the above poster, print and hang up somewhere as a gentle reminder