New Years is just around the corner people! Not even the corner, it’s like knocking on the door right… freaking… now. And with that comes new years resolutions.
My dad is big on goals. Every year growing up I had to sit on the couch with my family and come up with things that I wanted to do better. As a kid it was kind of fun. As a teenager it was the worst thing ever. And as an adult, I sometimes wish every day would be New Years because I have so many things I feel like I am falling short at. Not to be a total downer or anything, it’s just that I have A LOT of areas in my life that I would like to improve on. Like cleaning my ears more often, eating more chocolate in general, perfecting my cartwheels, and pronouncing my W’s better. Okay maybe those aren’t my real goals, but I can’t tell you what they actually are or someone might figure out that I am not totally perfect.
Seriously though, in the spirit of the New Year, let’s talk goals. Most of us, despite our best intentions, fall a little bit short on our goals sometimes. If my family is the only one with this problem, then just keep it to yourself and pretend everyone else has similar issues.
IF you are at all like me, you may need a few fool proof ways to help keep your New Years Resolutions. Pick one, two, or as many as you need to keep yourself on track.
- Get a mentor (like in the 12 step program). I may or may not have spent a little time in the 12 step program. One of the things that makes an enormous difference in this program is having a mentor or a sponsor. This is a designated person who you can trust, that is there to help you whenever you need it. They hold you accountable, they give you advice, and they help you when you are struggling with your goals. You don’t have to be an addict to need a sponsor. Pick a friend or family member and simply ask them if they will be your mentor for one or more of your goals. It makes a big difference to have one person that knows you, your goal, and your struggles with it.
- Make it official and pretty, and post it somewhere in your way. Then move it every month. Ever notice how the pictures on your wall seem to disappear after awhile because they have been there for so long. You don’t notice things that never move. Make your goals into a pretty (or handsome) poster, and put it somewhere you will literally run into every day. Like on your bathroom mirror or your steering wheel. How about laminating it and sticking it in the shower … I am serious. Then every month move it somewhere else. Each month you will have it from a new perspective.
- Set a date every month to review and note your progress. Put it on the calendar at the beginning of the year. Treat it like an appointment or a meeting with your boss that you wouldn’t dream of missing. Write down what you have done well and then plan out your attack for the next month.
- Make it a competition. Gather up a gaggle of your friends and family, and have everyone pick three goals that you can actually measure. None of this “lose weight” or “meditate more” crap. You have to set measurable goals. Instead say “Plan out my meals each week, and get my body fat percentage down to __” or “meditate three mornings a week for half an hour”. Make it a game and have winners and losers. You can even figure out ways to keep score each week or month so if you miss a month then it’s still worth it to jump back on the wagon. It’s okay, I am competitive too.
- Don’t write down goals, instead write each tiny step you will take. If your goal was to save $12,000 this year, it’s immediately overwhelming. It’s also highly unlikely you will make the hard decision to not buy something in the moment, because you are giving yourself the opportunity to put it off until later. You can keep telling yourself you will save all $12,000 in Decmeber, but let’s be real guys. If instead, you write down how much you need to put in savings from each paycheck throughout the year, you have an exact number. When you get paid, you put that amount in savings first thing, and then you are one tiny step closer to your goal. Much more attainable.
- Promise yourself a really great prize or incentive. It has to be good. Pick something that you really want and stick to it. It’s even better if you do several smaller things so you can reward yourself throughout the year, not just one time. It would be pretty sad if you messed up in February and then didn’t bother to get back at it because you had already blown your prize for the end of the year.
- Take them one at a time. Instead of making 12 goals on January 1st and getting totally overwhelmed, write down your 12 goals and add one each month. Start with your first goal and focus on it. Then in February add another one. Hopefully the first goal is getting to be a little bit of a habit by then, so adding a second one is a lot more manageable. The point is to be getting better all the time right? You don’t have to do everything at once.
- Start a cash bucket with friends, and achievers get a piece of the pot. Get as many people as you want to join in on the fun. Have everyone throw in $10 at the beginning of the year. Have everyone add money each month to keep the money pot growing. At the end of the year, the people who met their goals get to divide the money. If everyone hit their marks, and you get the same amount back that you put in, you just started a savings account! Woot woot, toss it in the bank!
- Get a calendar just for your goals. Nothing else, just your goals. Write down every little step you can in there and assign it to a day. You will have tiny and specific goals to do on certain days. Just follow the directions.
- If all else fails…. write down goals you have already accomplished. What better way to reach your goals than to write down ones you have already met. That way, when anyone asks how your New Years resolutions are going, you can tell them how much you are rocking it! You know I am kidding right? …. sometimes it’s hard to tell online. 😉
Now we are all a little bit better prepared for goal setting this year I hope.
What’s your best goal setting suggestion? Leave it in the comments, I can use all the help I can get!