Welcome to my first blog post of 2019! Before I begin, let me just say I’m sorry for the lack of posts the past few months. I got caught up in a lot of things at the end of the year (more to come on that next week), and blogging fell by the wayside, but I’m back and better than ever.
Like last year, I’ll use this first post of 2019 to address something that’s at the top of everyone’s mind: New Year’s resolutions. And, like last year, I’m putting a spin on this whole “New year, new me” mantra and letting you in on a secret to actually becoming a better, more refined, version of yourself.
You’ll see—just read on.
Step 1: List what you want to accomplish
Before we go on making New Year’s resolutions, let’s talk about what you want to accomplish this year. This can be one thing or many things. Grab a pen and paper (or your phone or tablet) and jot down some thoughts.
Now that you’ve done this, let’s make sure those thoughts you wrote down are positive, not negative. By that, I mean “Stop eating junk food” becomes “Eat healthier,” “No more coffee in the morning” becomes “Replace coffee with tea,” and “Stop using my phone so much” becomes “Read in my free time.” It might seem like a silly thing to do, but when you look back on your resolutions, you’ll react better to positive messages than negative ones.
Step 2: Create one, larger resolution
Now, let’s take a step back and really analyze your list. Read each thought you wrote down and see if they fit together somehow. It’s easier to look at and accomplish one large task for the year than a bunch of little ones.
When I did this, I found myself thinking of things like workout three days a week, eat healthier, get more sleep, put my mental health first, etc. After looking at my list again, I decided to lump this into one resolution: become a healthier version of myself, both physically and mentally.
Craft your one resolution, but hang onto that list, because you’ll need it.
Step 3: Create tasks to accomplish your resolution
Take a look at the list you wrote in step one and repurpose whichever thoughts you wrote down to break your larger resolution down into easy, accomplishable goals. Then, add to that list to support the larger goal you created. (Hint: 12 goals will work best with what we’re trying to do here. It’s easy to come up with, don’t worry!)
Here are my small, accomplish-able (that’s probably not a word) goals to accomplish my larger goal of becoming a healthier version of myself, physically and mentally:
- Work out at least three days a week
- Monitor what I’m eating
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night
- Get up and walk around at work every hour (I have a desk job)
- Pay attention to my Fitbit’s step count
- Go to church
- Read more books
- Do yoga once a week
- Drink 8 cups of water per day
- Eat more vegetables
- Focus on my life, not others’ lives
- Make time to write blog posts
Remember to write those goals from a positive perspective, too. (For number 11, I started writing “Stop comparing myself to others,” but changed it once I realized what I was doing. Remember, positive messages. 😊 )
Step 4: Create a timeline to accomplish those goals
Looking at a list of 12 goals you are trying to accomplish can be intimidating, so that’s why we’re going to break it down. Assign one goal to each month—it’s that easy! (Now you see why I told you to think of 12 goals. 😉 )
Now, this isn’t like following a recipe; you can alter it a little. You don’t necessarily have to stick to one goal per month. (Heck, if you’re feeling ambitious you can try to do all the goals at once.) I just suggested one per month to make it easier on you all.
You can bundle two, three, or six goals into one month—whatever you think is best for you! What’s important is to have at least one primary focus of the month, so you can begin to develop that habit and (hopefully) continue it for many months to come.
Whatever you do, just don’t give up
The beauty of this way of making resolutions is that it allows you to start at any time. You can begin whenever and alter it to best fit your lifestyle and your resolution. The most important part of all of this is to keep going and stick to your resolution throughout the year.
There’s a reason you want to improve yourself, even if it’s triggered by the beginning of a new year. Don’t let anyone (especially yourself) convince you that your New Year’s resolution won’t last, because it will. You just have to make a serious effort to stick to your goals.
Whether you’re reading this in January or July, it’s never too late to start! Just follow these steps (and feel free to change the amount of goals according to the number of months left in the year) and you’ll be good to go. Good luck!