I love setting goals and dreaming about what I’m going to accomplish in the new year! Every year I go out and buy a pretty new journal in hopes that it might magically make my dreams more powerful as I sit down and write down all the amazing, big things I’ll accomplish in the new year.
I dream about how I’ll finally lose that pesky 30 pounds that I can’t seem to get rid of, how I’ll start reading all the books I collected over the past year, how this year I’ll finally wake up early and work out before the girls wake up, and how salads will become my best friend as I somehow gain massive self-control and eat super healthy! Can anyone else relate?
I am a pro at starting out strong! I mean, I am a serious professional! But usually around January 10th something happens, disaster strikes! All of the sudden, I find myself super depressed and disappointed that I haven’t lost a pound yet, it’s too dark to get out of bed early and work out, and I’m still devouring the massive bag of Christmas candy from Santa instead of eating my salad like I promised myself.
Ten days in and I feel like a total failure! Sound familiar? Somehow I don’t think I’m the only person who suffers from new years resolution depression!
Why we can’t keep a New Years resolution?
Why does this happen? Why can’t we accomplish what we promised ourselves just a few days earlier? I have found the biggest reason our New Years resolutions end in failure is that we tried to do too much at once!
Setting 15 goals and hoping they’ll magically happen, just because it’s the new year, isn’t a good plan! It will instantly end in disaster because there wasn’t an actionable plan attached to that goal. If everything is important, nothing is important!
How do approach the new year without sabotaging ourselves? How do we actually make changes in our lives?
Here are five tips I have found that makes all the difference in actually keeping goals. (Plus, don’t forget to grab your New Year, New You workbook at the end!)
– 5 Ways To Actually Change Your Life –
1. Pick only a few things to change or improve
The first thing you need to do is sit down and write down all of the dreams you’d like to accomplish in the next year. Don’t worry about writing down too many, but write down the person you’d like to be at the end of next year.
What do you want to improve? What habits do you want to incorporate? What bad habits are you going to break? Write everything you can think of down. Dream big!
Next, take a moment and identify your top five. If you can only accomplish five things, what five would that be? The reason I want you to only pick five is that any more than five and your chances of actually completing them are quite small.
By only picking five, you can spend time focusing on one goal at a time before moving onto the next during the course of the year. If you end up completing all five goals before the end of the year, pick a few more from your list and reward yourself! The whole goal of narrowing down your goals is to create a priority.
Remember, if everything is important, nothing is important.
2. Dream BIG but create an actionable PLAN
A dream without a plan is just a dream! I can’t tell you how many times I have written down the most amazing dreams and none of them ever came true because I didn’t have a plan to accomplish it! Hello, my dream of learning to play the guitar!
Spend time writing down a detailed, actionable plan that provides each step for accomplishing that goal.
For example, one of my goals is to wake up early and work out three days a week. The first step I take is deciding what time I have to wake up. Then I choose what three days out of my week work best. Then I select what type of workout I’m going to do. My personal favorite is a combination of running and PiYo.
Instead of just saying “I’m going to wake up early”, now I have an actual plan to make it happen.
Remember, be detailed! Super detailed! Plan everything out so hopefully very little will take you by surprise and you can plan around things that may come up. Let’s be honest, we live in real life and there WILL be things that come up and knock us off our game! (Teething baby, anyone?!)
3. Write your dreams as if they’ve already happened
I recently started a new practice of writing out my dreams as if they’ve already happened. I first heard this concept on a podcast by Rachel Hollis and loved the idea! I currently use her Start Today journal and every day I write out my dreams as if they have already happened!
At first, this seemed like a weird concept, but the reason behind it is pretty cool. By writing out your dreams as if they’ve already happened, you are wiring your brain to figure out how to make it a reality.
By saying “I’m going to exercise every day” your brain focuses on you saying “I’m going too”. But when you write “I exercise every day” your brain has to figure out how to make it happen because you’ve spoken it as if you are already doing it.
Now it’s time to take your five goals and write them down every day as if they’ve already happened. It’s amazing the positivity this brings to your thinking and the impact it actually has.
Try it out, every day! Trust me, you’ll see a different and you’ll actually start to believe that you can accomplish what you are writing every day!
4. Get rid of the negativity in your life
Nothing zaps positivity faster than negativity! It seems to be everywhere and you don’t even have to go looking for it to affect your life.
How much negativity is in your life? Are the people you surround yourself with the most a positive influence in your life or a negative? Are your core group of friends supportive of your dreams and goals or do they quickly destroy them?
If you have people who are a negative influence in your life then you need to find ways to limit those people in your life. Maybe it’s even time to look for new friends. The facts show that you become who you are around the most. This is a crazy thought, but there is a lot of truth to it.
If you are around negative people, chances are you will become more negative. If you are around positive people, it can quickly feel like you could move a mountain and nothing is impossible.
Take a moment and really think about who you surround yourself with. Now obviously your family is a different story. If your spouse or your family isn’t supportive of your dreams and are a negative voice, then you need to be creative in HOW you replace those negative voices.
Decide to take their opinions with a grain of salt and most importantly, replace them with positive words! For me, I find positivity by listening to podcasts. I share some of my favorite podcasts here.
Whether your inner circle is full of positivity or you’re realizing there is more negativity than you thought, be aware and make changes to get more positivity in your life!
5. Celebrate the small wins and reward yourself
What motivates you? Are you motivated by self-care, like a mani or pedi? Write down a few ideas of ways that you could reward yourself for small wins throughout your journey.
By breaking up your goals into smaller goals, you can reward yourself along the way with rewards to give you that extra motivation. The key is to find what gives you that extra boost to keep going!
* Bonus Tip – Be Kind and Don’t Give Up! *
I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times, but be kind to yourself! Making positive changes in your life is stinkin’ hard! Like really hard! You are changing habits in your life and that requires a lot of work.
Don’t beat yourself up if you mess up. Let’s be real here, IT”S GOING TO HAPPEN! The key to success is picking yourself back up and not giving up!
Make this year, your best year yet!
I hope these tips encourage you to spend time dreaming about what this next year could look like and the dreams you could accomplish. Take some time and write down all of the dreams you’d love to accomplish to become the best version of you.
Then pick your top five and make actionable plans to accomplish them. Be detailed and make a plan! Then write down your dreams daily, as if they’ve already happened.
To help you out, I’ve created this New Year, New You workbook just for you! Grab it right here!
Goal setting can be a blast and accomplishing those goals is the best part! But remember to be kind to yourself through it all. We all make mistakes. We all eat the Cheetos instead of the broccoli! We’re imperfect and continually trying to improve and I’ll always be the first to admit that!
Encourage yourself with the little victories along the way and celebrate! And remember, working towards your goals requires a lot of time and effort and sometimes it’s more about the journey and what you learn about yourself than about the actual destination.
Dream big, make a plan, write it as if it’s already happened and make this your best year yet!