“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future.”
– Bradley Whitford
As another year is drawing to a close, it’s the perfect time to look back and take stock what we’ve achieved for the past 12 months. Was it a great year full of accomplishments? Or did you fall short of reaching any of the goals you’ve set your eyes on?
Whichever of the two you land on, with a brand new year just around the corner, we are given a fresh opportunity to start anew! And should you intend to make 2017 your most spectacular year yet – you’re in luck. Here, I’m sharing a couple of helpful tips that I have personally found useful (and effective) in making 2016 a triumphant year.
Give them a try and may they help you to move closer to living out your very best life in the New Year!
1. Set Goals That You *Actually* Want
It’s important to remember that before you set your goals for the year, you need to make sure that you *actually* want them. This may sound super silly but you’d be surprised at just how many people would make resolutions because they believe that it’s something that they should do – rather than what they need to do. Be honest to yourself. Ditch the goals that you think would be ‘nice to have’ – because it’s not really all that important to you, you won’t be willing to give it all you got to achieve them.
Instead, visualize on what you really want, be as specific as possible and be clear on *why* you want to work on these goals. Once you’ve done so, it’s advisable to keep your resolutions list short. Include a maximum of five goals so you won’t get overwhelmed and end up admitting defeat in a few weeks time.
2. Keep Your Goals Top of Mind
In order for us to focus on our goals, it helps to literally look at the list each and every day. This way, you are constantly reminded of where you want to be in 12 months time. Put up your list on your bathroom mirror so it’s the first thing you see as you are getting ready in the morning. It also helps to have it around throughout the day – you can even add it as your computer’s screen saver or backdrop! If you’d like to keep the list a bit more private, have it printed and put it in your wallet. The key is to be sure to take it out and read it at least once a day. By doing so, you’re more likely to align your daily actions with the resolutions you’ve set for yourself.
If you’d like to keep the list private, have it printed and put it in your wallet. The key is to be sure to take it out and read it at least once a day. By doing so, you’re more likely to align your daily actions with the resolutions you’ve set for yourself.
3. Track Your Progress
Let’s face it, setting goals is easy – the real challenge is following through and keeping your eyes on the prize until you’ve reached that finish line. For me, one of the most effective ways to help me stay on track is to jot down my efforts and progress along the way. As they say “The only way to look back is to see how far you’ve come”.
Keep a journal specifically dedicated to your resolutions and write down short entries of your efforts and progress on a daily basis. It may feel tedious at first as you keep at it, it’ll quickly become a habit.
Also keep in mind that you need to celebrate your ‘little wins’ or milestones. Take the time to read back on your entries after a couple of weeks, seeing how far you’ve come since day 1 will help motivate you to keep on going!
4. Share Your Goals with Others
Though I know some people much prefer to keep their goals to themselves, I actually find sharing them with my family and friends help to keep me accountable. For most people, it’s easier to break promises we make to ourselves than it is to break those that we make to others. And resolutions are essentially promises that we make to ourselves. Hence, by intentionally letting others know of what we’ve set our eyes on, we’re more likely to stick to the goals than if we were to keep it to ourselves. This way, it won’t be so easy for us to put it off without other people asking about it and/or our progress.
That said, if you opt to keep your resolutions private, what you can do is find yourself an accountability buddy – someone who is going after the same goals as you are. By doing so, you still have access to the support and accountability without having to share your goals to everyone you know!
5. Cut Yourself Some Slack
Though this tip sounds counterintuitive, you’d be interested to know that one of the most common reasons people fail at achieving their goals is that when they find themselves hitting a bump on the road, they end up beating themselves up over it and give up.
Most highly successful people would gladly tell you that they’ve have experienced more failures than success. The reason why they end up succeeding is because they flat out refuse to their shortcomings get the best of them. Instead, they choose to learn from the experience and use their failures as motivation.
So, if you’ve intended to lose 15 lbs for the year and find yourself having an indulgent meal one evening, don’t conclude that it’s the end of your goal. You always have the choice to get back on track the next day. Don’t be so hard on yourself – choose to dust yourself off and try again. Truth be told, it really doesn’t matter how slow you go, you’ll eventually succeed if you refuse to quit!