Each new year, I hear many people discussing their goals and resolutions and then 4-6 weeks later, everything is back to before and people feel trapped by their choices and guilty for their failure. Start this year right and think about what you can really accomplish. It will be easier than you think to make goals and stick with them this year – you can make lasting change in your life and this is the year to make it happen.
1. Give up the guilt. You can’t do everything and you won’t be good at everything – no big deal. Learn from your failures & mistakes and it will all be worth it in the end.
2. Try new things. You don’t have to go too far out there. Small new things will make you more likely to achieve your goals.
3. Don’t buy the foods you can’t control. It’s easier to reduce and eliminate problem foods from your diet if they aren’t even in your house. We’re reducing and eliminating our pre-packaged snack foods this year. We’ve noticed that is what we go to first, instead of our abundance of healthy snacks, and we don’t need to keep doing this.
4. Let it go. You don’t need so much stuff in your life – it’s creating clutter and causing you stress. If you don’t love it, then you should sell it, recycle it or donate it. You might think it’s hard, but you’ll be glad to get the weight of the stuff out of your life.
5. Develop a signature style. When you look good, you feel good. Make it a goal to get ready every morning. Only keep clothes that fit. Find a hairstyle that really works for you. Develop a standard professional outfit and prepare what you will wear in advance. You can look your best and feel your best all of the time.
6. Save your money for the things you want. Save money on everyday purchases so you can invest your money in things that matter (and yes, fun matters). Spend less on groceries, reuse items and make things and meals at home more often. When you eliminate unnecessary spending, you give yourself more freedom financially.
7. Expect the best possible outcome. Things could go wrong or they could go right. Visualize how they can go right and make that happen.
8. Write down your goals. I write down everything, lists save my life on many occasions. And my goals, I like to be able to check my progress regularly. For the last few years, I’ve been posting my goals to my Forward category pages. You can see my 2014 goals in progress this year on my Simplicity page. Writing it down (and sharing it!) will make you much more likely to accomplish your goals.
9. Break it down into bite-sized pieces. You know how I’m going to run 800 miles this year? I’m going to break it down into a weekly goal. I just need to run 4 miles, 4 times a week. And I scheduled time in my calendar so I know what days and times I’ll be doing this – easy breezy. Your giant goal is much more manageable if you put it into tiny action steps.
10. Never give up. Your goals won’t always be easy to accomplish, in fact sometimes they’ll be downright difficult. Don’t give up. If you can make it through today, you can make it through tomorrow and the next day.
11. Make exercise work for you. Find the exercise location that you’ll actually go to (for me it’s the easiest spot). Download music playlists to make it more fun. Schedule time in your calendar so you know when to go. Give yourself rewards for each milestone (I love long, hot shower/baths after every run and of course, new shoes)
12. Plan for Lazy Days. There is a reason that every Monday is “Slow Cooker Dinner” day in our house. I’m tired and I want to sit and read. But my family still needs to eat, so problem solved. You can do this too, plan ahead and give yourself time to be lazy.
13. Spend time helping others. No you don’t have to take a mission trip to make a difference. What if you used your talents to help someone each day? By the end of this year, you’ll have helped 365 people (or more). Make a plan to always do what is right at every opportunity – even if it is inconvenient for you.
14. You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward. Just keep going.