With 2022 coming to a close, you may have started mentally preparing your New Year’s resolutions. As you are writing down your list, you may be noticing a few items that have remained unchecked over the past few years. This could be because you have been looking at executing your goals from a traditional standpoint that just does not work as efficiently in the present day.
We get it. Life happens and our intentions and plans change all of the time and your plans seem like a fog beyond the horizon.
No worries! We’ve got the needle to the arrow that will get you where you want to go:
Plan Your Year into Fourths.
Naturally, when we think about our New Year’s resolutions, we think of how we want to be at the end of that year. This can make us believe that we have more time than we actually do. Avoid looking at your goals as an end-of-the-year reward and break them down into quarterly objectives. Want to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year? Set your goal to be your burn off 5 pounds within three months. This will allow for a time frame that is easier to picture and allows you to be realistic about your goals. If you don’t lose five pounds by the end of the quarter, perhaps adjusting that number to 16 pounds (16/4=4) by the end of 2023 is easier to execute.
Visualization is Realization.
When you think of resolutions, you may think of a target- like a literal target! Goals are visual, so turning that thought into something tangible can make all the difference when it comes to meeting your objectives.
What does that look like?
Write your goals down: On a plain sheet of paper, write down what you want to have accomplished throughout the year. Doing this is just the first step, but is the biggest when you want to be intentional about getting what you want. Don’t be afraid to add some doodles for an expanded perception of what you’re aiming for.
Do some research: Sometimes the ideas in our brain need a bit more landscape than our mind can take us. A google search or two can provide you with information you may have not already known of!
Create a mood board: You may have spotted a few images in your research that caught your eye. Print those out and add them to your wall or corkboard. Taking this step allows you to really see how intentional you are about hitting your target (if you've got this far, you must really want it)!
Schedule it: Adding your goals to an auto-reminder such as a planner on your computer, your Google Calendar, or an alarm system on your phone will constantly remind you of the tasks that you need to complete. If the procrastinator in you wants to hit snooze, you may want to add those tasks to upcoming dates as a “just in case”.
Reverse Psychology Yourself!
You may have heard of the phrase “exterior accountability”. This refers to having other people hold you accountable for your actions or the lack thereof. Simply put, we'd rather not let others down. Inviting a friend for an early morning run, scheduling a 5 pm study session with a classmate, or asking your partner to remind you to text your mom this weekend creates an obligation for others to hold while keeping you responsible for your own actions. If you don’t follow through, you may feel bad for holding them to this request. As the saying goes, "Just Do It"!