As you've probably noticed, 2017 is now in the past and 2018 is upon us! I've never really taken new years resolutions very seriously. I mean, you can't even think about resolutions without feeling hopeless failure coming on. But maybe that's the problem, resolutions are culturally set to fail. So here are three reasons why you should make resolutions and how to stick to them!
1. Where are you going without goals?If you don't have goals, then what are you doing with your life? I totally get going with the flow, but not setting goals sets you up for failure. With no goals, you have very little control over your life. In addition, how can you be motivated to move forward with no reward in sight? The difference between setting goals and working toward them and not is like setting out on a sailing trip to a desired destination and setting out on a sailing trip and just letting the currants and wind take you away. In the first scenario, you have something to look forward to and you are able to plan in advanced so that you can have a comfortable and well-prepared journey. In the second scenario, there's really no way to prepare because you don't know what your destination will be like or how long it will take to get there. Another difference in these two scenarios is that in the first, when unexpected things arise, you can make better informed decisions on how to change course. In the second senecio, everything in unexpected so you could end up in paradise or you could end up on a desert island...
So even if everything doesn't go as planned, setting goals and adjusting them as necessary is still more productive than just going through life hoping everything turns out ok.
2. Goals can be specific or notYour goals don't have to look like someone else's goals. Two people can have similar goals that are phrased differently. One might be "I would like to be able run a mile in 8 minutes," and the other might say "I want to get in better shape." One of these goals is very specific and the other is more vague, leaving room for options along the way. It's up to you depending if you have a specific goal in mind or more of an abstract idea. Both are totally ok!
3. Be realisticOne of the best ways to make your new years resolutions a reality is to set realistic goals and set priorities. It's easy to look at yourself and want to change all at once but making unreachable goals is setting yourself up for failure. The ultimate goal you might have in mind might take more than one year to reach. Set goals that are doable. You will feel so much better about yourself if you accomplish more than your goal rather than coming up short. Also, don't overdo it by focusing on too many goals. It's ok to just have one goal. But if you have a list, prioritize what's most important to you and then work your way down from there.
4. Write it downIt's important to write out your goals. Writing your goals out is the first step in making them a reality. It can help you not only see what you want to do, but also help you make a plan on how you're going to make it happen. Jordan and I just did this ourselves. It was such a great way to get on the same page with each other while helping us decide what's most important to us. So whether you're making a list to share or just for yourself, I think we can all agree that there's nothing more satisfying than crossing off a to-do list!
I've come to realize that setting goals, if for nothing else, can be the carrot at the end of the string that keeps us motivated. Motivation and the hope of reward is what propels us to keep working and moving forward to become a better version of ourselves, even if it's not what we expect at the end. The point is that we continue to grow. If you are always working towards something, then it's not failure if you don't reach your original goal and end up somewhere unexpected. That's just life. It's only failure if you stop growing and changing. The ultimate goal in setting goals is to not be stagnant in our lives, take control, and hopefully look back and see our accomplishments over time.
Some of my goals for this year are:
Be able to run 3 miles
Be more organized overall and not let un-needed junk into my house
Finish renovating the upstairs in my house
Happy New Year! Comment some of your goals for this year below!