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New Year, New You, and Reasonable Goals!
The New Year is quickly approaching, and here we are again… pondering what goals we should strive to meet in the upcoming year. Just the thought alone can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Large or small, physical or emotional, any improvement is improvement. Here are some ways to help you kick-start your new year without feeling overwhelmed about reaching your new goals!
Write it down
Why, you ask? It might seem silly, but physically writing down a task or goal will create the feeling of commitment, and will be a reminder that you still have something on your “to-do” list. It’s easy to brainstorm goals and keep them to yourself, but writing them down is like holding yourself accountable when no one else will. It is very easy to start making excuses not to do things, especially when they are not written down anywhere or known to anyone but yourself. Even if no one else ever sees these written notes but you, it will be a little nagging reminder that you still haven’t finished your goal yet! If you don’t feel like writing the goal or task down, tell a family member or a friend, and you will instantly feel more committed to keeping to your word since you made it known, and these people will be expecting to see you make these changes.
Writing down your goals will also give you a visual of what you are expecting of yourself. You might have ten great ideas, but once you write them down realize that they may be a lot more time consuming than what you had thought. If that’s the case, focus on the ideas that you feel would be most beneficial to your self-improvement, and allocate more time to those ideas.
Try not to overwhelm yourself with huge goals right away at the beginning of the year. How many times have you visited the gym for example at the beginning of the year, and months later notice a dramatic change in attendance? Did you start to get overwhelmed with the goals you set? It’s very possible, so starting with small attainable goals can keep you on track.
The goals you set don’t always have to be made with a “go big or go home” mentality. Sometimes such a huge resolution can backfire and make you feel defeated before you’ve even started. If it’s a fitness goal to lose weight for example, try thinking in terms of losing five pounds at a time instead of one giant goal of twenty pounds. Once you’ve reached your first five-pound goal, then, move onto your next five-pound goal. Smaller increments makes the goal seem much more manageable and realistic to reach. This goes with all forms of fitness such as running, walking, weight lifting etc… Start small, and gradually increase your practice. Sometimes, slow and steady wins the race!
Since not all resolutions are fitness oriented, another goal may be self-enrichment through reading or writing. Instead of setting a hard deadline of reading five chapters of a book per day, try something like reading a new book every other month, or writing a blog every other week. This allows a little more flexibility and the option to read/write more or less in between your time frame, and you won’t feel like it is a chore to get your reading or writing done.
Go beyond just fitness goals!
New year’s resolutions are always a good thing to strive towards, but they don’t always have to involve your physical appearance! Take this time to really reflect on the past year, and pinpoint some areas that could use some improvement. Some fun ideas that don’t go with the norm could be learning new recipes, learning how to play a new instrument, writing/blogging, reading, giving, and the list goes on! A personal goal of mine is to get outdoors more and go on more hikes (one per week). Try and be creative with your goals, and know that you don’t always have to go with what the New Year’s norms are. And more importantly, have fun with your resolutions! After all, these are helping to improve you, so might as well enjoy the process!
Best of luck to you and your goals this New Year!