Halfway into the January, I’m sure that many of you are already working hard on our new year’s resolutions… if they haven’t fallen apart yet. (I hope not!)
Hello my darling readers, and today I have life lesson that I hope will rock your world. Specifically, you super awesome resolutions.
Statistically, for many of us our resolutions will wither and disintegrate by February, March the latest. There are a few reasons for this, but in this blog post I’m going to focus instead on how you can avoid this. Better yet, I’ve come up with a surefire way to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Let’s get started. First things first…
Write it down
Writing down our goals sort of makes it real, like it’s not just a figment of our imaginations (many of my goals feel that way sometimes…). It also helps us remember them. I would even suggest putting that piece of paper with all your goals on a surface you look at every day, like the fridge, vanity mirror, wall in your room, or even on the bathroom mirror. (On second thought, the bathroom may not be a very sanitary place to put your goals…).
This visual reminder will not only ensure that you don’t forget your resolutions/goals, but also serve as a source of inspiration to motivate you to achieve you goals. Lack of motivation will often be the reason our resolutions fall by the wayside. I’d say it’s the key component in achieving our goals. Thus, we will need to…
Make a plan
At the start of the year, we’re pumped and ready to do good on our resolutions. And for a few weeks, we might even establish a routine. But without a plan, we might start procrastinating, lose focus, and even lose the motivation to keep going.
Making a plan will keep us focused and motivated.
I’m sure many of you have heard the benefits of making lists. Specifically, crossing things off our to-do list. There is a sense of accomplishment, of victory in crossing off a task well done. That victorious feeling is the fuel to our motivation. The more accomplished we feel at meeting a small goal each day, the more enthusiastic we will be the next day to tackle that day’s goals.
Thus, the key to formulating a good plan is…
Set small and achievable goals
Specifically, setting small achievable goals either daily or weekly. Any longer than that and the danger of losing focus and motivation is greater. Keyword is small. Let’s take a look at an example.
One of my goals this year is to post at least one blog post every month. I’ve tried this in the past and failed. My failure was due to the fact that I tried to draft, proofread, polish and send out a blog post in one night.
Knowing this, I decided that in order to achieve my goal this year, I would have to spend more time on my blog post. Thus, I plan to write/proofread/polish 50 words every day on one given topic until it’s finished.
As a writer, 50 words is cake, making my daily goal super achievable. Better yet, on good days I might even exceed my daily goal.
Like you’re major goals, you want to write down your daily or weekly goals somewhere. You also want to…
Track your progress
Alongside the victorious feeling of completing your small and super achievable goals, tracking your progress is also a great source of fuel for your motivation, especially if you exceed your goals. Seeing a visual reminder is great; seeing your goals met (and exceeded!) every day or week is even better.
You can get a planner to track your daily and/or weekly goals. Or you can make your own planner via bullet journaling. Don’t know what bullet journaling is, check out BulletJournal.com for more info.
Personally, I’ve never got into bullet journaling, despite being up my alley. I’ve found it terribly time consuming and tedious. This may have something to do with the fact that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Needless to say, bullet journaling doesn’t have to be a chore. Plenty of people have non-artistic or crazy-detailed bullet journals. I recommend watching Sea Lemon’s fun and easy video on how to get started on bullet journaling without getting caught up in the crazy details.
If bullet journaling doesn’t sound like your cup of tea (don’t worry, it’s not mine either), you can also just track your progress in a plain journal without any fancy schmacy doodling or bulleting.
The key is to find what works for you.
I’ve made a replica of a format that works for me to help you keep track of your fabulous progress. You know, in case you were searching for another option. You can print it or copy into your own files and keep track of your progress digitally. This worksheet is free to use and free to share.
Click here to view the worksheet. It’s a google document. To edit it, all you have to do is copy it into your own drive. If you prefer a Microsoft document, you can click here. (Why Google Docs? Because I’m a teacher, and between you and me I love google docs).
Tracking your progress is not just good for motivational purposes, but also to an excellent way to discover what working and what’s not working. That way you can…
Adjust your goals as you go
It’s important to note that your plan should not be set on stone. Life has a knack for throwing wrenches into your carefully worked out plans (Why are you so mean, life?). Nothing ever goes as planned, and this includes your mini-goals.
But no biggie. Whilst tracking your progress you will find what’s working for you and what isn’t, and adjusting your mini-goals is a good way to ensure that your plan doesn’t go awry (pronounced aw-ree by many Latinos, including yours truly. #trueStory).
Adjust your goals and daily/weekly goals accordingly. Also, be sure to keep a look out for special events and holidays that may take time and energy away from you. You definitely want to plan ahead of time for those.
Finally, tell someone
Tell your parents about it. Tell your fabulous friends. Tell the rest of your family. Tell your coworkers. Tell anyone that would care to listen.
Telling and describing your plan to others does this strange thing to our decision making part of our brain, as well as our emotional state. We often feel no qualms about disappointing ourselves, which is why many of our resolutions will fall on the wayside and are never recovered (so sad, but true). However, disappointing others has a more negative effect on our emotional well-being, and as such we feel more obligated to see our goals through.
On a side note, we should treat our minds and souls with the same regard we do to those we care for. We are deserving of that same tender love and care. Just something to keep in mind the next time you’re being hard on yourself, or disappointing yourself.
Needless to say, it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra motivators to achieve our goals, right?
And you’re all set! Go and achieve you fabulous new year’s resolutions!
Thank you! And… subscribe?
I hope you enjoyed this blog entry and that it was helpful. Please use my worksheet as you see fit. Change it, adjust it, and share it with as many people as you like. Just be sure to point them back here for credit purposes.
Next time, I’ll talk about visual planning if a worksheet sounds too much like a chore (or worse, like homework. *insert shudder*).
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Thank you so much for reading. I wish you luck and success in your new year’s resolutions.
Have a fabulous and healthy day. Be safe and stay AWESOME!