I gave up making New Year ‘Resolutions’ a couple of years ago. I really dislike the term ‘resolution’, so instead I now opt for making a list of goals and take sall steps each month in order to reach them by the end of the year. Not only is this easier to maintain but it also gives you mini challenges to focus on each month.
I thought I would share my top tips here on the blog on how you can do the same, and make 2017 your best year ever.
Step 1: Choose an aesthetically pleasing notebook.
It doesn’t have to be pretty, but in my experience it makes you want to reach for it more. I always visit HomeSense and pick up a couple of the Valentina real leather notebooks in different colours and sizes, but they have so many to choose from you’ll be there for hours trying to pick just one! I personalised my notebook to double up as a diary too, fitting in perfectly with Step 3.
Step 2: Think of two or three goals you’d like to achieve
They can be big or small, but whatever you do, make them realistic. There’s no point in making a goal to lose weight, for example, if you don’t make the right plan to achieve it. Can you stick to that diet for 12 months? Do you have time to go to the gym 5 days a week? If the honest answer is no, then you’ve already failed at the first hurdle. Make the goal to ‘Be Healthier and Happier‘ instead. Create a meal plan that has a healthy balance of food and drink that is good for you as well as what you like and will actually eat, and an exercise routine that you will enjoy and feel motivated by. Whatever your goal is, don’t make it so difficult that you won’t want to do it.
My personal plan: Cutting out caffeine after 8pm. Drinking 2 litres of water every day. Attending the gym three times a week and using the fitness app Seven on the other days.
Other goals you make could be to spend more time with friends and family, reaching a certain number of followers on your blog and social media platforms, or perhaps visiting a new place every month – whether that be a new coffee shop, a road trip to another city or hopping on a plane to somewhere further afield!
Step 3: Make a monthly plan
It’s no surprise that so many of us break our New Year Resolutions within the first few weeks of the year when we don’t actually allow ourselves the time to achieve them. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and the same could be said for reaching our life goals. Give yourself a break!
Create a monthly plan and make appropriate steps for each month – you could be aiming to reach your goal in six or twelve months – however long you give yourself, just be realistic. One of my main goals last year was to learn to drive and this is how I mapped out a way to achieve it:
January: Choose a driving instructor and book my first set of lessons.
February: Start my driving lessons.
The next few months were pretty much the same: to continue driving lessons 1-2 times a week
June: Book my theory test
July: Pass my theory test
August: Book my practical driving test
November: Pass my driving test
You don’t need to take monthly steps, you could choose to map out a quarterly plan if that is more appropriate. The most important thing is to work out a plan that will motivate you and be maintained in a realistic time frame.
Step 4: Reward yourself
It’s important to give yourself some praise during your journey to achieving your goals, as much as it is when you reach them. It can be a bumpy road so set aside some time off from Mission:Possible and treat yourself – whether that be a new dress, a spontaneous trip near or far, or a night out with the girls for some celebratory bubbles!
Step 5: Review your goals
At the end of every month, write down what you achieved and how you did it. By looking back on what worked and what didn’t, you’ll be able to change your steps if required or perhaps skip a few if you’re achieving more than you expected to by that stage.
Don’t focus too much on the negatives. So what if you haven’t ticked off everything on your To Do list that month? Simply re-word those tasks and make a fresh attempt to tackle them in a new, more motivating way.
If you’re still stuck for ideas, why not pick two or three words from the following list and create goals to accompany them:
Health (e.g. fitness, diet)
Happiness (e.g. doing more things that makes you happy)
Growth (e.g. career, knowledge on a particular subject, building a stronger online presence)
Love (e.g. dating, improving a relationship/friendship, self-praise)
Adventure (e.g. a new hobby, making plans to travel to somewhere you haven’t been before)
I hope this post helps you set a more achievable plan for reaching your New Year Goals. Let’s hope 2017 is a better, brighter year for all of us.
You can follow my journey over on Instagram, come and say hello!