Do you remember a time like this last year? You were excited about the start of a new year. You had all your resolutions well laid out and there was nothing that could stop you from achieving them. Did you accomplish everything you set out to do or did you slowly go back to the old you by February?
We all love and appreciate the newness of the year. We hold on to hope that this will be it. The year we do great things. The year that ushers us into the next phase of life. It’s exciting and thrilling. We make vision boards and write all our goals down. We will go back to the gym. Eat healthily. Drink more water. Have better relationships. Overcome procrastination and just chase our dreams relentlessly. During those few days of a new year, everything seems so doable! Then some of us slip back to our old habits and continue with life as we knew it last year.
The euphoria of a new start fades away and we resign to the old us. Unmotivated. Uninspired. This is more normal than you’d expect so don’t feel like you are an isolated case. Most people lack the willpower and discipline to do things differently for better results. Given how tough the past two years have been in a pandemic, it’s quite reasonable to see why things may not have changed on an individual level because of external factors that we had no control over. People have been doing their best to survive and that’s all that matters. To slow down and do just what they can to keep their heads above water. 2022 may not be so different since we’re still picking ourselves up but we should definitely have the audacity of hope that things will get so much better.
This article is about how to make the transition from surviving to thriving – gradually. And I say that because we need to see past the excitement of a new year and make solid goals and plans that will see us to the end of 2022. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Break your goals into quarters. We have four quarters in a year with three months each. Instead of making goals for an entire year which can be intimidating, try doing it every three months. When you achieve your goals for the quarter, aim for higher or for more and review it every three months. If you aim to lose 20 pounds this quarter and you achieve it, set a target of losing 30 more pounds next quarter and before you know it, you’ll have done so much already.
Be very specific and realistic. Vagueness is the driver to nowhere. Have exact figures and descriptions of what you visualize yourself achieving like, “I will have earned 5,000 dollars by June.” This clarity of purpose gives your brain precise goals to work towards. Staying realistic is about being reasonable about how much you can achieve with what’s at your disposal e.g., if you get an extra source of income, how much more can it add to your current income to give you the life you want?
Chase wellness and complete lifestyle changes. Wellness is about adopting and practicing healthy habits daily so that you can be mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and financially healthy. When you aim for a lifestyle change, your goals stop becoming so daunting because of the small incremental steps you’re making to be a better person. The big picture is to not keep making the same goals year in and year out but to live in the reality of our dreams.
Create simple routines. Simply put, a routine is a series of actions you follow regularly. Don’t over complicate your routine by doing things that you don’t enjoy or look forward to doing. E.g., if you dread going to the gym but you need to start working out, you can look for alternatives like home workouts that are fun like dance routines. If you’re not a morning person, don’t stress yourself with unrealistic morning routines like waking up at 4 am; you can plan to be productive when you’re most alert, like in the afternoon. Plan routines with activities you love and enjoy but they need to reflect your overall goal. Work smarter not harder.
Create a reward system. Have incentives for yourself like, “If I achieve my financial goal of $10,000, I will go on vacation.” This is a very effective way of holding yourself accountable to your goals because you know there is a catch! It doesn’t have to be grandiose either. Reward yourself with small things like ice cream and gifts. A reward system is to simply acknowledge how hard you’ve been working. It’s also about treating yourself with compassion, kindness, grace, and forgiveness when you fail or make mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself just because you need to achieve something. Take every day as it comes and reward yourself for effort, no matter how small.
Don’t forget to say your new year’s affirmations. Here are some you can use;
I am achieving everything I set out to do this year with each passing day.
I trust that everything is working together for my highest good.
I have the capacity for change and improvement.
I am brilliant and excellent enough to achieve my goals.
I confidently step into the future that I deserve.
May this year be the best one for you yet. May all you dream about and work towards come to fruition. You have it in you to achieve beyond your greatest imagination. Seize every opportunity available to you. Count your blessings every day. Always make room for gratitude and learning. Treat yourself well. Give your best shot every time. And never stop trying no matter how hard it seems or gets. This time next year, you could be in a completely different space and I hope you get there.