As 2018 comes to an end and 2019 has just begun, we start reflecting on all the highs and lows. We wane nostalgic about all the wonderful adventures we had. We think about friends we’ve made or lost and the missed opportunities. Determined to make the next year better than the last, we plan out what our goals are for the future, aka the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve ever made one then you know that you’ll be uber motivated to follow through until about mid-February and then that’s where the buck pretty much stops.
If you don’t believe this is true, just head to your local gym around the first week of January. Caution, you may notice your luck in finding the ideal parking spot has diminished and your cycling class is more full than usual. This is not a coincidence! These are the ever-optimistic, New Year’s resolutions at work.
People who have communicated to themselves and others that this is the year to put down the cheeseburger and pick up the dumbbells. New Year’s resolutions are often lofty goals, short-sighted, and lack realistic expectations. Rome wasn’t built in a day but for some reason, we believe that one salad and a few workouts are going to miraculously give us the ultimate beach body.
Lost interest and frustration results in the return to binging on cheese fries and Netflix and we’ve either discontinued our gym memberships or, just guiltily let the membership key card sit on our key ring because we don’t want to have that awkward cancellation conversation at the front desk.
We’re all guilty
I’m not here to shame you. I’m as guilty of this as pretty much anyone else. I’ve made lots of unkept promises to myself about the ways that I was going to improve and see another year pass, new year, same me. I’ve told myself that I’m going to lose 40 pounds, that I’m going to stop eating sugar, or that I’m going to be completely debt free. Spoiler alert: none of these things have come to pass. Candy has a tight grip on my heart and so does shopping. *Sigh.
That’s why this year I’m not making New Year’s resolutions, and you shouldn’t either. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to not have goals and expectations for your future. Being directionless in life is not the way to go. I’m just saying don’t call it a New Year’s resolution because once you do, you’re pretty much dooming yourself from the start.
How You Can Reach
I truly believe that we are all capable of reaching our goals but, we must not be setting ourselves up for failure by setting goals into the next year. Set benchmarks for achievement. Make little goals along the way to your major goal so you still have little victories that you can celebrate regularly. Discouragement comes from never seeing results.
My goals this year are to be more positive, be more decisive, conquer my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and say yes to more opportunities and adventures! Here are some actionable ways right now that you can reach your goals and how I am planning on reaching mine.
Take it one day at a time
Set daily goals instead of yearly ones and make expectations reasonable. If you are a writer, then set to write every day, doesn’t have to be a novel just has to be something. If you want to get healthier then, start walking 30 min a day or change out your soda for water. If your goal is to become better with money management, then put together a weekly budget. Do something, however small every day to change. Starting is always the first step towards reaching your goals.
Don’t lose sight of the goal even when change is slow or even nonexistent
I think the major reason that people give up on their New Year’s resolutions is that they don’t see anything changing or improving. Change takes time, do not get discouraged. No one was a success overnight and everything takes patience and practice. You’re not going to be Tchaikovsky after one piano lesson and, you’re not going to lose 30 lbs after one salad, but keep after your goals. Also, even if a change isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Trust in the process. The only way you can reach your goals is if you never give up on them, no matter how daunting.
Celebrate small victories
We are all, myself included so self-critical. We admonish ourselves when we’ve done wrong but, we forget to praise ourselves when we’ve done something right. Find a way to celebrate your victories every day. Did you make it to the gym today? Good job! Did you nail a presentation at work? Terrific! Did you make a rocking soufflé? Yass Queen! Did you manage to spend one day with your toddler without screaming? Mom of the year!
Set small targets on the way to the big goal. Each small target you hit, reward yourself somehow. Whether it be, a bottle of wine, a bubble bath, a pedicure, or even a night out. If you reward yourself along the way, you’re much more likely to stick to your goals.
Kick A in 2019
Find something you have been wanting and make 2019 the year you go after it by hitting small daily goals, being persistent, celebrating your wins and practicing self-care when you feel like everything is standing in your way. Stop making resolutions, and start slamming goals!
Rosé & Ruffles