We are already at the end of the first month of the new year, and at this point the new year’s resolutions we had made 3 weeks ago may have already fallen to the wayside. For many of us our goals may be related to health and happiness, or family and career. You may be at a point wondering how can I keep this up for the next 11 months? Here are some key points to avoiding the new year’s burn out and making sustainable changes.
- Find your why
Start with the big picture or your end game, then ask yourself these questions. What do you want to achieve for yourself, your career, or your family? Why is this important to you? These goals don’t have to be limited to a year rather several years. This is your building block of where you want to be.
Example: I want to be healthier, for me and my family. I want to be able to continue to do the things I do now years down the road. I want to set myself up for success to feel better about the way I look and have more energy.
- Break it down
Make a list of steps you need to take to achieve your goals. This doesn’t have to be a polished list, it can be all of the baby steps leading up to your end goal.
Example: In order to be healthy I want to start working out more. In order to work out more I need to set up a home gym, or I need to join a commercial gym, or I need to find a workout routine that best suits my schedule. I want to feel better, therefore I need to eat better. In order to eat healthier, I need to start planning meals and grocery shopping consistently.
- Make it specific
After outlining the key steps to achieve the overall goal, what stands out the most to you. What is an actionable item that you know you can implement into your lifestyle?
Example: I will start going to my fitness class. I will start planning my meals.
- Make it measurable
Placing a measurable component to your goal allows you to check the box when you’ve completed it. By placing some sort of metric or numerical value to the goal allows you to stay accountable giving you a definite answer to if you have completed the goal or not.
Example: I will start going to my fitness class 3 times a week. I will only eat at restaurants 5 times a month. I will read 1 book every 2 weeks.
- Make it attainable and relevant
We often get lost in taking on too many things at once. Change is certainly a slow but steady process. Set yourself up for success by relating your goal to the bigger picture and making it manageable for your individual lifestyle. If you know life is chaotic and it’s unrealistic to cook a meal every night of the week. Give yourself some leeway, set your goal for cooking a meal at home 3 times a week, anything above that is a bonus.
- Reevaluate your goals on a monthly basis.
Rather than making your goal in January and letting it be for the year, set aside time each month to reevaluate. Make sure the goals you set for yourself are still relevant month after month. If you notice a goal is too challenging to accomplish, don’t be afraid to modify it. Or, on the other hand if you are blowing a goal out of the water, continue to grow and take your goals to the next level.
January 1st does not always have to be the start of something new. Each day is a brand new day and a great time to set new goals and make change. If you stick to the six steps listed above it will help you write more effective and achievable goals. Happy New Year!