It’s a new year and like every year, people are out there making new resolutions in order to start the year off on a good foot.
This year, however, I’m not making new year resolutions. I can never get them right. Most of the time, I don’t remember what they were halfway through the year after life settles back in and the holiday glow (and all my good intentions) fade. Before I know it, my resolutions have flown out the window.
I’m guessing I’m not alone here.
It’s not that I don’t want to lose weight, become more intentional, or be a happier, kinder, better version of myself. But how in the world do you achieve those things anyway?? If I lose 1 pound, there. I lost weight. Now I can get back to the business of gaining it all (and probably then-some) back again. But that wasn’t the point of the resolution, was it?
No. This year I’m setting concrete goals, not resolutions. Measurable, achievable goals. I’ve found the secret to being successful at goal setting–even if they are annual goals–is to keep them few and keep them specific, then chop them down into bite-size mini goals.
For example: I have a goal in the following 5 major categories:
I then broke each goal down into measurable, bite-size steps for each month. For example, a personal goal of mine is to lose the 30 lbs of pregnancy weight that I gained (Yes, I’ve been gone for a while dealing with life and in that time I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl that is now a vivacious 13 month old). That sounds like a lot. But when you break it down into mini-goals per month, it doesn’t seem that bad. However, I took it one step further and made it concrete. Understanding that I might have more resolve in earlier months than later months and knowing that any weight loss journey is full of ups and downs and yo-yo-ing weigh-ins, my goal specifically for January is to get to a certain number. Not an unrealistic number, but to lose 2 lbs. And just like that, the pressure is off because I can lose 2 lbs. I haven’t met a soul who couldn’t or didn’t think that was achievable.
As another example, a career goal of mine is to develop my creative side by becoming a brand ambassador. How do I break that down into mini goals? Simple. First, I picked a brand that was looking for an ambassador and that I naturally liked and used (or would use). Since I’m into fashion and Rent the Runway has kept me in style through the various stages of my changing body (who wants to buy whole new wardrobes through pregnancy and post-partum anyway??), they were an easy match. Now, the challenge was figuring out how I fit that into my already mom-living, big-law practicing, ever-busy life. I took a realistic look at the thing I would enjoy doing with the little free time I have and realized, I can do at least 1 IG post a month. If later down the line, I’ve seamlessly figured out a way to easily take the time I need to put out one quality content post a month that people find helpful or engaging and I find I have time for more, then I’ll ramp that up to 2 posts a month.
I’ve found the secret to achieving goals for the new year is to be concrete, account for flexibility and changing circumstances, but have your ultimate goals always at hand and in your face as a reminder. I put my goals into an excel spreadsheet that I can look at daily and adjust down the road if need be. Though, I wouldn’t recommend more than 2 specific goals per overarching category. See a sample below:
Let me know how you’re approaching your new year goals (not resolutions!) this year.
With wishes for a #LifeLivedWell,