In the harsh light of day, the next morning, those big resolutions can feel pretty tough to keep. Football and chili may overtake the first day of the New Year, and it’s hard to be mindful of new intentions.
I love thinking about the future and dreaming about what’s next in life, but I’ve found that when it comes to making resolutions that actually stick, it’s all about…
- Quiet reflection
- Advance planning
- Sane expectations
- and Tiny habits
With that in mind, I’ve decided to start mapping out my goals for 2015… now! Fall seems to have a focused and productive energy that seems to encourage big questions like “What matters most to me? And how do I want to feel?”
Long before the hectic rush of the holidays is upon us, it time to reflect and plan for success, and to define what that means for you.
Grab a notebook or journal. Mark some recurring dates with yourself in Google calendar. I’m a paper planner fan, and there are some beauties available. My personal favorite, Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map Day Planner .
Want to join me?
Here’s a few goals to ponder — based on the most commonly-broken New Year’s Resolutions — plus my tips on how to get started, sooner, and really stick with it:
GOAL: Make Health a Priority.
Weightlifter James Clear puts it best: “Focus on lifestyle, not life-changing.”
As James writes in this brilliant article:
“Losing 50 pounds would be life-changing, drinking 8 glasses of water per day is a new type of lifestyle.
Running a marathon would be life-changing, running 3 days per week is a new type of lifestyle.
Squatting 100 more pounds would be life-changing, squatting 3 days per week is a new type of lifestyle.”
Instead of focusing on the gigantic end-goal — “losing 50 pounds” — try focusing on the tiny habits that will get you there — “drinking 8 glasses of water per day.”
Start now, with the tiniest habit imaginable. Then another. And another.
Just imagine beginning the New Year feeling like you’re already in the best shape of your life!
GOAL: Learn Something New.
As a total information and inspiration junkie, I can relate to this desire, big time.
But don’t procrastinate until January 1st to start thinking about what you’d like to learn.
Start now, by signing up for a course at a local college (many colleges have adult education programs for people who just want to stretch their brains, but not necessarily pursue a degree. Don’t wait until your dream class has already filled up!)
Or take a free online class (here’s a list of 1,000 of them!).
Or check out this massive directory of workshops, conferences and festivals, choose one that looks intriguing and sign up… now! You’ll have something special to look forward to, for months and months to come!
GOAL: Travel to New Places.
I always fantasize about taking lots of fun summer trips every year, but I tend to wait until it’s the tail-end of spring to start planning. No longer!
Start now, by blocking out a couple of weeks (or weekends) on your calendar for next year and label them “travel days.”
Even if you don’t make specific plans right now, make a promise to yourself that you won’t fill up those days with work or any other commitments. They are ONLY for travel.
Seeing those clear labels on your calendar will make you less likely to “forget” to travel… and less likely to overcrowd your calendar and run out of time.
GOAL: Get to the Next Level of My Career.
If you want to upgrade your career (or business) next year, start by assembling your dream team, now.
Need a new website? Reach out to a designer that you like and get on their calendar, soon. (The good ones tend to get booked up — fast!).
Need a coach or strategist to help you? Set up consults with a couple people that you like, now. Start early so that you can find the right match.
Need to revamp your resume? Start the process now, so that you’re confident and ready to send it out at the beginning of the New Year (historically, a great season for job-hunting!) instead of procrastinating and then rushing to get your ducks in a row.
GOAL: Spend More Time With Family.
Like traveling, this one is all about blocking out chunks of time — sacred, untouchable time — and making a solemn oath that you won’t fill it up with non-family obligations.
Why not block out one night a week for a home-cooked family dinner? …starting now, not January 1st.
Why not designate every Sunday afternoon as “technology-free time” so that cuddling and conversation and board games can happen, instead.
Instead of trying to pack an uncomfortable amount of “family time” into a hectic holiday season, or postponing quality time until January, you can start… now.
As Tony Robbins says:
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
The sooner you set your goals & resolutions, the sooner you can start taking tiny steps to make them real.
Waiting until New Years Eve won’t make things any easier.
Give yourself a fresh start & a head start… today!
~ Dr. Sue
P.S. What’s one tiny, positive “upgrade” that you’re ready to make, today?