Why do we make resolutions we have no intention of keeping? Why do we join gyms in January but abandon them by the middle of February? Why do we abandon our resolutions so quickly? Does it stem from a lack of willpower? Do we have terrible habits? Probably not. The most likely reason is we have no idea how to go about turning resolutions into goals. It’s not possible to change a behavior or a habit without constant awareness or a system to help you through it.There is a difference between having great intentions for your resolutions and taking intentional steps to make them happen. Here are five tips for setting intentional goals for 2017.
“Why am I setting this goal?”
It’s easy to want to achieve a goal. However, it’s nearly impossible to create a resolution that’s based on depriving yourself of something. Reframe the resolution to a positive: it’s not about what you’re taking away, it’s about what you’re getting. Is the resolution something you want, or is it to please someone else? Do you know why you want it? I How can you reward yourself on your journey in ways that make sense? (If your goal is weight-loss, for example, rewarding yourself for success with sugary foods may not be the best choice. If your goal is to save money, spending some of it after you’ve reached a milestone saving amount will be counter-productive.) Jot down your thoughts in Evernote and revisit them often. You may discover that a hastily-written New Year’s resolution has become a passion. You may find that you have a clearer view of what success looks like if you understand each resolution and strive to turn them into goals.
Find a way to look at your goals every day
If you’re a visually-oriented person, it might be easier for you to work toward something you can have in front of you every day. Create vision boards, mood boards, or a desktop wallpaper that keep your vision at the forefront of your mind.
Keep goals simple and attainable
When it comes to setting intentional goals, you must have focus. At the New Year, it’s easy to be overly ambitious. Concentrate on achieving one goal at a time. Make goals specific, measurable, and attainable. As the saying goes, your reach should exceed your grasp, but not so much that it’s impossible to stretch. What are benchmarks and timelines you can put in place? You can use Evernote to set a schedule, break your goals into smaller tasks, set reminders for each task, and track your progress. As you accomplish smaller tasks, you will build momentum toward your goals. Make sure that you’ve set realistic goals.You will not become a master chef this year, for example, if you are a beginner now.
Know the difference between a goal and a wish
Setting goals that depend on other people or outside circumstances is a recipe for disaster. Base your goals on you alone. If your goal depends on serendipity, it’s a wish, not a goal. It’s okay to have wishes. Some of them can even turn into goals if you plan accordingly. It’s unrealistic, for example, to set a goal to become a movie star. However, you can set a goal to move to Hollywood or to take acting lessons where you are. Or you can take steps to save money for the move. You may never become a movie star, but by setting incremental, achievable goals and following through on them, you have set the wheels in motion. And any move forward is positive. It leads to new and different goals.
Remember: You’re doing a phenomenal job
Did you know that on average, people’s thoughts are up to 70 percent negative every day? Combat that never-ending chatterbox in your head. As you go through your day, practice telling yourself what you’re doing well. “Today I didn’t press the snooze button on my alarm clock,” or “I took the flights of stairs at the office instead of the elevator.” We’ve always been taught to treat others with kindness and understanding, but we don’t know how to be kind to ourselves. Treat yourself well as you work toward making a New Year’s resolution into a goal. You’re changing your life, and you deserve the time and space to grow, try things, fail, recover, and learn, one step and day at a time. Didn’t get there today? Try again tomorrow.
What are some of your intentional goals for 2017?
Article contributor: Melissa Jones, Glisten and Grace Design