The new year glow has already started to fade on 2019, but there’s still 11 months to fulfill those New Year’s Resolutions — and yes, I do mean Resolutions with a capital “R.” I may be wrong, but I feel like this is around the time of month that people start giving up on their resolutions, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be that person this year. Stick to your resolutions all the way through 2019 with these five tips. Let’s get started!
1. Make an action plan.
Remember, you have 12 months to work on your goals when you make yearly resolutions. You don’t have to accomplish everything perfectly in January — you’ve got 11 more months to tackle becoming a new you, and it’s never too late to start. Resolutions/yearly goals can be daunting, so I recommend making an action plan for the entire year. First, start off by writing down your resolutions or the goals you want to accomplish by the end of the year. Then, break up that goal into small actions you can take every month. For example, say you want to watch more documentaries. You can then make a smaller, actionable goal like, “Watch two documentaries a month.” It makes abstract resolutions into more actionable goals.
2. Track your progress.
Write your goals down. Repeat after me. Write your goals down. Maybe you’re a magical human who can remember everything you want to do to be a better person, but personally, if I don’t write down exactly how I want to spend my time, I forget everything I want to accomplish and just watch true crime documentaries on my days off. Break out your goals, make your actions items in tip number one, and then, track how well you are accomplishing those goals. Want to write every day for a month? Track it. Trying to run a 5K? Track how often you’re actually running. I don’t know about you, but if it isn’t in black and white on a piece of paper (or on a computer if that’s more your jam), I over-inflate my own ego and assume I’m doing much better than I actually am. Write it down, track your progress, and you’re sure to accomplish your goals.
3. Schedule your time.
I can be an over-scheduler, but for the sake of my mental health, I like to schedule days into my month to spend on accomplishing my goals. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I really want to spend all day in bed watching Netflix original movies, but I know I’m my best self when I’m working toward a goal. So, my favorite way to spend my Sunday’s is to go to a coffee shop and plug away at whatever I’m working on. I specifically schedule these days because I know if I don’t, I’ll let plans with friends or more mundane items on my to-do list deter me from some of the things I really want to accomplish in life. Accomplishing your goals is self-care, so treat it like it’s just as important as spending time with friends and family (because it is). You’ll feel so great come December when you can actually say you stuck to your guns and accomplished everything you set out to do in January.
4. Reflect each month.
I used the Passion Planner for about four months before I realized it just didn’t work for my lifestyle (personally, I don’t need to time-block my days at my 8-to-5 job). One thing I loved about the planner was the reflections that were included at the end of every month. I’ve incorporated these reflections into my bullet journal and they help me refocus on how I spent the month. If you have specific goals you’re trying to reach, cater your reflections to those goals. For instance, maybe you’re trying to eat better on a more consistent basis. You could have a reflection focused on the ways you’ve changed your diet throughout the month. Cut down on your sugar consumption, ate fewer carbs than usual — that way, at the end of the year, you can flip back through your reflections and see what you did during the last 365 days to accomplish your goals. These reflections can also serve as a way to refocus on what you want to accomplish, what you’ve been doing well to reach your goals, and what you could improve on.
5. Be willing to adapt.
The fact of the matter is that you’re probably not going to accomplish every one of your goals. Like me, you were probably a little too aspirational, but you can still accomplish so much in 12 months. The final step to reaching your goals is to adapt your expectations. This might sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out. Personally, I started my January wanting to do three days of a yoga a week, run two days a week, and start Kayla Itsines’s BBG in January. That was far too much to start off with. I accidentally got sucked into the 30 Days of Yoga Journey, so yoga is going swimmingly, but it got COLD (and I’m a wimp) so running has not happened, and I decided that starting BBG in February was better for me since I won’t be traveling. I’m still going to tackle my goal of running more and completing BBG 1.0, but they are going to be accomplished later in the year. Life happens. It’s important to be willing to adapt to what you can realistically accomplish during a month (or a year, or a lifetime). It does not mean you’ve quit. It just means you’re being flexible with yourself and your boundaries.
It’s only day 21 of the new year, but I thought we could all use a little reminder that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to as long as we take the proper steps to prepare. How are you planning to accomplish your goals in 2019? Let me know in the comments below.