Deciding Your 2019 Goals, and How to Stick With Them
It’s easy to make New Year’s Resolutions but the hard part is sticking with them. After the first month or so, we tend to forget about those goals we were so eager to set at the beginning of the year. But when you mindfully make these resolutions, you'll understand why you chose them. Therefore you’ll be more likely to achieve them.
Whether or not you made a New Year’s Resolution, it’s never too late to figure out what you want to get out of this year. If mindfulness is a priority for you (as it is for us!) we have a few suggestions to get you started.
Journaling: Writing down your goals will hold you more accountable and give you a jump start on your motivation to start achieving them. Take it even one step further and document your process along the way. What steps are you taking to achieve these goals? How are they coming along? Another great form of journaling is writing down your fears and worries. This way you can get them down on paper and you don’t have to fixate on them in your mind.
Take photos: Taking beautiful photos has never been easier than it is now. Smartphones and cameras have come a long way. Even if you’re not a professional photographer, these devices have made it more accessible to take a good photo. Stop and take a picture just once a day, during any part of your day. It can be of something pretty, funny, or that just caught your attention. Then take a moment to look at the picture. Not to edit, just to look. Not only will this help you be present and take in your surroundings, but you’ll also be able to document this process and look back whenever you please.
Prioritize positivity: Try to plan at least one activity a day that makes you happy. This can be anything from taking a walk or cooking dinner to watching your favorite show or reading a chapter of your book. We all get caught up in our busy lives, so it’s important to do something just for you every day (even if it’s only for a few minutes!)
Outsource a chore: If you feel like you really don’t have enough time in the day (especially when it comes to making time for yourself) try outsourcing a task. With almost everything being on-demand and deliverable, whatever you need done can be done. For example, a meal kit delivery service to make dinner prep easier. Or hiring a house cleaner when you don’t have time to clean. Be sure this is something you’re doing that you can take off your plate so that you can make time to do more positive things for yourself.
List 3 things you’re grateful for: Each night before bed, write down three things you’re grateful for. This can be as simple as three things that just went well for you that day or that week. Along with this, write down why they went well or what you appreciated about them. Understanding the why will not only help you appreciate the good things in your life, but could also be helpful to look back on during the times where things don’t seem to be going so well.
Now these are just some of our ideas. But we want you to be creative and come up with the ones that are right for your life right now. Once you have your list of goals, here’s a few questions to ask yourself.
What’s this goal really about?
If one of your resolutions is to hit the gym 3 times a week. Ask yourself why. Is it to lose weight? Become stronger? Mental clarity? What is the deeper meaning behind each goal? It’s not just the what, it’s the why that will give you the information you need to stick with your goals. This will not only help with individual goals but your list of resolutions as a whole. Make sure that the reason for your goal is coming from what is truly effective for you and not from what you think you “should” be doing.
What are your most meaningful goals?
If two of your New Year’s resolutions are to re-do your bathroom and be a better friend…we’re confident in saying that the latter is likely more meaningful. Think of your goals in a variety of categories related to your values like improving mental / physical health, being successful and feeling fulfilled at work, being a better friend / partner / parent, and spending time doing things you want to do. There are so many actions that can be put into each meaningful category. This is a great way to understand what’s means the most to you and why.
How do you spend your time?
How many times have you said “I don’t have time”? We are all guilty of it. But do we know why? When you can lay out how you spend your time, you’ll know where you can make room for these new goals and stop wasting time on the things that don’t serve you. There are several apps that help you track your time on your phone, your physical activity, etc. Having those true metrics will help you figure out where these goals can fit in to your life. You might even learn that you’re not spending a lot of time on something that you thought you were (and vice versa). This is simple time management (although it’s much easier said than done). Here’s some tips for managing your time.
Setting goals and the pressure to achieve them can be overwhelming. So once you have set your 2019 goals (and don’t worry if they spill over into 2020!) choose two goals to work on for the beginning of the year. Take things one day at a time.
If you need help creating your goals and sticking to them (and want to make 2019 your best year yet), schedule an appointment with one of our therapists today. For more advice on New Years Resolutions, check out Dr. Rebecca Skolnick’s thoughts here.
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