“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.” – T.S. Elliot
It’s true what they say, “Hindsight is 2020.” But now, we are actually here – in 2020! So, welcome to the new year! As you look back on the past 12 months, think about what worked and what didn’t. What are you happy about doing? What accomplishments made you proud? And what things do you wish you never tried? Take time to celebrate the victories, learn from any disappointments, and refocus your goals on the future. And what better way to do it than by setting a personal goal for the new year?
A New Year’s resolution is all about reflecting on the previous year and refocusing your purpose on the new one. It’s about challenging yourself to be a happier and healthier you. When you cast a vision of your future, you put a realistic goal before you, making it tangible and attainable – not just a dream or something you “should do” (but probably won’t).
Coming up with a New Year’s resolution” is sometimes intimidating and overwhelming. Just choosing what you want to work on is hard enough. And then you need to figure out how to actually do it and how to motivate yourself! However, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Instead, it involves taking small steps to achieve attainable milestones. The following tips will help you set effective goals and stick to them.
- Build your goals around your own personal strengths.
What are the distinct character traits that make you unique? Take a look at them and the habits that made you successful in reaching your previous goals. Now, lean on those same traits and habits to reach your new goals.
- Create a long-term routine that adds your new goals into your lifestyle.
You want your new goals to be realistic and achievable – ones that you can easily integrate into your daily life. For example, if your goal is to eat breakfast every day, then start planning your morning meal the night before. It’s an easy addition to your daily routine.
- Consider what you’re adding to your life instead of what you’re taking away.
For instance, don’t think of losing weight as giving up the things you enjoy. Instead, think of what you’ll gain! When you start eating healthier and exercising, focus on all the new recipes you get to try and the energized feeling that working out brings to your day.
- Remember, your goals are YOUR goals!
Chances are there is not a perfect plan for you on the internet or social media. For your New Year’s resolution to work, your goal should be personal and your plan to get there built on your own strengths, resources, and desires.
- Set non-negotiable habits (anchor habits) for yourself.
For example, eat at least one serving of vegetables at lunch or exercise at least two times a week. These may seem like small things but having them in place keeps you focused and on track with your goals. Even on the days you feel like you are “failing,” you’ll notice the small victories with your anchor habits.
- Don’t beat yourself up!
Your journey won’t be a perfect one. If you make a mistake or slip up, give yourself grace and flexibility. Feeling guilty only leaves you discouraged! And that won’t help you achieve your goals. A setback doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Instead, it’s a chance to learn, practice more self-care, and keep on keeping on!
- Find accountability in friends or family.
Tell someone in your life (or multiple people) what your goals are. Allow them to give you feedback, check in with you about your progress, and come alongside you on your journey. You could even join a group at your gym or find coworkers with similar goals so you can encourage one another. Accountability helps you stay on track and motivated as you strive to achieve your goals.
Make this new year a happy one! As you work toward your New Year’s resolution, make sure to personalize your plan, be persistent, be patient with yourself, and celebrate the big and small wins. Check out the video and links below for more helpful tips on developing healthy habits and making them stick.
This blog was written by Casey Hemphill, USPM Nutrition Content Contributor