5 Ways You Can Change Your Life & Make Your Resolutions Reality
“New year. New me.”
“This year is going to be different.”
“I won’t give up on my goals in 2018.”
Ringing in the new year often sparks a frenzy of resolutions, both small and life-changing. You clear the fridge out and restock it with green vegetables and protein shakes, enroll in a gym membership, make dream boards, spreadsheets, etc.
Then, the end of January rolls around and the excitement of a new life gets pushed to the back burner as the daily gruel of work and family takes its toll. You lose steam, fall into bad habits, and by December you are making the same resolutions from last year.
Why is it so difficult to make your resolutions a reality?
The problem with new year’s resolutions is that they are often over-romanticized changes we want to make in our lives. We make these resolutions without proper planning or realistic timelines and thus, lose steam when we don’t experience immediate results.
New Year’s resolutions are not impossible, however. If you can change your mindset towards making resolutions, you can change your life for the better. We often think of resolutions in terms of the finish line. These goals might look like: becoming vegetarian, getting into a more fulfilling line of work, having “x” amount of money put away into savings. These resolutions are not bad. Rather, it is how we become consumed with the results and overlook the path that gets us there that brings the bad luck.
This year, focus on the path
The most important step in making resolutions a reality is to be able to break down the goal into doable parts. Start with the question, what do you want to achieve? and then decide how far or near you are to that goal.
If, for example, you want to make a career change this year, where are you currently on that journey? Are you in the right company but need a promotion? Are you in the wrong field altogether? Do you have the right credentials, experience, or certifications to move into your desired career? Once you understand where you are currently on your resolutions journey, you can begin to draw a clear path towards your goal.
A success path will be one that checks all of these boxes:
The resolution is specific
Specificity is key. To say, “I want to be happier” is too abstract to be put into a practice. These abstract goals we set for ourselves often become overwhelming and convoluted when we attempt to calculate our progress.
The resolution can be measured
Can you make milestones for your resolution? Is there a way to calculate where you are on the journey or when you have completed your change? The goal is not to “get fit” but to be able to get your cholesterol down to “x” amount or be able to run in a half-marathon. Having tangible goals makes the journey that much more rewarding.
The resolution is achievable
If your resolution is, I’m going to grow 5 inches, you might be out of luck. Of course, most of us would know that that is a ridiculous resolution, but there are less obviously absurd goals we set for ourselves as well. To say you are going to look like a Victoria Secret angel when you are 5’2 is a bit of an unrealistic resolution that can damage your self-esteem in the process of trying to achieve it.
The resolution is sharable
Sharing our resolutions with others encourages us to stick with it! Don’t be shy about sharing your milestones with others and most importantly, ask for help when you need it. You can confide in friends, join social groups that share your goals, or work with a professional to help you through the tough moments. These resources will also be there to celebrate your success which makes the journey all that more fun!
The resolution is willing to cook a bit
For many of us, time is the enemy when it comes to resolutions. When you make a resolution this year, wait for the results. Any habit takes time to create and your goals are most likely going to be made of a series of steps. When planning your resolution, chart out the steps needed to get to the finish line and then tackle them one at a time. This keeps those bigger resolutions bite-sized.
Changing your life can happen at any time but, if you are choosing to start with the new year, know that your goals can last through the seasons when you embrace the journey as much as the result.