The holidays have come and gone, your Christmas tree is wilted and brown, and you are anxiously waiting to end 2018 (it was a good year) and start 2019 (because duh it’s going to be so much better!) And with that come the New Year’s Resolutions.
It’s that time when people vow to make changes to better themselves and their lives. Whether you are planning on getting in shape in 2019 or want to work on financial freedom – You. Must. Prepare.
Ever heard of the saying by Benjamin Franklin, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail?” Isn’t that the truth? I can’t count how many times I have vowed to drop the last pesky 10 pounds of post-baby weight only to find myself at work with no lunch or snacks. I usually grab something that may not be the best choice when trying to lose weight, and then I feel horrible for not following through with my plan.
Failing to plan ahead is a sure-fire way to derail your resolutions — but this won’t happen to you this year because we are going to prepare. By taking time to prepare ahead of January 1st, you will be taking the necessary steps to not only start your resolutions right, but also see them through.
Prepare for Success
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Ever heard of SMART goals? If you decide to make a resolution, whether personal or professional, it should follow this criteria- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Specific– What exactly do I want to achieve? Instead of saying, “I want to lose 40 pounds in 6 months” try “I want to lose 2 pounds a week by following a diet and exercise program and working out with a trainer to help achieve this goal.” You have outlined how the next 6 months should look like and outside factors that will help you achieve them.
Measurable– You should be able to measure your progress along the way so you know that you are on your way to reaching that goal. Want to save some extra money? After you have broken down the amount you want to save and the weekly increments that will help you get there, seeing that money in your savings account will help you visualize your progress. This in turn will keep you going strong.
Attainable– Make sure your goals are not too far out of reach. Keep it simple. If you are lacking the time, money or talent to reach your goal you may fail and be discouraged by week 2. Breaking down a goal to more manageable smaller goals makes the objective cleared and easier to reach. Reaching small milestones keeps you motivated to continue. But don’t make the goal too easy where you won’t be challenged.
Relevant- Why do you want to reach this goal? This is your Why. Why are you doing this? Is it to be healthier so you can play with your kids without getting winded? Are you looking to save money so you can finally take that trip to another country with your partner? This is what will keep you hungry and give you the drive to reach your goal.
Timely– There must be a deadline for you to accomplish your goal. Not saying that you should revert back once the deadline is up, but having a specific date in mind will help you see the finish line. Make your deadline realistic but not so far ahead that you set yourself up for procrastination.
Tell Your Friends and Family
When you share your goals and desires with those close to you it helps build your support system. Maybe you want to quit smoking – friends and family will usually hold you accountable for your desire to quit and call you out if you are not living up to what you said you would do. Accountability partners are also a great way to keep yourself motivated. Partner up with others who share the same resolution. Chances are you both will work hard to not let the other person down.
Get Prepared// Plan
If you are planning to work with a trainer to get fit, you will need to hire a personal trainer. If you are looking to eat healthier meals, then making a meal plan and getting your grocery list ready will help. Have some recipes ready to go to make meal planning easier. Looking to save money? Make sure you have a savings account to stash your money. Do it now.
Write it Down
When you write down your goals and intentions you are more likely to work harder to achieve what you set out to do. Better yet, keep a journal of your progress. Write down mini-goals that will help you achieve the big goal. List what you are going to do to accomplish your mini-goals and then at the end of the week see where you land. For example, I am going to take my lunch to work everyday and save $40 at the end of the week. Did you achieve the small goal or fall short? If you fell short, don’t get discouraged– evaluate your plan and see what you need to tweak the following week to help you get there. Crush it? Good for you! Accomplishing these small wins will help you get closer to your end goal and keep you motivated.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
While we all want to crush our goals, the truth is, many will fail. Hey, it’s OK. Going into this with the right mindset will help you in the long wrong. If you go into it thinking there’s no way you will accomplish the goal, then you probably won’t. Let’s be honest — not every goal will be met, but if you really worked hard at it, chances are you will walk away with some accomplishment. Maybe you came 5 pounds short of your 40 pound weight loss goal. You still lost 35 pounds!! That’s great! You only saved $1000 instead of $1200 for the year. That’s awesome!! You took the steps to accomplish something, tried your hardest and sought it through. No shame in that!
New Year’s resolutions have been getting a bad rap for many years. Many people go into them already claiming defeat when it shouldn’t be like that. Resolutions are there to help us see the big picture. They help us work towards something we want to accomplish. If you slip up, don’t give up and revert to your old ways. Forget it and move forward. You don’t have time to dwell on the setback and negativity. 2019 is all about the positive, living in your moment and getting ahead – you have goals to crush.