The New Year is often seen as a chance for new beginnings, a fresh lease of life if you like. The typical pattern is we all decide what we want to leave in the previous year: negativity, unsatisfactory jobs, bad friendships, drinking less (dry January), eating less meat (Veganuary) laziness and that extra 10lbs that's you've not been able to shift for the last 8 years.We start the New Year with a revived energy - bright eyed and bushy tailed, “I'm going to eat healthier”, “I will go to the gym more regularly”, “I will start a new course”, the list goes on. In January we are all geared up and ready to make these changes, but for the majority of us the goals we set fall by the waste side early on in the year, the new running shoes remain by the door, the language app becomes quickly abandoned, once again life takes over and we fall out of our new routine all to quickly to fall back into old habits.We all have the best intentions but as it's been said “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, it’s all good and well having these intentions but how do we follow through. What can we do differently to ensure we are meeting our new goals and truly striving to be our best selves in 2018.
1) Set goals. Life is clearer when we have a plan, if we have a clear objective which we want to achieve then it’s important we note this down.
2) Have clear instructions on how you will reach that goal. It's great that you've now decided you want to learn Mandarin but what steps will you take towards this? Finding a local Mandarin class, downloading a language app, language exchange? It really doesn’t matter what you do but having a clear plan as to how you will do it with help steer you in the right direction. Remembering failing to plan is planning to fail.
3) Be realistic when setting your goals; remember Rome wasn't built in the day. People often expect things at the click of their finger, and when things aren’t working out fast enough for them they become frustrated and disengaged. Take time with yourself – if you are consistent you will get to where you want to be.
4) Mix up your goals - they can't all be as ambitious as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and becoming a black belt in Karate. When we set goals which are too big without clear direction we are less likely to follow through as the task at hand seems so far removed. But having a diverse set of goals will give you satisfaction when you are able to tick something small off!
5) Share your goals with a trustworthy person who can hold you accountable: they will support you in following through with them.
6) Set the right goals for you and not because that's what you think you should be doing, i.e. everyone is travelling the world I must too! Stop and think, is that what you actually want to do or are you doing it for the sake of needing something to do. Also how you phrase your goals is important – I am going to run every day may not be the right goal as you may hate running – but I will get fit is better as it allows you to take on something which you do like.Most importantly enjoy it, with anything in life the more you enjoy what you are doing the more you will put effort, it won’t feel like a chore.
Good luck with whatever you’ve set yourself for this year and here’s to a prosperous 2018!