“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” ~ Melody Beattie
Give yourself a pat on the back. You successfully rang in the New Year, survived your New Year hangover, and tackled your first few weeks back at work (post holidays) like a warrior. Now that you’re facing the late-January blahs head on, how’s your New Year’s resolution holding up? At work yesterday, I heard a heavy sigh coming from the office directly across from mine.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“I made a New Year’s resolution to leave the office at 5 o’clock every day and it’s almost 6:30!” groaned my co-worker.
“I hate to say it but it’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” I said.
“I should have been more specific when I made my resolution!” she grumbled. If you want to make a New Year’s resolution that’s gonna stick, remember to choose your words carefully and be as specific as possible with your wording.
The concept of New Year’s resolutions is not a new one. The Ancient Babylonians, some 4,000 years ago, are credited to be the first civilization to make goals for the coming year. Unlike today, their new year began in mid-March with the planting of crops.
Why do we set New Year’s resolutions, anyway? Simply put, people make a New Year’s resolution to improve life in the year ahead. At its core, it means setting a personal goal. Resolutions help us learn to set and obtain goals. Being mindful when setting a New Year’s resolution, as with any goal, will help make you more successful at achieving it. To help maintain and ultimately reach your goal, write down your New Year’s resolution. This may sound silly, but writing it down and revisiting it once every now and then will help you stay the course. Once you’ve written down your goal, take a step back and assess it. Is it manageable? Too often, people set goals that are so ambitious, they set themselves up for failure from the get go. If you have a big goal you would like to achieve, try chunking it out. Make a small list of achievable milestones and key timelines of when you would like to reach each mini goal.
As mentioned earlier, always be mindful when goal setting. Make sure that your mini goals are manageable based on the timeline you have set for each mini goal. Each mini goal accomplishment will get you that much closer to achieving your New Year’s resolution. So, if it helps to reward yourself each time you reach a mini goal, go ahead and reward yourself–you earned it! And if your resolution falls off, don’t despair! When you were a kid learning to ride a bike what did you do when you fell off? Right! You hopped right back on and kept pedaling.
So if your resolution has fallen off track, set it straight, refocus, and keep going. You owe it to yourself to see it through, don’t you?