We all know what it’s like to set New Year’s resolutions. We’re excited by the prospect of starting fresh, popping some bubbly and carrying out the long beloved, though oft begrudged, tradition of reaffirming our goals. Needless to say, by the end of March, disillusionment has inevitably kicked in. We haven’t yet increased our business revenue by 25 percent, potty trained the toddler or recreated our entire family tree in calligraphy. Too often daunted by the marks we set for ourselves, we give up. But fret not! We have some helpful tips for setting more practical objectives and expectations.
Don’t set specific goals; instead, create lifestyle changes
As the New Year rolls around, the tendency for making a resolution is to dream big. Whether the goal is making your shop the go-to florist in Vancouver or writing the next great American novel by the year’s end, these kinds of fantasies harken more to lifetime achievements than realistic plans for the year. Getting overly ambitious with a large-scale project and a tight deadline is a fast track to stress and self-loathing.
Instead, make lifestyle changes and vow to habitually maintain them. For example, instead of deciding to write the next great American novel, try starting your own blog or join a writing group. If you run a shop, create a social media outlet to promote your business and connect to current and prospective clients. Nurture these commitments weekly for short-term affirmation and watch as they blossom into long-term success.
Build smaller, more manageable goals into your major ones
Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to have aspirations and to strive for a difficult target. But getting from A to Z can feel intimidating and quickly become more of a hassle if you don’t take the time to measure out the scope of your project.
Try breaking down your goal into several, manageable little steps. Create an action plan that will lead you to your resolution in reasonable increments. Ask yourself: How long will it take? How many steps should it have? And use an online Google-compatible calendar, like the one on GetAssist, to arrange your tasks into a timeline. To stay motivated, design “levels of completion” that will track your progress and give you short-term payoffs as you move toward your long-term goals.
Find friends or family members with similar goals and work together
There’s no better way to keep a resolution than by telling others about it. Keeping your goals a secret increases the likelihood of giving up, as there is no one to hold you accountable.
Find friends or family members who share similar goals, and use GetAssist to continue to build a community. Finding a band of like-minded folks, whether through meetup groups or social media, can lead to more holistic changes. They foster a creative, motivational environment instead of one that is time-sensitive and punitive. Share tips, progress updates, and lend support when the going gets tough. Each update you or your group members post will show up in everyone’s newsfeeds—which acts as an incredible incentive.
So, what are your New Year resolutions?