Many of us are already thinking about our New Year’s resolutions, even if we don’t end up making any, let alone keeping them! At this point, it’s all still very exciting, thinking about the life we might create for ourselves in the next year. We’re feeling festive, ambitious and hey, we don’t have to start till January, so it’s easy to think big! But how many of us have actually kept a New Year’s resolution? I’d be willing to bet very few.
Part of the problem is that a year really is a long time to keep that promise, and knowing that we’ve signed on for a whole year can be extremely intimidating! By the time we’ve gotten through half of January, the rest of the month seems like a challenge, let alone the year!
Another factor in our yearly failure is that actually choosing the goal that is the most important to you is extremely tricky. It is hard to stick to just one, and we intimidate ourselves if we pick more than one. So it is easy to end up with either 5 big goals that we cannot maintain at once or just one goal that we can’t commit to because it’s only part of the larger story.
My solution is this; New Month’s Resolutions. Set yourself a new resolution for each month of the year and mark them on your calendar. Spend a month focussing down on one goal without the intimidation of the whole year. Knock that goal in the head, and then start the next one.
The goal of course is to snowball the achievements instead of letting one go each time you change months. But don’t intimidate yourself by insisting it be so. Stick to the monthly targets, and any carry-through is a bonus. You will likely find that by the end of one month of focussing, your lifestyle changes have turned from goals to habits.
You can use the example below to help create your calendar. Remember to make your goals realistic, measurable and most of all; compelling!
- Think carefully about the order of your goals. For example, don’t place all of your health related goals consecutively.
- Make each goal measureable. Ask yourself, how will I monitor this? How will I know I have achieved it?
- Try to get a good mix of different areas and make sure some of them are fun. It shouldn’t all be a slog, and your personal care and wellbeing is just as important as money or fitness.