Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. — Oprah Winfrey
2018. It’s a new year. Fireworks, and optimism about the future, begin to rise and light up. Fireworks and New Year’s resolutions also tend to have something else in common: eventually, they both fade away.
As big of an advocate of personal growth that I am, I am still often skeptical about New Year’s resolutions. Don’t get me wrong, I want people to grow and succeed, to create a better life, but I want them to do so on their own terms. Creating a New Year’s resolution just because it’s the end of December is like being forced to apologize to someone; neither scenario really means anything. You can start your new goal on July 14 or September 27, the date itself doesn’t matter.
So if you really want to change your life this year, make sure you set yourself up for success, using a few guiding principles for your resolutions:
Make it realistic.
I love taking small steps to success because it’s more realistic than trying to jump through hurdles that are out of our range. The idea of taking small steps is all about sustainable change that will stick for a long time. Taking massive and sudden action, on the other hand, tends to lead to frustration, fatigue, and feelings of failure. Know your limits and create a plan that acknowledges those limits.
Know what you want and why.
There are so many great ideas to pick from for a New Year’s resolution. Some think it’s essential to start a blog, while others would argue to learn how to play an instrument, become vegan, or invest. While each idea has their perks, figure out what would add the most value to your life. Before declaring your new goal, figure out why you want to make that your goal. When we have a strong reason behind what we want to accomplish, we are much more likely to persist when times get tough.
Get directions and support.
You don’t need to know the whole path, but have a sense of direction on how to get to your destination. Even just a starting point can go a long way. Make sure to also develop a support system that’ll back you up when inevitable challenges come up. An accountability system is also particularly helpful.
Be patient and persistent.
As the old adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Similarly, our goals will be completed on a certain day, but not on day one. As long as you have a timeline, you’ll make sure to get the goal accomplished rather than letting the goal get lost in the “someday” mindset.
The end of a year is a great time for reflection, but don’t let this be a moment of self-criticism. The future is yours for the taking, so do what you can to mold it the way you want it to be. Be positive and believe in yourself. 2018 is a new year full of great possibilities.
Turn the possibilities into realities. Turn the dreams into a real situation.
2018 will be better.
Because you have the power and knowledge to make it better.1