Confession time: I didn't!
My goals weren't huge. I even set short term, monthly goals, to try to make them extra-attainable. Yet honestly, I didn't meet almost any of them! Which is why I've been doing some research lately about how to successfully set and achieve goals.
There is a lot of information about how to make and keep goals out there. I found tons of articles from prestigious publications, psychology magazines and blogs. But the best information I got was by listening to Rachel Hollis's Rise podcast last week, where she interviewed a man named Brendon Burchard. He said something interesting that really stuck with me.
He said that most people make New Year's resolutions or set goals to correct something that they perceive is 'wrong' about them. They focus on a flaw they want to fix. Maybe they want to lose weight because they feel like they are too heavy, or they want to save money because they spend too much of what they earn.
If I understood him right, what he was saying is that resolutions often don't work because we start from a place of negativity, and it's no fun to work on something negative, so then we avoid it. He suggests we reframe our resolutions so we're working toward a positive goal. So instead of just saying we want to lose weight, maybe we set a goal of running a 5k race and trust that the process of getting fit will help us lose weight and get more muscle tone. I want to cook a new healthy recipe a couple times a month is more positive (and realistic) than I'll never eat pasta again. And when something feels positive and attainable, we're more likely to pursue it.
He also emphasized establishing habits rather than trying to change our behavior by sheer willpower. So for example, I struggle with staying organized. But rather than saying that in 2019 I will be more organized, which is vague and probably won't work, I am resolving to give myself fifteen minutes every morning to sit with my planner and make my to-do list for the day.
On thing I'd like to improve is my eating habits. But rather than just deciding to eat better, which I've done, and failed at, many times, I am resolving to keep a food diary for the first month of the year. It's one clear, positive action that I can do, and hopefully it will make me more aware of what I eat and steer me toward better choices. And if it helps, I can always continue the practice.
In the podcast, both Brendon Burchard and Rachel Hollis mentioned how important it is to enlist the help of others. So, for example, training for that 5k with a friend, family member or running group, increases your chance of success. Asking my husband to help get my son ready for school, so I can have some extra time in the morning to plan my day, will help me meet my organization goal. I am terrible at asking for help, and I think that is one place where I went wrong with my goals this past year.
So in short, if you want to achieve your goals, keep them positive, turn them into specific actions, and ask others to support you!
Have you been thinking about goals for the upcoming year? Do you have any tips or tricks you use to make sure you meet those goals? If so, please share them in the comments!
Wishing you all a wonderful New Year!
To celebrate the new year, my Christmas Town book, Sleigh Bells in the Snow, (in which the heroine is very organized, by the way!) is on sale this week for $0.99. And all of the other 12 Days of Heartwarming Christmas books are on sale for that price too!