Written By: Andrea Sanchez-Mendoza
It’s the start of a new year, which means we have 365 days of possibilities to change our lives. We have all bought new planners, wrote out our list of resolutions, and made our vision boards. Now comes the hard part; sticking to our goals all year long. I am definitely guilty of not achieving my goals, --heck I even lost my list last year.
But it’s okay, we are not alone. “Researchers say [that] about 60 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions but only 8 percent are successful in achieving them” (Peter Economy).
The main question is why is it so hard to stick to our goals? I have set goals for myself, have forgotten them, didn’t get to them, or didn’t finish half of what I set out to do. Well that is what I am setting out to do this year, by making a few simple changes to my New Year’s resolutions.
#1 Be intentional.
This past year we all focused on being more intentional in our daily lives. It is possible to be intentional about our workouts, our time with friends and family, or how many hours we work each week.So why can’t we be intentional in our goals for this year? I have made the same mistake year after year - having too many resolutions on my list.
#2 Achieve more with less.
To change this pattern of falling short on my resolutions I am focusing on 5-6 manageable goals I want to dedicate my energy into. Instead of adding 10-15 goals onto my list which…I am only focusing on my top 5-6 goals. This will not only help me remember them when December comes around but also help me focus on accomplishing my goals by…..
#3. Select manageable goals.
The key word here is manageable goal. Sometimes we add the impossible on our list, which is great to dream big, but those dreams should be added to your vision board. It’s important to focus on goals that you can slowly work towards instead of huge goals that are harder to achieve. You can even shift your larger goals to more attainable goals, for example travel this year with COVID is still questionable. So instead of traveling to Italy this summer, possibly shift your travel goals to exploring new locations on the east coast. Now I am not saying completely scratch off Italy from your list - but you should add that to your list when traveling restrictions are lifted.
#4. One step further (Break down the goals one step further).
Now that we have set up our goals, we need to take a step further in helping us accomplish our goals for this year. Everyone loves a to-do list because the tasks are easy and simple to achieve. So we will be implementing that same idea to our New Years goals.
Instead of focusing one big goal we can focus on 2-5 tiny steps that can help you reach your goal. For example if someone's goal is to have a healthier diet then their smaller tasks could be:
Now you don’t have to accomplish all these small tasks but they can be building blocks in helping you with your larger goals. It makes accomplishing these larger goals feel less daunting, and stressful.
#5 Schedule a mid-year review.
The most important part of sticking to your goals is to continue to work towards them all year long. Which is hard since we get busy with other priorities or when summer rolls around we simply forget we even made new year goals.
This may seem extra but we all have a mid year or mid quarter review at work so why not have one with yourself. Take yourself out to coffee and have a deep conversation with you and you. In order to see where you stand when it comes to achieving your goals. It's important to be real with yourself, if you haven't started your goals yet that's ok because you have half a year left.
That's the great thing about this mid-year review that you can include on your calendar, it gives you the chance to start, rethink your strategy or even change some of your goals. Your review may have revealed that some goals are not aligned with who you hope to become. That's okay, that's what this review is for, it allows you to modify your goals, or eliminate a few of them. Rather than trying to complete all five or six goals by the end of the year, the bigger goal is to see yourself change by the end.
The point is to not get discouraged, sometimes this mid-year review is the kick start you needed.
#6 You got this!
As we talk about a new year, don't forget to appreciate the old you that you worked on all of 2021. That you is still important and is a great building block for the better newer version of yourself in 2022. Even though starting may seem scary, just believe in yourself because you were made for this new life you are creating!
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Represented Foundation's mission is to close the diversity gap in social impact leadership.