New Year goal setting doesn't need to end in frustration and failure. Instead, we've found 5 transforming ways to make your goals become reality this year.
Setting New Year goals; what kind of feelings does that conjure up for you?
Disappointment? Defeat? or Excitement? Hopefulness?
Each year ends arrives with thoughts of how I want the next year to be different. I know from past experience, I sometimes just think of things in my head. Or, I actually writing ideas down that I want to accomplish in the new year.
Reflecting on Past New Year Goals
Both have definitely been a mix of disappointments with a smidge of success. About half way into the year, I still weigh the same as January 1st or I've still not cleaned out the bedroom closet.
The revelation that half my year is gone and I've done nothing to make those aspiring ideas come to reality. It makes me want to just curl up on the couch with my cats, the TV controller and a bowl of my favorite chocolates. You know what I'm talking about! Why would I bother ever with New Year goal setting again?
I feel like moaning and complaining. Not to pull my family or friends down to the dark depths I find myself, I stew awhile in my own misery. Plus, it's hard to admit to another person you've let yourself down!
Why didn't I take action?
I should have planned better.
Why did I just keep doing the same old bad habits instead of stick with new things until they became new habits?
You get the picture.
Honestly, and feel free to tell me if you've done this, too.
You begin to drown in your own put downs. A good wife would keep the house clean and laundry folded. Good moms would plan out exciting and educational activities for each day. A good Christian would read her Bible, pray, go to church, and serve others. On and on until you feel hopelessness set in.
Don't let past failed goals keep you from creating new ones.
Setting New Year Goals = New Opportunities
Now here comes the hard part, girls. You can not remain wallowing in self pity. It will eat you up and that life you've been dreaming of! Do you want your hopes, dreams, and creative ideas be swallowed by that darkness? Say this aloud, “I won't let my past regrets define my future.”
“It's failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” – Ellen DeGeneres
You see? sometimes we need failure to help us more clearly what we really desire in our lives. It's a step we take to recognize what's really important. Past failures (and disappointments, too) can be learning tools to help us see things we weren't ready to see before.
Make Use of Past Experience
Here's something to try: Write down something in each area of your life you feel is a struggle, failure, or disappointment. Here's some ideas:
- I never can stay on a diet. I always cheat and then give up.
- My house always feels messy. I can't ever seem to keep it clean.
- We are always struggling with finances. It stresses us out and makes me feel guilty for being a stay at home mom instead of making an income.
After you write them down, look at each one with fresh eyes. Look for the “why” behind problem.
- Maybe the diet isn't answer but making new food choices and being more mindful of why you're craving that tub of ice cream before bed.
- The reason why the house is a mess is because you have too much to do alone. Part of your new year plan is getting family to help with chores, or simplifying your home to have less to clean up. (We bought a Shark Robot vacuum that cleans our floors for me. That has been well worth the investment and saved us from drowning in pet fur!).
- It's hard to manage money when you don't know how to use a budget. Maybe your first step is too keep write down every expense for a month to see where you money is going.
The worst thing you could to do for yourself, is not keep trying. Giving up on things you are deeply desire in your life sets you up for a miserable life that no one should have to live.
“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I've met people who don't want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling
A Better Way to Make Goals
Setting New Year goals doesn't have to be a big disappointment. With some basics you can create manageable goals you'll actually be able to see happen. So pull up your big girl pants and let's get started creating a future you can feel great about.
Remember those post-its earlier? I think we can agree those aren't smart goals. Why? They lack substance to actually complete them. New Year goal setting done vaguely serves no purpose, unless you take them a step further.
Instead, take your big idea and turn it into a SMART goal:
S – Specific:
Make the goal specific. Instead of saying I want to lose weight, change it to: “I desire to lose weight through diet and exercise and improve my health and be more active with my kids”
M – Measurable:
Have a Precise Way to Measure. In weight loss, that's fairly easy to figure out, but in others it might take more thinking. Take house cleaning for example. You might want to be able to keep your home more clean. Your measure might be a few specific details: each night the sink will be empty and the dishwasher loaded. Or, measure in time: spend 45 minutes a day doing cleaning chores.
A – Attainable:
Create a clear plan of how you will accomplish the goal. Saying, “I'm going to help my children get better grades” isn't attainable unless you make a clear plan. Instead, “I'm going to help my daughter raise her spelling grade from a C to a B by spending 20 minutes each day after school playing spelling activities with her.”
R – Realistic:
If the goal isn't realistic you set yourself up for failure. Make your reasonable. Losing 100 lbs. might not be possible in a year but two years is more reasonable. Even simply learning new habits take time. Don't expect yourself to learn a new habit in just a month. Changing your habit can take two months or more. You might hits some bumps along the way. That's natural. Keep trying until you find you have learned it.
T – Time bound:
Set time limits. Not sure for the final goal, but for steps along the way. Start with small attainable steps. Each of those will build up to your final goal. Just like a child doesn't just wake up one morning and start running. (Thank goodness!) First they learn to sit up, then roll over, then scoot, crawl, stand up, and so on. Start with baby steps and build up to the big girl stuff! Each day a new opportunity for you make your dreams come true.
A Challenge for You
I want to leave you today with a challenge about New Year goal setting.
Like you I'm just an average mom. I'm no super mom. I struggle with life stuff just like you.
But I'm not willing to let my failures and hangups keep me from seeing what really counts happen in my life. I challenge you to make your list of failures. Examine them to see why they went went sideways.
Now, with a fresh new notebook, planner, write out your SMART goals. Go a step further with a calendar to schedule out your time bound steps.
Now you're on the way to meeting your goals like never before.
If you need something to organize your goals there's lots of resources available online, both to purchase or free to download and print out.
Feel free to comment below or message me on your thoughts, struggles, or experiences setting New Year goals.
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