New Year’s is just around the corner so naturally you’re probably thinking about all the different New Year’s resolutions you want to make but slow down a little and let’s talk about that first.
Go back to January of this past year and think about what New Year’s resolutions or goals you made for yourself. They may have gone something like this; work out 3 times a week, lose 20 pounds, start eating healthy, build the savings account up to $1,000, read through the Bible, go on a date with my spouse every month, spend more time together as a family, and go on a vacation.
Now fast forward to the end of the year and think about how they went. How did you do? Did you accomplish all your goals? What about just one or two? Most of the time the end of the year arrives only for us to realize we didn’t accomplish any of our goals or New Year’s Resolutions, or if we did it was just one or two out of a list a many.
You may be asking why this is. Well, the answer has 3 reasons to it.
REASON ONE: You set too many goals.
When you set a ton of goals at one time, especially when they all have to do with different areas of your life, means you are setting yourself up for failure. This stretches you thin and divides your focus. A simple visual I like to compare it to are the jugglers you find in the circus, you know the ones that are juggling balls, rings, swords, and sticks on fire all at the same time. They may be able to do it, but if you tried it how would it turn out? Yeah, not so good.
The same thing happens when you set too many goals at one time. You end up getting pulled 10 different directions leaving you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
So, stop making a laundry list of goals and instead focus on one area. If your biggest goal is to lose weight, then make your goal something like; I want to lose 45 pounds. For example, my one and only goal for 2018 was to start my own blog. I knew it was a big goal and I was determined to reach it, so I didn’t add in any other goals to my list.
REASON TWO: You don’t break your goal up into mini goals.
If you decide in January, your goal for the year is to start your business and you leave it at that then most likely the end of the year will come, and you will be no closer to opening your doors. You have to take your big goal and break it up into manageable steps. This takes your goal and spreads it out over time so it’s not so overwhelming. Looking at a mini goal of getting your business license, make your website, or create a new product seems a lot more accomplishable than looking at your big goal of starting your business.
BONUS TIP: Celebrate every step!
A great way to keep yourself motivated through-out the whole process of trying to accomplish your goal is to celebrate every step. You reached your mini goal of losing 3 pounds, celebrate it. You wrote your first blog post for your new blog, celebrate it. You saved up and bought your business license, celebrate it. It doesn’t matter how small your mini goal is, once you accomplish it then it needs to be celebrated, you deserve it.
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REASON THREE: You don’t give yourself grace.
Sometimes life has a great way of getting in the middle of our plans. It stinks but its life, it happens to all of us. The most important thing you can do during these times is to just ride the wave and give yourself grace. Yep, you read that right. Give yourself grace.
This concept may seem foreign to some of you because most of us can extend grace to others but for some reason it’s not the same case when it comes to us. Instead we start to nit-pick and berate ourselves rather than extending that same grace to our own self.
If you have a family member or close friend pass away, lose your job, get sick for weeks on end, or encounter any kind of setback just embrace the season and allow yourself to walk through it, even if that means you need to step away from your goals for a little while. Don’t beat yourself up over it. All that will do is make you feel worse and give you a reason to not get right back up on that horse and allow yourself to keep moving forward. Life happens, and seasons change but it shouldn’t be the reason you allow yourself to keep you from reaching your goal.
So, this year instead of making your never-ending list of New Year’s Resolutions try to focus on one area and choose only one big goal for the year. Next, take that one big goal and break it up into more manageable mini goals that you can easily accomplish throughout the year. Following every mini goal should be a celebration of some kind. Lastly, when life gets in the way extend yourself some grace and don’t let it keep you from reaching your goal. Your goals are important, and you deserve to reach each and every one of them!