It was January of 2019. Sitting with my journal and a whole lot of ideas in my head, I stared at a blank page. who or where did I want to be next year this time. I sat , scrolling instagram…seeing people’s posts about their big goals. Everyone had clarity and when I read there big dreams, I felt so confident that they would achieve their goals and I felt so certain I would again fail….
Why is that? Why do we so enthusiastically know what we want one day but so quickly give up on it or just forget about it all together?
I did a deep dive into forming habits and new year resolutions. Here are some ideas that I tried last year…and many of them worked.
Make goals rather than resolutions: I Love goals: I write goals for a living. In occupational therapy school, we learned to write goals that are measurable and attainable… You start out with a large, long term goal and then break that down into smaller short term goals. In my own life, I started out with an idea of who and what I wanted to be in the future and then made smaller goals that would get me closer to who I wanted to ge in 10 years. For me, goals were motivating, resolutions not so much.
Visualize what it looks like to achieve your goal: This year, I wanted to RUN a race. I have done many races but always walked a little bit. I wanted to run the whole race. I visualized this the entire race. I watched myself running across the finish line. I felt happy because I pushed through every time I wanted to walk just a few steps. Saw myself as strong and determined. And I did it. I did not stop. Visualization helped so much.
Write your goals down regularly: This was a game changer for me! I wrote my 24 goals down multiple times a week. They were always right there in front of my mind and I was always looking for ways to make progress. One of my goals for 2019 was to see a concert so when I heard Madonna was coming to Chicago, I jumped at the chance. A flurry of text with my girls and we had tickets. Come October, we were there! Had that goal not been at the forefront of my mind, those Madonna tickets may have just been a passing thought.
Find some fun in the goals: Come up with ideas to make at least part of your goals fun. Regular exercise or using your compression regularly may not fun but maybe if it can be combined with watching a good show or buying a fun sleeve to wear every once in a while it may be. Also, if you are making multiple goals, it helped me to have some of them as just fun…like seeing Madonna or visiting a friend.
Remember that achieving a goal takes resources I don’t think it is possible to show up for everyone you love and train for the marathon and grow professionally and redo your basement. I learned this in 2019. In November, I ran short on both time and money to travel to connect with a few people and to see the nutcracker in NYC. This year I will adjust my goals knowing this. The point is, accomplishing things takes time or energy or money.. You will be sacrificing something to achieve your goal. Know that going into it.
“Don’t let perfect get in the way of progress” ~ Gretchen Rubin I love this quote. Perfect is not possible most of the time. Doing something toward your goal is better than doing nothing. Drinking one more glass of water a day, one more drawer decluttered, or one more yoga class a month. Aim for progress!!