There are many things that I need in my life, but I don’t need to wait until January 1st to begin executing a plan to become more organized, drink more water, eat more fruit, exercise regularly, focus more on extended family, and read the Bible more. Likewise, I don’t feel bad about setting goals after January 1st. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.
Sure, I’d love to do all of the things that I listed, and more, but I believe that an all-out campaign to conquer them all of them at once is a setup for failure. So, what do I think is the best way to attain each goal?
- Make a list and be specific. Write down my exact goals and provide details regarding how I plan to accomplish them. (Ex: Increase daily water intake to 100 ounces by substituting morning coffee and bedtime tea for water and eating 3 servings of fruit each day.)
- Set reasonable goals. Trying to be superhuman won’t work and will make me lose interest quickly. So, in relation to the goal of increasing my water intake, instead of trying reach my goal of consuming 100 ounces water on the first day, I will need to slowly add a few extra ounces here and a piece of fruit there until I reach my goal.
- Prominently display list. Seeing my goals in writing will help me to remember what they are when they busyness that I call life gets in the way. Posting the list in my home office workspace will ensure that I’ll see it at least once per day.
- Start slow. Setting out to transform one aspect of my life at a time versus trying to accomplish everything at once will lend itself to success. For instance, if my first goal is to drink more water, I will wait until that becomes natural (a lifestyle change) before embarking on the next goal.
- Cut myself some slack. Everything won’t go as planned, so the keys to continued confidence, and ultimate success, are to recognize that there will be bumps in the road and quickly move past them to get back on track.
No, I don’t need to make resolutions to ring in the new year. What I desperately need is a plan that outlines the baby steps that I will take over time in order to realize longterm lifestyle changes. So you won’t find me loading up on bottled water, calling every out-of-town relative, and going for a 5-mile run on January 1st. You’ll likely find me doing something very similar to what I’m doing now, but with a cup of water beside me.
Happy New Year!