What are you looking forward to in the new year? Have you made new year’s resolutions? For many people, based on past experience, the idea of making a new year’s resolution is just setting yourself up for failure.
Let’s think about words. Words can either motivate, intimidate or just flat turn us off. If the word resolution turns you cold and you feel the urge to give it a hard shove right out the door, find another word. Goal, intention, result. Think of words that have a positive ring for you.
If the word goal seems intimidating, try to decide why. Do you have trouble meeting goals? Maybe you set one great big goal that you never reach. The trick here is to set that big goal, then sit down and brainstorm how to reach that goal. Set little goals that will eventually lead to the ultimate goal. Have you been thinking you need to reorganize the house, storage shed, garage, but it’s such a daunting task you just never get started? Try this. Set “reorganize the house” as the ultimate goal, then under it start listing reorganization tasks. My closet, the linen closet, the upper kitchen cabinets, the lower kitchen cabinets, etc. Try to break the tasks down so that each small task can be done in an hour. After all you have a job and a family and other obligations. Small goals that are reachable will make you more confident about reaching that ultimate goal.
Get some positive feedback from friends and family. The goal I’ve listed is a necessary one, but not life changing, and you can probably do it on your own. If you’re ready to improve your life, set that goal. Let friends and family know that this is what your intention is for this coming year. If they’re good friends they’ll have input, they’ll encourage you, they’ll have suggestions for breaking down that ultimate goal into small, easily accomplished tasks. If you lack the self confidence to take that first step into a new, improved lifestyle, friends see you for what you can do, not what you can’t or haven’t done. They see your potential much more clearly than you see it and they don’t have those buried memories that led to your lack of self confidence. Remember the journey starts with the first step, but that first step is the hardest to take.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. I usually don’t say this, but in this case it’s appropriate. Lower your expectations. You can’t always reach a goal without stumbling. A stumble isn’t failure, it’s just part of the process.
If you’d like some help charting your goals and their progress you can use this free online guide.
Happy 2009 everyone!