Are you looking for a way to make some positive changes in your life?
With schedules changing, more travelling and social engagements, and an increase in your regular spending, it is only natural to feel overwhelmed by the stress of the holiday season. If you feel like you have a million things on your to-do or bucket lists that you’d like to accomplish, but don’t know where to begin or how you’ll ever find the time to do it all, take comfort in knowing you are not alone! This New Year, start 2017 on a positive and relaxed note by making your New Year’s Resolutions a reality! Below are 5 of my favorite tips for setting and achieving goals! By following these simple steps, you too can make some positive changes in your life and fight off stress!
1. Set Realistic and Short-term Goals
When stress starts seeping into my life, I find it helpful to break everything down into smaller and more manageable tasks. By creating “stepping-stone” goals, you will be able to see results and to chip away at your larger goals faster, which is a great motivator. Remember, no goal is too small, so set as many as you feel you need.
2. Establish a Positive Mindset
Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. This year, try to maintain a positive outlook, even in seemingly impossible or insignificant situations. You can practice this beginning with the goals you set for 2017. For example, instead of setting a goal to eliminate all sugar from your diet, set a goal to incorporate healthy sugars, like fruits, into your diet. By incorporating healthy sweets, you will also be eliminating unhealthy and processed ones. Creating positive goals will help you to feel like you are improving your overall well-being, rather than punishing yourself.
3. Be Accountable
One of the best ways to ensure you will reach your goals is to create accountability for yourself. Ask a friend or family member if he or she would like to work on reaching a goal with you, perhaps it is something he/she has been wanting to achieve, too. This will not only provide you with accountability, but with a great support person, too! If you don’t know anyone that would be interested in joining you, check out the internet, where you can find a number of different groups and organizations that will offer you accountability and support for all kinds of goals/interests. If you do best on your own, give yourself reasonable deadlines and check-in points to evaluate your progress and to plan your next course of action. This will help you to stay on track and to not lose momentum!
4. Get Organized
Organization is important if you want to make your resolutions a reality. One of my favorite ways to get organized is to create lists. When setting your resolutions, write out your long-term goals and then order them based on how important each one is to you. Next, write down your smaller “stepping-stone” goals under each larger goal. Lastly, set reasonable timelines and check-in points to evaluate your progress. This will help you to visualize your goals and to better develop a plan for achieving them. If I’m handwriting my list, I like to keep it in a place where I will see it often, like my desk or on the refrigerator, as it helps to keep me motivated. If lists are not your thing, there are a number of organizational apps and systems that you can use instead.
5. Create a Reward System
Just because you have a long term goal or New Year’s Resolution does not mean you shouldn’t reward yourself along the way. Change takes time and a lot of hard work and discipline, so be sure to recognize your progress along the way. As part of your planning process, come up with some small and large rewards that you will treat yourself to when you’ve successfully completely certain stepping-stone goals. This will help to keep you feeling great about the hard work you’ve been putting, which is exactly what you need to keep turning those resolutions into realities!