It’s New Year’s Eve, a time for reflecting on the highs and lows of 2018. The goals achieved or failed. The memories made and the challenges endured.
A lot of people take this time to think about what they want to accomplish in 2019.
I used to think resolutions were a little silly, considering that they are usually abandoned a few months into the new year. But, being a goal-oriented person, I decided to start looking at them in a new way.
And you know what?
I accomplished almost every single goal I made for 2018.
In fact, I blew some out of the water. Some I scrambled to achieve last-minute…yes, here’s looking at you, 5K I ran over winter break. But hey, Christmas Eve 2018 is still 2018!
Here are some of my tips for achieving your goals in 2019:
1. Stop calling them resolutions already.
Resolutions get a bad rap. We think we have to plan them all in December, and we think they have to be huge.
Goals can be made and reset throughout the year. You can set even more goals in June, if you want. You don’t have to wait for a new year to start new ones or start over with current ones. Resolutions are restricting; goals are freeing.
2. Make them realistic.
We tend to set crazy goals for ourselves that sound more like they belong on a bucket list rather than something we want to happen in a single year. I remember watching TV and seeing some of the top resolutions people made, and one was “fall in love.”
How do you even plan that? What if you don’t meet someone in the year that you find attractive or kind or smart or [insert your desirable quality here] enough to fall in love with? Then you fail your resolution and therefore, you feel like a failure over something you couldn’t really attain in the first place due to no opportunity.
Instead, you need to set goals you actually have some control over. Then you can be your own cheerleader as you start to zero in on your ultimate goal. Did you want to read 50 books in the year, and now it’s June and you’ve hit the halfway mark? Way to go! It’s time to celebrate.
3. Start small.
It’s better to start small and achieve those goals, than set a huge goal and grow discouraged. Do you want to run a race in 2019, but you’ve never run before? It might be more realistic to first set a goal to run your first mile. Or sign up for a running app that includes running programs or a coaching feature. Maybe you can commit to running a certain amount of times or number of miles each week.
If you break your goals down into manageable, smaller goals, you will be more likely to stay motivated and achieve your big goals. After all, if you have a lot of mini-goals to celebrate throughout the year, you’re going to feel happy, successful, and confident enough to keep pressing toward more goals. And that’s huge!
4. Keep them measurable.
If you want to lose weight, give yourself a number. If you want to become more fit, set a goal for how many days you’ll go to the gym or workout at home per week. Don’t be embarrassed if you start small. You want your goals to challenge you, not to crush you. If you know in your heart that you won’t actually follow through on a commitment to exercise 3 times a week, try 1 time a week first.
5. Be accountable.
If you need to share your goals with others, or partner with someone else and achieve a goal together, great. But you don’t always need to depend on others to accomplish your goals. Sometimes just writing out your goals in a journal or on a piece of paper can be enough. My 2018 goals are in a notebook. Once I wrote them down, I felt more obligated to complete them, even if no one else ever saw them. Writing them down made them real.
And of course, if you bomb a goal in January, remember that it isn’t the end of the world. You can set new goals or try again for those old goals in February. Or July. Or even December.
So don’t give up. Dream big for 2019. I know I will. But don’t feel embarrassed or lame if you start small. When your friends give up on their diets or workout plans somewhere in mid-February because their goals still feel light-years away, you may have already accomplished a few of yours and be well on your way toward the new goals you’ve set.
Happy New Year!
What are some of your goals for 2019?