People often try to make a fresh start at the beginning of the calendar year, making #resolutions to lose weight, get more exercise, get #organized, save money and so on. But such resolutions — made to suit a salient juncture in time — often get sidelined quickly.
One can make a resolution or set a new goal at any time, of course, but the goal-setter needs to be ready. So if you made resolutions three weeks ago and are already coming up short, it’s time to revisit those goals and figure out how you can successfully meet them.
The first thing to do when making any sort of shift is to mentally prepare for change, says GoSkills. Inventory any progress you have already made toward a goal, however small; this will help you maintain positivity as you tackle the next steps.
Pick a goal that motivates you and has a substantial personal value or benefit. Is it to learn a new software program to boost your career? Learn a musical instrument as a creative outlet? #Clean and organize the garage to give you more space? What the goal is doesn’t matter as much as making sure it aligns with your priorities.
Limit yourself to just a few improvement goals. GoSkills suggests writing every aspiration on a Post-it and rearranging them until the most exciting topics rise to the top. When you have only a few Post-its left, you’ll know which areas to focus on.
Know your bandwidth. If multiple resolutions demand global changes or big chunks of time, you probably aren’t going to satisfy them to your satisfaction. Make your resolutions SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-sensitive.
If a resolution has anything to do with #organization, for example, “get #organized” is not the one to make — it’s too vague and too all-encompassing. Such a goal sets people up for failure, because it’s hard to measure progress and any obvious failures will demotivate.
The SMART goal would be something like, “I will install new shelves in the living room by April 1 and display only the books and knickknacks I want on them, sorting and #donating the rest to [shameless plug] ClothingDonations.org.”
Revisit the hopes and dreams you have for the new year. Calibrate any resolutions you might make into manageable life goals that carry demonstrable returns. And remember that there is never a bad time to pursue self-improvement.