Setting New Year’s Resolutions

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Happy New Year

It’s that time of year again when we start reflecting how the closing year has gone.  What we accomplished and what we didn’t.  We once again take stock of our life and start dreaming of what our life could be like if we only….

It’s New Year’s resolution time!

Some people love making resolutions – setting goals to help them improve their health, their family, their careers, etc.  Some hate the tradition.  Whether you are a lover or a hater, there is always room for improvement in our lives.  If you want to set some goals and don’t know where to start, check out this list of 100 New Year’s resolution ideas over at bembu.com

I personally love setting New Year’s resolutions.  I love sitting down and setting goals.  I however, have so many things that I want (read NEED) to improve in my life, my list is LONG and it gets overwhelming.  Last year I had 15 New Year’s resolutions on my list!  No one can make and keep that many New Year’s resolutions at once.

They (smarter people than me) say it takes 21 days to form a habit.  ONE Habit.  It’s too overwhelming to create 15 new habits at a time.  Too much is going on and it is a recipe for failure.  This year I accomplished seven of my resolutions.  And I am thrilled!  I created some new habits, eliminated some bad ones, and I look forward to improving even more in 2015.

This year my New Year’s resolution list has 14 items.  But I feel like I have a better handle on things.  I’ve realized I don’t have to do all 14 items on January 1st.  I can pace myself throughout the year.  I have made a list of goals that I want to accomplish over the year and I have prioritized my list to begin some goals now and to wait and start some others after I have accomplished the first ones.

I created a goal setting worksheet and have it here for you as a Free Download! Goal Setting Worksheet Form.

 

Goal Setting Worksheet Image

 

The Goal Setting Worksheet is a fillable Adobe form, which means you can either print it out and write on it, or you can fill it out in your Adobe reader and then print it off.  [I have horrible writing (another resolution perhaps?) – and so I like having typed documents.]  Feel free to share with friends and family.

How I use the form:

  1. The main reason I created the form was to keep a better handle on what I am trying to accomplish. Writing a list and putting it on my bulletin board above my desk doesn’t help me.  Don’t get me wrong.  I do have the list on my bulletin board.  And I do look at it every day.  It reminds me to go to by Goal Binder and work through my goals.
  2. I create a form for each New Year’s resolution I want to set. I prioritize my New Year;s resolutions and have them in my binder in the order I want to accomplish them.  Some of my New Year’s resolutions have the same priority number because they are complimentary goals.  (Eat healthier and exercise more.)
  3. Write down your goal. They (again, smarter people than me) say a goal not written down is only a wish.  So write it down!  Be specific.  Don’t say I want to lose weight. Say I want to lose 70 pounds.  Don’t say I want get healthy.  Say I want to eat 6 servings of veggies a day.  You get the point.  Make is specific.  Make it measurable.
  4. I categorize my New Year’s resolutions into areas of my life that make sense to me. You don’t have to do this, but I like to consciously say I’m working on a certain area of my life.
  5. Set a date to accomplish your goal. Give yourself a deadline or you will never do it.  There will always be tomorrow to start.  I want to lose 70 pounds by July 31st is a specific, measurable goal with an end in sight.  It also provides a way to see if you are on track to make your goal.
  6. Writing down why you want to accomplish your goal is an important step. Knowing why it is important to you and why you are working so hard to make this change will help you get over the rough days when you want to give up.  Don’t quit!  Go back and ready your “why” and think about what your life will be like once you accomplish your goal.
  7. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.  Break down your goal into manageable tasks.  I want to lose 70 pounds by July 31st.  So I need to start now to eat more veggies and eat less sugar.  Those are manageable tasks.  Then I can add exercise 3x per week as a task.  Break it down so it doesn’t break you.
  8. Inevitably, we all fall off the wagon or become unmotivated. List ideas to get you going again should it happen to you.  What can you do to get motivated again?  Look at your why, remind yourself of your reward, look at how far you’ve come and don’t want to waste your hard work, etc.
  9. As I mentioned above, it takes 21 days to form a habit. Use the checklist on the right hand side to mark your progress and to keep you motivated.
  10. Reward yourself!!!! This is the best part of a New Year resolution, right? The reward for accomplishing something new, for working hard and sticking to it!  Make it something you REALLY want.  It will help keep you motivated.

We want to wish you a very Happy New Year and we hope 2015 is your best year yet!

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