In One Year, Out the Other


You can feel it already–the previous year fading away. But wait, what’s all that stuff following behind you: old ideas, regrets, promises, or maybe even some extra weight bouncing along your literal behind?

We make resolutions at the beginning of each year to set us on the right path. But it’s easy to get sidetracked. For example, miss a few workouts and you quickly find yourself sliding down the slippery slope of excuses and inactivity. It’s happened to all of us at some point. And for some of us, getting back on track can be down right impossible.

That’s why today is the perfect day to finally make a change you can actually stick with. Resolve not to make any more New Year’s resolutions. Instead, this year try giving those impossible resolutions a break and just do your best.

By setting more realistic goals and not limiting yourself to a once-a-year, do-or-die, all-out assault on those things you neglected the previous year, you may find your goals are within your reach.

Here are seven steps to help you set and accomplish your goals:

  1. Decide what your values are. This is important because you need to ensure your goals are in line with your values. Your goal should support your values and work in harmony with them.
  2. Determine what it is that your really want. It’s important to be very specific; don’t leave any room for questioning later down the road. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. Once you identify what it is that you really want, then set your goal.
  3. Write your goal down and share it with someone you trust. When your goal is written down and shared with someone then you can be held accountable for your goal. Your goal now becomes real and not just an idea that never comes to fruition.
  4. Be precise when setting your goal. Give your goal a deadline and give your goal dates, amounts, times, etc. so that you can measure your progress.
  5. Identify how you are going to accomplish your goal. This is important. You must be clear on how you are going to reach your goal.
  6. Build a support group. It is crucial to have support when you are trying to achieve something that takes perseverance, dedication and determination. Your support group should be made up of people who have your best interest at heart. They can help motivate you and provide encouragement as you work toward success. They also provide needed accountability. Identify those who detract from your stated goal and try to eliminate their influence as much as possible.
  7. Clean up the clutter. In other words, examine your entire world to see where you have left things unfinished or disorganized and do what you can to put your house in order.

If you want to make changes in your life, you can’t sit around and wait for the right time. The time will never be just right. There will always be something in your way—work, family, friends, injury.

A new you calls for a new approach. Relax, you can do it. No matter if you’ve made resolutions before and didn’t follow through, this is a new year. Greet this year with enthusiasm and optimism. Be kind to yourself. We can accomplish much more when we are encouraged, healthy, and happy. Letting go of those things that no longer serve you will free you to be more productive, creative, and happy.

New year, new you–your greatest moments are still ahead of you. Enjoy and celebrate life, learn, and grow. May this year be your best year yet.