Every year, thousands of people eagerly await that celebratory moment to greet the New Year; their clean slate, their new set of fresh opportunities with a welcoming embrace. It’s only when it dawns on us that it’s up to us to make things happen that we slowly start weeding out one resolution at a time, abandoning most of them by the time we reach February.
Resolutions are, as we tend to see them, more than your ordinary, everyday goals. They represent our hopes and dreams of a better, more successful tomorrow filled with self-love and appreciation. When you’ve had a year like 2020, there’s all the more reason to rejoice for the next one that comes! However, staying true to our resolutions beyond midnight of December 31 is a struggle on its own. Here are a few ways to live your resolutions and make staying on course with your goals possible.
Reduce your number of resolutions
One meaningful, realistic goal is better than a dozen different goals that are driven purely by wishful thinking. So, instead of creating a lengthy list of completely unrelated goals, you can reduce your resolutions to one or two, and then brainstorm on steps to achieve those. For example, because of the pandemic, but also because of the growing awareness of the importance of our health, more people want to become fitness professionals.
First of all, if you already have some skills and passion in this field, you should also start thinking about your credentials. This is a competitive field, and you want to make sure people take you seriously, so consider different fitness certification opportunities that will help build up your reputation. Then, you can invest in your own website, and slowly build up your fitness community one day at a time.
Get specific with your milestones
Due to the pandemic, many people are inspired to become healthcare workers and to give their life such a noble, rewarding purpose. That, however, requires education and training, which is harder to come by considering the circumstances. In such situations, it’s easy to abandon such a goal, but if you mean to achieve it, you should start by focusing on its segments.
For example, for someone to become a healthcare worker and help people in life-threatening emergencies, they need to learn advanced cardiac life support (or ACLS for short) methods, drugs, and diagnostic principles. Since traditional classroom studies are unavailable, people will turn to online ACLS courses in order to be able to start working in healthcare sooner rather than later. Dividing a large-scale goal such as adapting your professional career, requires taking a methodical approach and splitting up your goal into achievable, smaller units.
Track your progress weekly
Sometimes, the simplest of steps will make all the difference in how successful the resolutions become. If planning to shed weight or get lean and toned, that will require changing your lifestyle not for a year, but for life. Such a lifelong commitment is worthwhile, but in addition to dividing it into smaller milestones, you also need to track your progress.
For starters, add your workouts to your calendar and treat them as an appointment, much like you would your health checkup or your annual visit to the dentist. Create a detailed meal plan and supply yourself with the needed ingredients – otherwise, you’ll be stuck with unhealthy meals and no way to reach your resolution. You can also use an app or a journal to track your progress, notice how you lose weight, how your clothes fit, how your energy levels grow – it’s such details that will inspire you to keep going day after day.
Stick to realistic ideas
In the daze of excitement we so often feel during the holiday season, we tend to choose the most unrealistic goals possible. For example, is it realistic to travel the entire world in 2021, especially with the pandemic in the mix? Perhaps focusing on exploring local wonders you’ve never seen is a good step in the same direction – a more realistic version that is within your means.
Before you move forward, conduct a reality check for your goals and see if they are within your financial capabilities and if they can be mastered within a set timeframe. Even if that means stretching out your goal to more than just the upcoming year, it can still mean investing your energy in a worthy cause, if it’s something that is both possible and gives you purpose.
Reward yourself in healthy ways
We are creatures of habit, but forming those habits takes time and effort. In order to do so, you can build your own little reward system based on healthy, self-affirming, positive indulgences and treats. If you’ve invested hours of your life to obtain a degree in nursing or you’ll spend the next several months writing your novel, you can create a calendar of little pleasures to keep you going.
From introducing healthy, delicious treats such as ginger molasses cookies, all the way to treating yourself to a professional massage, a hiking outing in a nearby reserve or a spa day at home, you can reward yourself for your dedication. It’s a positive way of building up your mindset to focus on success and to feel good about all the little things in life that pave the road to that success, no matter how close or far it might be.
Whether your goals are work-oriented or strictly related to your lifestyle, you have a chance to stay true to your resolutions if you build the right foundation for the upcoming year. Some people will find their motivation and dedication will oscillate from one month to another, but setting yourself up for success requires more than just naming your wish. Start your next year with your mindset on a few, carefully selected goals and detailed steps you should take to reach them – and your next year will be all the richer for it.