Hey friends! As January nears its end and February picks up on a Monday, I wanted to write an New Year’s Resolutions reflection guide. It’s a new year (yay 2021!), so it’s important to track your progress and get down to the core of your feelings. Maybe January has been a month where you fell back into the bad habits you ended 2020 with. Or maybe January has been a month of slow growth in the right direction. In order to move forward, you’ve got to assess where you’ve been. Do you like how you’ve been doing?
A big reason why people fail at New Year’s Resolutions is because they never check back in with themselves. If you never learn from your past mistakes, you’ll never grow. Part of that process is writing things down.
Are your goals written down?
Are they SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and within a certain time frame? Once you’ve processed your goals, whether or not they are achievable for you, you can really get down to making future decisions.
Create a plan to track your progress
Habit trackers are helpful in clarifying what goals are working out for you and what goals aren’t. For example, one of my goals for this year is to get up by 7am everyday. I know myself well enough to know that I am not naturally a morning person so I’m not going to get up by 7 every day. Adjust my goal with an 80/20 philosophy in mind, I make it more attainable for myself. Additionally, I know that I get up early when I have a pressing need to get up – class, homework that needs to get done, work, meeting with a friend. Having outside accountability raises the stakes and causes me to reach my goal.
Get an app or write down when you’ve been reaching your goals. There are a few I have tried – Done: a simple habit tracker, Habit Tracker, and Daylio Journal. I am the type of gal who works best with writing things down.
Categorize your goals
Some goals are weekly, others are daily. I do best with goals that are everyday. It becomes a part of a routine and it’s a habit that I embody. Perhaps your best goals are things you are working towards weekly or monthly. You may have a natural tendency to work better when it comes to bigger tasks but smaller tasks are forgettable. Figure out what type of person you are and what goals work best for you. Tailor your goals to your strengths.
Make war with your distractions
Let’s say you want to finish work and write for 30 minutes. You are working on a novel and you just want to make a little bit of daily progress. Analyze what happens as you finish your workday. Do you usually stay late to finish up a few extra tasks? Are you sauntering over to the fridge for a snack before you park yourself on the couch? You need a big cue to tell yourself to write for 30 minutes. This could be writing your novel with pen and paper as opposed to your laptop, and leaving your notebook next to your laptop as you work each day.
If you have the goal to drink more water, having a glass of water in front of you versus going to the fridge and reaching for coffee. Setting out the gym clothes so that you see them when you wake up. Make it easier to reach your goal, and then you’ll have less excuses when it comes time to get to work.
Ask yourself some deeper questions
Why are you working towards a specific goal? Do you actually want to work towards this goal?
If you don’t have a compelling reason or if you are working towards a goal for someone else, you will not have the discipline to work towards your goal. This New Year’s Resolutions reflection guide isn’t to guilt you, but it’s to help you clarify your objectives.
How many goals do you have? What’s your system for focusing on them?
Another huge reason for not meeting those resolutions is wanting to do too much at once. Having a lot of goals at the beginning can be motivating and exciting but that quickly turns into something that drains you. Your goals have to be in areas of life you are prioritizing. Not all goals fit into every season of life. Instead of focusing on 30 goals, maybe you pick 5-8 goals that are manageable in your life right now and spend a month focusing on 1 or 2 goals.
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What is working?
Do not discount the things that are working. Celebrate what progress you have made. Everyone moves at their own pace and given the state of the world, I wish we could all just celebrate making it through another day. For instance, I’ve been waking up everyday and having a quiet time every morning. I haven’t missed a day yet and that’s motivating me towards my other goals that I’ll begin to focus on next month.
What is your plan?
February begins on a Monday. Unlike January which started on a Friday, February’s start is motivating! How are you going to move forward with your goals? Maybe you need to create a new schedule that supports your goals. Or perhaps you need to slow down and focus on 1 or 2 goals, rather than trying to do everything at once. Get clear by writing out your New Year’s Resolutions reflection with your priorities in mind. In my case, I’ll be focusing on getting up early because a new semester starts for me next week. I also want to create a cue for me to do my skincare routine. I actually need to pare down my products to make it more likely to do it twice a day.
Maybe you’re moving (if so, good luck!), and this is the perfect time to try out implementing a night routine to get to bed at the same time each night. Or you’ve got extra time on your hands to declutter and so you can get clearer on what is essential to you.
If you want me to write a post on creating a plan for executing your goals, comment down below!
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Goal setting isn’t supposed to feel defeating. It’s supposed to make you feel empowered. You can create change in your life, but you have to make a conscious effort to work toward what you want.
I’ll be cheering you on friends! I hope you found the New Year’s Resolutions reflection guide helpful.