As we move into 2017, it is only natural to spend time thinking about what resolutions you are going to try and set. Similarly, you may find yourself thinking about the things that you wanted to accomplish in 2016 that perhaps fell by the wayside.
But while it can be easy to think of your life and the things you’d like to do differently, it is even more important to learn how to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself. You’re not a superhero and sometimes the biggest factors in achieving your goals is the ability to ask for help or being able to organize your own goals into smaller steps.
Through examining the important qualities in your own life, you can make realistic resolutions that can help make 2017 your most successful year yet.
It’s easy to assume our resolutions are a very personal thing, but don’t think this to the extent that you become blinded to the value other people can bring in helping you achieve your goals. Especially because it can become all the easier to put our blinders on and forget that other people are there to help us when we feel like we are really struggling. This is especially paramount as you may start feeling an expectation to achieve so much in 2017.
By looking at friends and family in your life, you also give yourself the opportunity to grow from their experiences. Were you blown away by how much weight one of your friends lost last year? Maybe talking to them will lead to some huge tips to help you, as opposed to not opening up that door for conversation and running the risk that you think they did this so easily, and that you’re a failure if it doesn’t come that way for you.
Even if you don’t need your friends for their advice, being able to tell someone about your goals and actively talking about them is a great way to make sure you don’t forget what your resolutions were by March. Friends can also be huge at helping you organize and break your resolution into smaller steps, ideally, that can be enacted on a daily basis. The more you engage in healthy habits, the higher the chance that you can create a lasting change.
It can be amazing and inspiring to enter into January and feel like this is the year where you are going to accomplish some of your main goals, but you don’t get to where you want to be in 2018 without making the most of every day in 2017.
There’s also no shame in setting several goals for yourself that perhaps cover a few different aspects of your life. If instead, you spend your whole year building up to one goal to achieve, it could come with a lot of disappointment in yourself if you don’t achieve it, and that is only going to leave you more discouraged for 2018. Especially if you don’t take the moment to actively be aware of all the amazing things you did accomplish in the year, many of which we are sure you did not see coming at the start of 2016.
Sure, you didn’t go and hit up the gym like you said you would, but maybe reading was also something you’re going to put on your list of 2017 goals. Now you also have something that is in your control and will make you feel all the better if every time you pick up a book you aren’t only getting the enjoyment of reading, but also that extra boost of knowing you’re actively improving an area that you outlined as being one of value.
In order to constantly remind yourself of how amazing you are, it is critical to set realistic goals for yourself and to be self-aware of your own limitations.
Have you never been able to swim for more than 20 minutes? Maybe don’t put a triathlon on your docket for 2017! But does that mean that still cannot be one of your lifelong goals? Heck no! Instead, what you can do, is try and find a way to still work towards that in a way that doesn’t make you feel defeated.
Perhaps every day you are going to do your absolute best to try and exercise one of those skill sets that you need in a triathlon. You might never get to your end goal, but I can imagine your awareness of where you want to go with this talent would still lead to far more joy every time you were active, then if you were just going because it was something to do. In that way our resolutions can be incredibly motivating, we just have to be careful not to also let them discourage us.
This also helps get out of the mindset that your time at the gym — hypothetically — can only be deemed successful if you achieve your end of the year goal. Instead, the value in resolutions can come in you being organized enough in your thoughts that every day you can have a moment in which you feel you have actively improved an area of your life that was important to you.
If whenever you fail from your goals — daily or otherwise — you start beating yourself up for not meeting your resolution goals, you’re never going to have the energy to make long-lasting change.
It is never going to work if you pick resolutions that you do not care about, but instead of picking the standard ones; take a moment as we enter into 2017 to identify what areas in your life that you really want to improve and value. What is a realistic way to achieve those goals? Are you going to need help along the way — there definitely is no shame in that — but being aware of that and organized is going to be monumental in your success.
Don’t use the new year as a time to hate all over what you have accomplished in your life. Instead, get excited as the new year comes and take note of all that you have done well in your life. Once you can start outlining those values, it will become all the easier to learn how to set goals that can help you make 2017 your most fulfilling year yet.