I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a New Year’s junkie! I love a fresh start, a new beginning and a chance to tackle goals—so I look forward to January 1st because it feels like the perfect time to start.
And yet, New Year’s Resolutions can be a little scary sometimes too. Why? Because we might fail! After all, we sometimes aim for BIG, HUGE goals with no clear plan to get there. We spend the days leading up to New Year’s Eve relishing in our bad habits and avoiding issues we plan to resolve when the clock strikes midnight.
And when that happens?
We’re still the same. We haven’t made changes in our approach or devised a clear SMART action plan to reach our lofty goals.
Or, we start the year out like weekend warriors. We go to the gym every day. We eat only salad. We organize our house from top to bottom and plan every second within an inch of its life. Then, one day we fall off the wagon. After a rough day, we skip the gym, we eat chocolate cake or we go on a shopping spree—and then we think, “Well, that’s it. I’ve failed. Throw in the towel until next year.”
Not this time! This year, let’s start our resolutions right now. Today. Let’s NOT wait until January 1st. There’s no rule out there saying we must wait to set resolutions (and even if there were, we all know rules are for suckers, right? Break ‘em)!
Starting your resolutions now takes the pressure off. You’ll get a jumpstart on your success and you’ll be all set up to achieve more than you even thought possible. So don’t delay! Get started with your resolutions right now. There’s no time like the present—jump in!
Why Early Goal-Setting Works & How To Do It
Starting your resolutions NOW rather than waiting until the end of the year gives you time to identify, plan, and plot out your strategy. Right now, you can clearly see an overview of the year ahead. You can plot out your resolutions and start taking preliminary steps toward crushing your goals.
So often, when we set traditional New Year’s resolutions, we’re brainstorming and coming up with impulse goals at the last minute. As the Christmas tree is put away and gifts are given and received, our picture of what we want in the upcoming year might not be quite as full as it would be with a little perspective. We’re rushed, so we decide on quick, broad resolutions offering little in the way of a plan of attack.
In his book, The 12 Week Year, author Brian Moran highlights the importance of thinking of our goals in terms of the next 12 weeks (a business quarter) rather than attempting to set big-picture goals. Setting micro-resolutions or breaking your resolutions down into smaller steps makes them more accessible and more achievable.
Dividing your year and your goals into smaller pieces really helps narrow your focus and stay on track. Plus, if you fall behind on your goals, you only need to catch up over a few weeks rather than over a few months.
The best part about breaking down your goals into smaller steps? You can start with the first step RIGHT now! You don’t need to wait until the first of the year. By the time the New Year rolls around, you’ll be well on your way. Working on your goals will already become a habit and you’ll have a strategy in place to ensure your resolutions stick.
Dividing & Conquering
It’s perfectly okay (and even encouraged) to set multiple resolutions. Our lives are complex and multifaceted. There may be several areas we want to conquer, so breaking them down into targeted areas will help you do just that.
Consider mini-courses, classes and other tools to help you conquer targeted areas. If you’d like to learn the secret to productive goal-setting so you truly crush your goals, check out our free Best Year Ever mini-course. You’ll receive a step-by-step guide and workbook along with video lessons and challenges to help you turn your resolutions into reality!
Set up goals for each area of your life where you want to achieve. This might mean setting up personal goals like getting up earlier, working out regularly, learning a new skill or doing something you’ve always wanted to do.
Set financial goals. It’s time to organize your budget, get a handle on your finances and start building a savings account to keep you safe through any emergency. If you’re hoping to tackle your debt or start saving for retirement, now is the time to get started. There’s no time like the present.
When it comes to your home and family, maybe you’re hoping to finally get your house organized or to start meal planning or to work on parenting goals or to start running your own business from home. Whatever your goals are, get started today! There’s no reason to wait until the first of the year. Instead, divide up your goals, break them down into mini-steps and start working toward crushing them!
Writing Down Your Goals—Your Plan for Success!
To be honest, if you don’t write down your big goals and your plan, they won’t happen. Yes, you might experience small incremental changes, but it’s hard to see and measure progress without setting specific goals and writing them down.
Check out the Living Well Planner if you’re looking for a very goal-friendly format to plot out your year and plans. We offer tons of tools right within the planner to help you narrow your focus, measure your progress and achieve every single thing you want to do!
Always set SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. This means goals like “lose 20 pounds” aren’t going to lead you to success. Instead, you may want to set a goal like “lose a pound a week until I reach my weight-loss goal of 20 pounds.” A SMART goal gives a specific timeframe. It’s achievable. It offers a way to measure how you’re doing.
When you list your measurable steps, break them down as narrowly as possible. If you need to, focus on what you can do for ten or twenty minutes per day to reach your goal. Almost all of us can spare 20 minutes per day to work on something. Coming up with two-and-a-half hours per week is more of a stretch and coming up with 10 hours per month seems even tougher.
Look at what small steps you can do each day to work toward your goal. Block out time on your calendar when you can focus and keep your appointments with yourself. If you want to achieve something, it should become your top priority every single day.
Set aside a time each week to check in with yourself on your progress. If you had a rough week or fell off track, don’t beat yourself up. Dust yourself off and get right back on the horse! Weekly check-ins help you know exactly where you stand.
Want to know a secret of goal crushers? They manage to keep up a positive attitude even when life throws them a curve ball.
We’d all like everything to go as planned. We’d love to set our resolutions and look to the future horizon and know exactly what’s headed our way.
Unfortunately, none of us do. Whether it’s a personal crisis, a natural disaster or even an unexpected blessing like a new (surprise!) baby, life often changes before we know it.
While it’s important to stay single-minded about our resolutions and goals, it’s also important to keep things in perspective. Instead of getting frustrated by setbacks and challenges, look at them as opportunities to learn and grow. When life throws you a challenge, you’ll learn how to achieve your goals by working around the challenge rather than giving up.
It’s becoming more and more clear that when it comes to our attitude: we have a choice. Behavioral scientists, psychologists and others have discovered everyone has a happiness setpoint. No matter what life throws at us, our happiness setpoint will eventually go back to where it was before. We either choose to attract more positivity into our life or we operate with scarcity and fear.
Resolve to move forward without fear. When we view life as an adventure and a learning opportunity, we get more out of each experience. We’re propelled toward achieving our goals and maximizing our happiness. It’s all about attitude!
Striving for Progress, Not Perfection
Sometimes when we set goals, we look for the perfect time to start—the beginning of the month or the beginning of the year. I personally love making a fresh start. I like to think of each page-turn of the calendar as a chance to begin something fresh and new.
Unfortunately, when we put off our goals until the start of the week, month or even year, they might get pushed off indefinitely. What happens if we miss our start time? Do we need to wait for a whole year to roll around again?
There is no time like the present. Start now! Start today. If you mess up, simply start again!
Resolutions often fail because they aren’t timebound or measurable. They’re too lofty or they embrace and all-or-nothing mentality. Then when we mess up, fall off the wagon and miss a few days, we feel like we should throw in the towel.
Starting your resolutions today will help you let go of the all-or-nothing mentality. Jump in. Do it scared. Do it even if you don’t think you’re ready.
It’s perfectly normal to feel apprehensive about tackling a goal or resolution—especially if it’s big and we aren’t sure it’s attainable. Look at the steps you can take toward progress. Each day, wake up ready to take more steps toward the life you want and the goals you want to achieve.
By breaking down our goals into smaller steps, writing them down, using SMART strategies, using planning tools and starting NOW, we can achieve all our resolutions! Don’t wait for New Year’s Eve. Make it happen today!
Putting it into Practice
So are you ready to get a jump start on crushing your goals this year? If so, I want to invite you to join me for our FREE Best Year Ever Mini Course.
I’m not even kidding when I tell you this 5-day video course could be a complete game changer for you this year. (And, since it’s free, you really have nothing to lose!) It is designed to not only be a more effective goal setter (and goal achiever) but to help you create a plan for handling all those real-life things that get us off track and prevent us from reaching our goals—things like finances, meal planning, and making more time in our day. There’s even a workbook to help you apply what you are learning.
Don’t wait though—this free Mini Course will only be available for a short time! Get registered HERE.