Do you want something BIG this year?
It seems like every New Year, when it’s time to make our resolutions, we get a bit overly ambitious and optimistic. True, we get a fresh start every day, but January 1st just feels “official,” doesn’t it? We set goals, we make commitments and join gyms. Then a few weeks or months pass, the gym empties out, our schedules become fuller and our bank accounts become emptier.
Well, not this year!
I’ll admit, I love a good resolution. I relish the opportunity to set some new goals, and assess where I am and where I hope to be.
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I’ve found the hard part isn’t in SETTING goals—we’re all good at coming up with an idea of what we want to do. The trick is accomplishing those goals. Not just “sort of” checking them off the list, but tackling and crushing them! Stretch beyond the safe items on your wish list to push yourself toward the big, BIG goals you aren’t even sure you can hit. (You can!)
If you had a busy holiday season and you’re not in your New Year mindset yet, that’s okay. There’s still time to plan for your best year ever. There’s no time like the present to get started!
Let’s flip the switch, get into goal crushing mode and plan for a New Year and a new YOU!
New Approach to Goals
When it comes to setting goals, most of us have heard of SMART goals. The best goal setting tactic is to aim for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely goals. This means setting goals with parameters. Wanting to lose weight or get on top of your finances are fine goals philosophically speaking, but they’re hard to measure. They’re vague. How will you know when you’ve achieved them? For example: Lose a pound per week for the next two months by tracking my food and running three times a week—that’s a SMART goal.
The other approach to goal setting is to aim BIG. Look for what author Charles Duhigg calls “stretch goals.” Don’t settle for puny goals you’ll achieve in a week or two. Of course, you want to set an achievable goal, but aim for the “what if I could…?” goal. What if you could pay off your mortgage in the next year? What if you could work from home or achieve another BIG goal?
Set your big target and then work backwards. What do you need to do each month to get closer to that goal? What will it take month-by-month or even week-by-week to hit your mark? You may find you need to give up a few extras to achieve your goal. Maybe it means taking a staycation this year, eating at home or revamping your budget completely. Perhaps you’ll find you don’t have time for Netflix or you’ll need to cut back on trips to Starbucks.
Yet, when we have a big goal in our sights, the sacrifices along the way don’t seem so bad. We know we’re moving in the direction we want. We know we’re going to hit our target.
Ready to crush your goals in the New Year? Check out our Best Year Ever Mini Course
New Steps to Organizing Your Home
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to FINALLY eliminate the overwhelm of organizing your home? When our homes are cluttered, it’s hard to focus. It’s hard to know what we have and appreciate what really matters. It’s even tough to relax in a messy, disorganized, clutter-filled space.
If you’re ready for a new, organized lifestyle this year, now’s the time to get started. You can have the calm, clean, inviting space of your dreams. You simply need a plan of attack to take your home from disaster to a place of peace, joy and tranquility.
One of the best methods is to break down your organizing goals into small steps. Each day tackle a room or an area of your home. Follow our 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life plan to help you break down the organizing and decluttering room-by-room. Don’t feel afraid to ruthlessly purge any item that’s outlived its usefulness. For each item, ask yourself if you need it, use it and love it. If not, let it go! Learn to live with less and appreciate simplicity.
New Motivation to Tackle Finances
One area many of us want to makeover is our finances! I’m here to tell you, you CAN get a handle on your budget. You can see real progress, but it requires organization and dedication. I’m the first to admit I’m not an expert when it comes to finances. In fact, I still struggle with spending and keeping my budget under control. Yet, I’ve learned over the past few years that creating and following a budget regularly is the key to success.
If you use the Living Well Planner®, chances are you’re familiar with our budget worksheet which helps you break down spending month by month. As you start to track where your money goes, you’ll identify patterns and areas to shore up. Following a budget will keep you moving forward with your financial goals.
Hoping to really jumpstart your financial goals? Embark on a spending freeze! Our 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero book, is just the ticket to get you fired up and motivated. After going through a month of saving money, chances are you’ll feel ready to tackle any financial challenge. From there, you may want to build up your emergency fund, pay down your debt and start saving for your big dreams!
New Method to Keep Up with Your Schedule
Many of us dream of taking back our time and “owning” our schedules, but most of us are so frazzled and stressed we don’t know where to start. Whether we’re moms, friends, wives, employees, business-owners or creatives (or a combination of all those identities and more), we’re stretched in many different directions. Finding the time to run a household, help our loved ones, parent, connect, create and just…breathe, often seems nearly impossible, doesn’t it?
Well friends, I promise you there are ways to keep up with it all. Like decluttering your house and organizing your budget, managing your time requires an organized approach and a targeted goal in mind. If you want more time to pursue your passions, to spend with your kids or simply to relax, you can find it. It’s a matter of looking at the ways you fill your time jar.
Think of your day like a big glass bottle. If you fill the bottle first with big rocks—the big tasks on your to do list, then pour in smaller rocks—the less pressing but still important jobs, there is still room for sand and even water (the relaxing, fun activities) to go in the jar. Using a time-blocking system where you break your day down into 20-30-minute chunks will help you manage it all. Rather than juggling many jobs at once, focus on the task at hand. Give it your full attention and move on to the next. Do the biggest, hardest jobs first and you’ll find more room on your schedule for the stuff you WANT to do.
My two favorite tools for planning out my weeks and my days with intention are our Weekly Wizard Sticky Sheets™ and Daily Focus Sheet Sticky Notes™. Used together with the Living Well Planner®, they have been a complete game changer for me in the past year! I love being able to separate my tasks by priority, so that I always know what the most important thing is to focus on.
New Zest for Health
Ready to get in shape? Want this to be the year you finally hit your goal weight, rock your skinny jeans and keep up with your kids? When it comes to our health, we often slide it to the back burner. So many other issues take priority—our house, our job, our kids. But without our health, we don’t have the energy to keep up with it all. We can’t do our best, when our energy is low and we’re feeling run down.
Getting healthier looks different for everyone. Some of us might aim to run a half-marathon this year, while others would like to lose 10 pounds, lower blood pressure, or eat a little healthier. The common thread with health goals big and small, is it all comes down to self-care. Our bodies are amazing machines. We only have one body to care for, so we should take care of it and prioritize our health. Add a reminder to your schedule and block out time to go to the gym or workout.
As with any big goal, break it down. Consider what simple steps and great healthy habits you will adopt this month. Drink more water each day. Aim for a better night’s sleep. Implement more movement or log your 10,000 steps each day. Pick one or two habits and adopt them for a few weeks until they become routine, then add another. When we’re caring for our body, we may find lower stress, a stronger immune system and extra confidence and energy. Love your body! You’re worth it!
New Ways to Live Well
Living well means being happy, healthy and energetic. It’s about finding ways to live our best lives and going for those big dreams. It means implementing steps, setting SMART goals, but also aiming for big stretch goals. It means tackling our fears, doing it scared and learning not to let worries hold us back. It’s about going for it!
What is your definition of living well? Does it mean having a vibrant social circle with plenty of friendships and connections? Does it mean finding a deeper spiritual connection in your life and giving back to others? Is it simply spending more quality time with your family and living kinder, more appreciative lives?
Living well is how you define it. It’s different for each of us. If you’re ready to implement a new you—the best version of you, you hope for—now is the time!
It may seem daunting, even scary at times. After all, when we truly engage in a stretch goal, it means pushing ourselves. Growth isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it’s a little painful, but it’s always worth it.
If you have your heart set on a big life change, I know you can get there. Take deliberate steps to keep moving forward. Follow along with our Best Year Ever mini-course to help you accomplish every resolution on your list.
Happy New Year, friends. Let’s make this our best year yet!