It’s a new year, and you’re ready to hit the ground running! You’ve got your resolutions lined up, and you know this is the year you’re really going to stick to them. Get ready, world! Here comes the new you!
Whether you call them resolutions, goals, hopes and dreams, or something else, thousands of folks set them each January 1st, and then start working to accomplish them. They give people hope. On that first day of the new year, you can look forward and know that the future is yours to take.
It’s the ultimate glass-half-full moment.
The problem is that so many people fall short relatively quickly, the optimism fades away, and the reach toward the goal subsides or stops altogether. Some people make it months, but many more make it mere weeks or even days before they mess up and then give up. But you don’t have to be a fresh-start fail. It’s easier than you think to stick to your resolutions and really make them work.
New Year, New You: Make It Real
The keys to lasting change are easier than you think. It starts with the most important aspect of goal-setting: Make sure you’re being realistic. Feeding your kids a character-inspired bento box with fresh, organic, and sustainable ingredients every day for lunch may not be realistic, but making a goal to limit Lunchables to only once or twice a week might be a little easier to stick with. Shooting for the moon isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re afraid of heights you need to start a little lower in the atmosphere!
Once you’ve decided on a realistic resolution, map out your steps. Be specific! The more precise your details are, the easier it is to follow through with your goals and keep yourself on track and accountable. Think of it like putting together one of those big Lego sets. You can’t open all seven bags and start sticking them together! One bag and one page at a time make the whole task more manageable.
As you’re thinking through the steps, write them down on paper (or type them out on a computer)! Seeing your goals and the steps on paper helps you visualize what needs to get done, in what order, and it track your progress. Checking off boxes gives a feeling of success and keeps you motivated to continue moving forward.
Some people move forward with intrinsic motivation. You know those type-A people who set a goal and reach it like a robot with a single-purpose drive? They might not need to shout about their goals, but the rest of the world might need a little help.
If you’re one of those other folks, tell people about your plans. Make it public, and let your friends keep you accountable. Is your resolution to run a marathon this year? Put it on Facebook and encourage friends to ask how your training is coming along. Post regular updates of your miles. You’ll be amazed at how a little attention keeps you motivated and on track.
Are you a journaler? Journals are excellent ways to put all these things into one spot. Write out your goals, list each step to accomplish them, and even keep track of how you’re feeling each time you hear feedback from friends or family, or how you feel each time you check another box getting you closer to your goal.
New Year, New You: Make It Fit
If you want to make some realistic resolutions this new year but aren’t quite sure how to start, check out these common goals to find some inspiration!
1. Fitness Goals
It’s important to do things for your physical health and mental well-being, and better fitness is a great one. Find a gym, a coach, or a program that works for you. Through Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs, military bases have great offerings from classes to coaching that can get you started on your plan.
Get whatever gear you might need so you’re not making excuses for missing a class or a workout. Got little kids? Find a home-based program or enroll them in a gym child care. Pick something that works for you. If your closet is littered with never-used workout videos, make choices that get you out of the house so you don’t quit. Make each workout part of your daily or weekly routine. Put it on your calendar, and make accommodations to ensure you don’t skip out. Remember, it takes 21 days to create a habit, so keep at it!
2. Academic Goals
If your goal is to start a career certification or college degree program, work through each step of the process — from researching the right school to applications to budgeting to your study schedule. Find programs that you are interested in. Look into online programs and actual classroom experiences — what fits your lifestyle better? Are you moving soon? Consider a program that will allow you to finish quickly or a program you can continue in another state.
Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses — do you struggle with self-discipline? Perhaps you should look for a program with more structure! Identify all the ways that your daily life might need accommodations and address them ahead of time.
3. Nutrition Goals
It’s easy to say you want to eat healthier, but what does that look like? Remember the big rules: Make it realistic, and make it specific!
What exactly do you want to improve within your diet? Don’t be too drastic in your plan. If your goal is to implement a vegan diet, you can’t go from New Year’s Eve surf and turf to 24/7 veggies. Pick one smaller goal each month, and then continue building. Adding a new step every few weeks leads to a lasting lifestyle change and a year of healthier habits.
4. Reading Goals
This is a favorite! Reading of any kind is so good for you in so many ways! Have you been slacking on making time to enrich your mind? Make it part of your routine. Write it on your calendar — in ink — so you carve out time each day to read.
Join a book club. Sign up for an audiobook club membership. Make it a family resolution —when your kids are doing their required school reading each night, turn off the TV, leave the dishes in the sink, and read with them.
New Year, New You: Make It Happen
Whether your goals are broad and universal or fantastically specific to you, wanting to do better or make healthy changes is never a bad thing. It just takes a few simple steps and a little bit of commitment and time management to get the crystal ball rolling! Daily Mom Military wishes you a New Year full of fun, fabulous, healthy, happy success!
Serious about running in 2019? Make sure you have the right gear to keep you moving. Check out our Running Gear Guide!
Photo Credits: Pixabay