New year new me, right everyone? This whole idea of bettering yourself in the New Year is a recurring joke every New Years that somehow never gets old. I mean seriously, how many times do people say this on New Years, whether they’re joking or serious? At least for me, I always find it amusing every time I hear it. Why do you think that is?
I think the New Year is refreshing for some people. It marks a new start, a blank slate, and a chance to make changes you never had enough reason to before. So New Years is a saving grace for some people, while others it’s an anxiety booster and self esteem deflator. Sometimes when a person is supposed to do something or act a certain way, they do just the opposite because of the pressure they feel and the expectations they need to meet. This has been the case for me many times in my life.
When you hear someone say “new year, new me,” most of the time it’s sarcasm. The phrase that was once an inspiration standard for the New Year has now turned into a joke because of its false conclusions. Every year we make these goals and every year we fail to succeed at them. It’s a joke anymore, because even though it’s a new year, we’re still the same old people with the same old issues and the same old failures. New Year’s scares some of us because it reminds us of our failures. I can’t tell you how many people actually feel this way about New Years, but I can tell you that I do most years. I avoid the idea of making resolutions because I’m scared I’m not going to achieve them.This year is the first time I’ve come to realize my subconscious fear of the New Year, and it’s been very enlightening for me. The past few months, I’ve made a lot of changes and my life has taken a major turn in a way I never in a million years would have expected it to. I’ve done a lot of reflecting and self-discovery. Because of that, I’ve really grown into a more confident, independent, sure-of-myself person. Which is why this New Years is different for me.
I sat down today and really thought about what I want my life to be like in 2017. Now, I’m not going to lie, I did write down the cliché lose weight, don’t drink pop, budget money type of resolutions, but I also wrote down some realistic, personal, empowering goals as well. After doing so, I felt so refreshed, levelheaded, motivated, and confident that I am not going to become a better person in 2017, but a BETTER ME.
If you’re having a hard time making out your resolutions for the new year or need help goal-planning in general, follow these steps and learn to create goals that won’t intimidate you, but inspire and motivate.
1. What do you want to achieve in 2017?
This step is basically how most people come up with their resolutions. It’s the specifics. Hit this goal weight, earn this GPA, save $100 a month, stuff like that. Don’t be embarrassed to dig into your life and your flaws, because that’s scary too. For instance, say you smoke. You know in the back of your mind that you would love to quit and that should be one of your resolutions, but you ignore it and avoid writing it down because you’re scared of the discipline it’s going to take and that you’ll fail again. Don’t ignore your flaws. Our flaws are after all, what makes each of us unique. Embrace yourself as the amazing person God created, and be real. This should help set some hard but important goals. Write these all down.
Something else to think about when completing this step is, what are you on track to complete/accomplish this year? Essentially, what you know is going occur because of your involvements in different institutions. Say, if you’re a senior, you know you’re going to graduate in 2017. If you’re pregnant, you know you’re going to have a baby in 2017. If you booked a cruise, signed up for a marathon, got a loan for a house, you know certain things are going to transpire that you can take into account for your year to come. This should help you get a more organized feel of how your year will be laid out and offer you some concrete occurrences to put on your “achievements” list.
2. What kind of person do you want to be?
Don’t think of this as just in 2017, but in general. For me, I want to be someone who connects with everyone I interact with. I want to build relationships with people who shut others out. I want to make others feel so amazing and confident that they forget, even for a split second, about their insecurities. I want to practice empathy, self-restraint, and dedication to the things I love (like this blog woohoo!). What do you want to be known for? You should always keep this thought in the back of your mind, so that when you’re going through a rough patch and feeling down or even just having a bad day, you can take a step back, see the big picture, and remember to be the person you WANT to be.
3. Where do you want to be in 10 years? What are your ultimate life goals?
Think about where you want to be in 10 years. This is something I had a really hard time with. In the transition stage of change and unknowns I’m in right now, it’s hard for me to see my purpose past next week. However, after I sat down and mapped out everything I know, for now, I want to achieve between now and when I’m 33, I feel so much more at peace with where I’m at today and comprehensive of the the process of achieving these successes. Think about this. It doesn’t have to be too specific. Big picture remember? Even one or two basic goals is a start. Write these down and take a step back.
Now, think about your ultimate dreams and goals for your life. The truth of the matter is, if you don’t have a dream in mind or some sort of ultimate end game, then you won’t be very successful. There’s a balance between living for today and preparing for tomorrow, and it’s a useful perspective to have. An ultimate life goal doesn’t have to be a long detailed list by any means (of course it can be if you are a super planner and already know exactly what you want for the rest of your life…that sure as heck isn’t me!), but rather, think of it as the one thing you know FOR A FACT you want for your future. For instance, mine is, I know I wanted to get married, have a big family, and be able to live comfortably. Simple as that. Now there are going to be a million little goals and stepping stones in between now and then in order for me to reach my dream and end game, which I can figure out when the time comes, but for now, I want to make I’m doing what I can TODAY to make it closer and closer to this goal.
If you don’t have an ultimate goal for your life, then what are you even working for? You may find yourself in the same job, making the same money, never moving up or advancing, never meeting new people, never exploring new places, and more. Don’t let yourself be too comfortable with where you’re at. Always push yourself, always think outside the box, and never let yourself believe that a goal isn’t attainable. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT IN THIS ENTIRE WORLD. Truest statement ever. Live by it.
4. Evaluate all the thoughts you’ve jotted down and sort.
Now that you have all the data written down, time to organize. Make a chart with separating columns for the goals of this year, 10 years, and your lifetime. Then under each goal, in a different color, write down one or two things you are going to do this year to help you achieve that goal.
For the “10 year” and “ultimate goals” columns, you know that these goals are long-term and cannot be achieved within the next year. But that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t acknowledge and work one step at a time towards achieving those goals, does it? No. We should always have our dreams in mind to guide us down the correct paths to lead us to them. Don’t wait for your dreams to happen. MAKE THEM HAPPEN. Do this, and they will. So, under each goal in the two long-term columns, write, in a different color, underneath, one or two things you can do this year to bring you just one step closer to that goal. For example, one of my ultimate goals is to have a happy marriage. Well, unless I start messing with some creeper on Tinder who for some reason is down to get married after a couple weeks of knowing me, that definitely is not going to happen. So instead what I’m going to write is, focus on being the best me I can be and loving myself first, so that I may have a clear and conscious mind to seek out the good guys, discard the bad, avoid temptations, and have patience for my right one to come along. A goal helping me towards my future that I know I can do this year. Make sense?
FINALLY, after all that, we’ve made it to the end. The second color you used underneath all the goals are all your resolutions for this year. Resolutions that are accurately representative of where you are now and where you hope to end up being. These resolutions help you to see a plan, a big picture, which allows you to lay out a map of your life. Seeing your goals from a tangible perspective, laid out clear as day on paper, allows you to see the bigger picture should comfort you knowing that you have a plan, and you don’t have to achieve everything you want in this world in the next 12 months. Just get one step closer. One day at a time.
Here you have it guys, your New Year’s resolutions for 2017 – accurate, specific, and attainable. All with the hope of ultimately bringing you to a better place in your life as a better person.
I hope you feel motivated and ready to take on what’s going to be a pivotal year. Trust in yourself and trust in the process. And next time you hear someone joke saying “new year, new me,” you can smile and think to yourself just how much you’re going to prove that sarcastic cliche wrong.
Cheers to you all. I love love love my readers, thank you so much.