New year, new you! No really, today could literally be the start of a new you. How you might ask? Well, its actually rather simple. All you need is, what I like to call, the 4 P’s: pen, paper, a plan and persistence.
The advent of a new year is a perfect time to reflect on the passing year, refocus your goals, and plan for the year ahead. And its easy to do, if, you do it the right way. Year in and year out, we make our new year’s resolutions and before you know it we’re at square one, back in our routine—nothing changes. That’s because we’ve been doing it all wrong. Instead of just contemplating or stating your new year resolutions, take it one step further and physically write it down.
WRITE IT DOWN
Writing down your goals is the first step to actualization, as it really allows for clarity. When you have to write down your intentions, you are forced to determine what you really want. The key here is to be specific. For instance, weight loss is a popular resolution. Instead of vaguely making “weight loss” your goal, go for “I want to lose 15 pounds by the end of March.” Making your goal measurable is just as important as writing it down. Both these aspects of planning allow you to see how your are progressing towards accomplishing your goals.
BREAK IT DOWN
More over, segmenting your goals into smaller achievable milestones helps you to see the progress you are making towards those goals, as well as, what progress is still to be made. In other words, it puts your goals in perspective and makes them less daunting. Sticking with the weight loss example, it may be intimidating to say to yourself, “I have to lose 15 pounds by March!” However, you could just as easily say to yourself, “Hey, I am going to lose 5 pounds a month, for the next 3 months.” Then it doesn’t seem so bad now— does it? Not only does your goal appear to more attainable, now that you’ve set milestones, but, it is also easier to keep pace so that it is attainable.
FORM THE HABIT
Lastly, do the work! Work towards your goals each day. The things that we do each day have a funny way of becoming routine. Ever got home after work and forgot which route or train you took to get there? Happens to me all the time! When we do things repeatedly they become our habits, and we do them almost without thought.
Although these three steps appear pretty simple to do, it requires commitment. And I think that is what most new year resolutions lack. But that’s where the 4 P’s come into play. If you have a well thought out a plan on paper, that is your constant reminder to keep focus on what your heart truly desires and to continue on to making your dreams a reality. You can look back at it as often as you’d like and you should. Nothing’s set in stone, if things need adjusting make the change, as long as progress is being made. And once you’ve accomplished a goal make another. Actualizing goals comes with an array of positive things such confidence, a sense of control, personal fulfillment, and most of all self-motivation which can only come from you!