Wow, the holiday season really flew by, didn’t it? There is so much anticipation leading up to Christmas, and in one wonderful, joy-filled day with family, it’s over. The lights come down, the Christmas music goes away, and life returns to normal. Couldn’t it last just a little longer?
I know I’m not the only one who experiences a post-holiday funk from time to time. But, I’ve found the best antidote is having new things to look forward to. When I take a fresh start to the new year with a sense of purpose and adventure, it makes all the difference in the world. It involves setting new goals to better myself and exploring new ways to contribute to things I’m passionate about! There’s a LOT to look forward to when we take a strategic approach.
So, in this season of new hopes and resolutions, here are a few tips to make your 2015 goals really stick and take your life to a whole new level:
- Set tangible goals, not generic For example, saying “I want to become more philanthropic and outward-focused in the coming year,” doesn’t give you something tangible to work towards. Instead, make a more specific resolution, such as “I would like to start volunteering at the soup kitchen once a month and donating 5% of my income to my favorite charity/mission.” See the difference? Measurability improves accountability!
- Be realistic. Don’t tell yourself you’d like to buy a new Mercedes if you can’t afford it, or hope you’ll lose 50 pounds if you don’t have time to go to the gym or plan to drastically change your diet. Instead, resolve to buy a safer vehicle with less than thirty thousand miles on it, or to exercising daily and eat healthier. Success with small steps builds momentum!
- Involve a friend. If you’re hoping for big change in your life but you’re in it alone, it’ll be much more difficult. With the buddy system, you’ll have accountability and someone to keep you on track (and you can do the same for them). Encouragement builds hope and confidence! Plus, it’s a lot more fun!
- Give yourself grace. Above all else, be kind to yourself. No one is perfect, and even a small upward movement is better than no movement at all. If you made a mistake and did something you swore you wouldn’t do last year, IT’S OKAY. Tomorrow is a new day, with new opportunities for growth and impact. More often than not, achieving our goals is a “two steps forward, one step back” reality. So, don’t get discouraged when you regress a little. Shake it off, resolve to get back on track today, and remember, you’ve got this!
So, have at it! As you put away your holiday gifts and decorations, start thinking about what you can do to make 2015 really count for you, your family, and your friends. Instead of feeling disappointed that the season is over, be filled with anticipation for what is to come. It’s never too late to make an effort to better yourself, and this is the perfect time to do it. Good luck!