Redefining New Year’s Goals
A New Year for many people is filled with promise, and brings a sense of optimism for what can be achieved in the blank slate that lies ahead. Year after year, you are programmed to think of what important changes you need to make, and then set goals relating to different aspects of your life. From heading to the gym more often, keeping up with healthy eating, to saving more money; typically New Year goals span a range of personal ‘improvements’.
If you are anything like me, you will have set yourself ambitious goals for the year, but may be unsure of the direction to go in, or where to start to begin ticking things off the list. Time goes by and goals tend to drop off. Perhaps you’ve given yourself too much to juggle at once? With the first month of 2019 coming to an end, I think now is a good time to reflect on your successes so far. Have you stuck to your goals? What progress have you made? If you’ve found January to be a tough slog and can see your goals falling by the wayside, it might be time to make some adjustments.
These useful tips may help you to contain your ambitions, and redefine your goals so you can enjoy a successful year.
1.Make your goals realistic. We are all guilty of setting unrealistic targets for ourselves. Challenging yourself to a goal which is almost impossible to achieve will mean you are left with a sense of frustration when you inevitably fail! Instead, go a bit easier on yourself. Look at those soaring goals and think about how you could perhaps rein them in—just a little. Did you tell yourself you were going to hit the gym every single morning before work but you’ve already missed a few days? Instead, your goal could be to get there three times a week; after all, you’ll still feel the benefits of your increased fitness.
2. Maintain a healthy work life balance. Make 2019 the year for taking care of yourself, and ensuring you maintain the best possible work-life balance. You might wonder how this will help you achieve your goals. The research shows that the positive impact on your mental health, and capacity to stay focused at work and at home will be vastly improved as a result of setting some time aside for self-love. So take time to get out for that walk at lunch time, breathe in the fresh air, get to that gym class after work, make time to catch up with a friend. Then watch your goals fall into place.
3. Celebrate ALL achievements. Whilst it is admirable to strive to be a better person and focus on progression, it is equally as important to be kind to yourself and notice what you have accomplished so far. Small changes and improvements can be the key to eventually achieving things on a larger scale. Did you take the stairs at work instead of using the lift? Did you hold your tongue during a heated discussion, when normally you might have gone in guns blazing? Celebrating each milestone, whether small or large, act as a great positivity boost, will encourage you to keep going, and will allow you to look back and reflect on what you’ve achieved over the course of the year.
4. Try a learning goal, instead of an outcome goal. It is said that having targets centred around learning are beneficial because they keep you focused on longer-term development and success. You could prioritise keeping up to date with the market you work in and the company you work for; it’s an excellent way to boost your confidence and develop your knowledge. Attend a local networking event or sign up for a course to gain a new skill. It’s about enjoying the journey, not just the destination.
I know that a quick Google will give you plenty of information and strategies around the specifics of setting goals. However, I hope my tips might help you if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the goals you’ve already set and failed to meet. Ensure you recognise the progress you make both in your work and personal life, and most importantly – be kind to yourself! In this way you can make 2019 a fun, productive and successful year.