Every year, as we cross the imaginary line from one year to the next, our minds “reset” with plans to tackle in the new year. Many of us will set New Year’s resolutions and work diligently at them…for about two months. Yes, we’ve all been there. We set so many goals and we’re bursting with that new year positivity, we’re feeling fresh and creative and like anything is possible. And then that feeling fades and many of us fall back on our old habits and routines.
If this feeling is familiar, then you might be one of the many people who have decided to give up on making New Year’s resolutions altogether. What’s the point, right? However, in a time where every day feels uncertain and we are still struggling through a global pandemic, having hope for the future is essential.
When we have goals, we can plan and begin to imagine that future. And when things are uncertain, it’s good to have something on the horizon to look forward to and work toward. If you’re looking back at past failed resolutions, fear not! You can achieve your goals for the new year, you may just need to restructure how you think about your goals and your process for setting those intentions.
Making your New Year’s resolutions last year-round
Contrary to popular belief, it’s okay if you don’t achieve all the goals you set out for the year, but even more, there’s no reason you need to be setting huge, year-long goals. That’s right, your goals can be simple. Better yet, your goals can be building blocks for those larger, daunting goals.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. The new habits you may want to build and the things you want to accomplish will take time. It’s easy to get discouraged when we do not see progress right away. This is why many give up on their New Year’s resolutions so quickly.
The key is to start small
For a few years now, I have not been setting “big” goals. Instead, I have been setting intentions and small goals that can be built up over time. Focusing on the “building blocks” instead of the final structure will help you get there faster. The larger end goal will seem less daunting and become more reachable as you slowly build up to it with smaller accomplishments.
By narrowing your focus and working toward something small, you will be able to gain momentum on larger projects and goals. Instead of setting a bunch of big goals for the entire year, set smaller monthly goals. You can even break it down further with bi-weekly or weekly goals too.
Once you feel yourself succeeding and accomplishing your small goals, you’ll start to feel that energy rise, and the big dream won’t seem so distant or unattainable anymore.
As we enter the new year, think of those projects or goals you want to accomplish this year and break that down into smaller goals.
What can you do to get started? What will be the first step?
Remember, not every race is won by long strides. Sometimes you need to pace yourself and start off slow to build up that momentum. If you take the time to nurture your small goals, pretty soon you’ll be coming up on the horizon of those big dreams!