Making resolutions and setting new goals for yourself need not be something done only once a year, at the beginning of the year. The most important thing is to make them a reality, which is a challenge that requires more than a verbal or even written (which is a stronger) commitment; it requires a mind-shift.
Below are 4 tips to doing just that. Applying these to your life, keeping track, and reflecting back on your resolutions, will help give you a more joyful reality than you ever expected.
1. Have a Growth Mindset
The biggest predictor of accomplishing a goal is the belief that you can. That is a mindset. Our perspective is a powerful tool. Believing that you can and will grow to meet your new resolution goal is half the battle.
Reflect for a second on the tone you have in your mind when you think of your upcoming goals. It is positive or negative? Are you excited? Nervous? Anxious? Anticipating results? Really consider if you hold the belief that you can and will accomplish the goal. If you do, keep on keeping on! If you notice your belief is cautious, hesitant, consider modifying your goal to a smaller one or even a different one. You have to believe you have the power to bring outcomes to commit to it.
2. Make Your Goals Approachable vs Avoidable
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, 365 days a year. This is the same for all people—no bias found. What is our responsibility is to determine HOW we spend those 24 hours because inevitably, we are going to have them.
This is why our goals needs to be what we CAN do versus what we want to eliminate. We have a higher chance of following through with an action that fills our time with something new instead of trying to take eliminate something from our life with nothing to fill that time. Want to give up soda? Great, make your goal to drink 32 ounces of water each day. It becomes approachable versus avoidable, and we are more apt to pursue it.
3. Obtain an Accountability
Healthy, supportive relationships are the foundations of healthy living. We can be our own cheerleaders and critics but are limited providing our own external impact of encouragement and accountability we get from others. Seek out at least one person who will check-in on you regarding your goal. Make it someone who will hear your successes, encourage your persistence, and support you in the set-backs. This person, or people, needs to help you realize all of the above may happen and agree that that is okay.
You don’t have to make a personal goal a public affair, but having a team-player if an irreplaceable accountability is important. At the very, very least of a person, find a tool that will give you verbal and written motivation to stay on track (like a fitness app). It will give you a motivation to continue outside your self-talk.
4. Reward Your Little Wins
Victory is really all about the process. Memories are motivators, and reflections are lasting impressions. So often we are in pursuit of the final destination that when we get there we almost grieve the bushel of emotions we experienced in the process. That is because it is during the process of reaching a goal that we gain the most wholeness and growth.
So reward your little wins in the path to your final destination. Set small, obtainable goals. Creatively reward each success. Applaud your stamina to keep on with each set-back. Take photos (yes, you can keep it private!). Journal your process. Experience new things. The pursuit is the most memorable.
Holding strong to these four goal-oriented keys for obtaining your new resolution will help you grow as a person. You’ve got this!
Amber Jewell is a licensed master social worker with over 15 years of experience working with youth and families in child protective services, education and mental health services. As an educator and an advocate for promoting change for and value within people, Amber works to inspire and motivate others to grasp their own form of hope. She is also a motivational speaker and has experience in the foster system. She is the author of Finding Hope: The 12 Keys To Healing Hardship, Hurt & Sorrow.