Happy New Year! It’s that time again – when a lot of people start to think about how their lives are going to be different in the New Year. They wrack their brain for ways they can improve, and then come to the conclusion that something needs to change. So they come up with what have been called “New Year’s Resolutions” to help them turn those thoughts into actions. I’ve come up with my own resolutions for the New Year, but I didn’t do it the way most people would – just a list. No, no. If you know me, then you know I had a step-by-step process to write out my resolutions. And here it is…
Step 1: Find Out What’s Lacking/What Needs Improvement
You can’t change part of your life without knowing exactly what needs to be improved upon or why you should change it in the first place. I sat down towards the end of December and made a list of all of the things I’ve been doing that haven’t met my standards of living a successful or fulfilled life.
Step 2: Clear Off Anything on the List that Isn’t Coming from Your Own Head
This one seems unclear, so let me explain a little more. You need to make your own choices for your own reasons; it’s important that the list of things you need to improve be what you actually think needs to improve – not what your mom, your partner, your second-cousin-twice-removed-on-your-great-grandfather’s-side told you to fix. So cross off/erase/black-out anything that isn’t truly from your own thinking about your life. (And don’t pretend that you didn’t write some stuff other people told you to do – everyone writes something like that.)
Step 3: Come Up With Your “New”
Okay – so you’ve got a list of stuff to improve. But that doesn’t help you unless you know what those improvements really look like. Hence step three – writing out what each fix truly looks like in your everyday life. Think about what you want to be doing a week, a month, or half a year from now. Pin down exactly what you’re doing in this improved life as a result of changing/updating/fixing your list items from steps one and two. Be specific! Then…
Step 4: …Write Your Resolutions!
Now that you know what your improvements look like, you can list out what you’re going to do to achieve those improvements. Resolutions are like goals – you need to make sure that you have them in order to really get anything done. But to make sure that you’re reaching these goals efficiently and effectively, you should go the extra mile to make sure that they’re SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound).
We’ve already got you covered on the R part (you made, like, three lists already making sure this stuff was relevant to you). Now you have to make sure you cover the SMA and T parts. Your goals need to be specific to your lifestyle – day-in and day-out of you. You need to have a clear method of measuring your progress towards those goals. Of course your goals have to be achievable – you don’t want to set the bar too high because there needs to be visible improvement in order for you to stay motivated. And lastly, you need to assign time-frames to each goal – the amount of time in which you’d like to achieve each thing.
I know this sounds very methodical, and that’s because it is. Most people tend to skip right to the last step and just write out basic resolutions about surface-level things they think they want to change about themselves. But that’s not the best way to go about it. You need to make sure that you’re writing these resolutions with the intention of actually doing them! And to keep that intention clear in your mind throughout 2019, you might just have to get a bit methodical.