Wow! It’s hard to believe that Winter Solstice will be here on Saturday. This year has just flown by. And what a year it’s been. I’ve been simultaneously busy and relaxed, contemplative and active. I’ve been chasing my new puppy, busy with the tarot cards of the day and writing this blog. But now that the holidays are upon us I am going to be taking some much needed downtime.
We all need a bit of a break now and then. A time to regroup, refresh and reinvigorate our minds, bodies, and spirits. Getting some much needed downtime is crucial to our health. This time of year is perfect for that. The days are colder and the nights lend towards snuggling in your favorite blanket, enjoying a cup of tea and a good book. For me, it is also the time I take stock of what is or isn’t working for me. How can I best use my time? What things need to be put aside and what new things should be put in their place? My Virgo soul enjoys a good list so I grab my pad and pen and get to writing up pros and cons.
It’s the second of January and many of you may be reading the resolutions you wrote for the New Year. Are you wondering how you are going to accomplish these resolutions? Do they sound unattainable, or more of a wish list than anything else? How do we go about turning our resolutions into goals?
What is a Resolution?
Any resolution, in the context of a New Year’s resolution, is defined as a firm decision to do, or not to do, something. Did you write a resolution to stop overeating? Perhaps your resolution was to spend more time with your family. Loftier resolutions may involve learning a new language, securing better employment or writing your first novel. Maybe you’ve decided to resolve a bad situation or habit and perhaps replace it with a new and better one. No matter what your resolution, nine out of ten times these resolutions are started, then abandoned or forgotten altogether. Why? Because at this point they are just thoughts written upon paper. There is no concrete plan on how to accomplish them. We need to understand how to make our ideas work by turning our resolutions into goals.
The difference between a resolution and a goal seems simple enough. Goals, as defined, are an idea of the future or desired result in which a person or a group of people envisions, plans and commits to achieve them. As you can see, where a resolution was a decision, a goal is how we accomplish getting there. Turning your resolutions into your goals is not quite as difficult as you may think. Below are few steps to get you started on turning your resolutions into goals.
Take your written resolutions and reword them into goal form. – For example, if you wrote you wanted to stop overeating you would state in your goal “I will reduce my food intake by half.”
Establish a timeline. – Using our example of overeating we could say – Week 1: Eat only 4 ounces of meat. Week 2: Remove starchy foods and replace with vegetables.
Give an end date to your goal. – Be firm but realistic. Set it for three, six months or even a year. Give yourself time but don’t be so generous as to forget where you were going with your goals.
Re-read your goals. – Are your goals realistic? How about your end dates? If the goals seem unattainable – chop them into smaller, bite size pieces. Instead of just the one goal of reducing your food intake by half your first goal would be to stop snacking. Your next goal would be to reduce breakfast by half. The next goal, lunch amounts reduced, etc.
Don’t be afraid to create and plan for large goals, just keep them manageable by dividing the tasks into chunks, By doing so you are more likely to hit each goal on target and keep yourself motivated.
Achieving your Goals
Now that you have changed your resolutions into goals and given yourself a timeline for each, it’s time to achieve those goals. Starting now, right this moment! Don’t hesitate in beginning to move forward, momentum is key here. The faster you begin the more likely you are to succeed. It’s a proven fact that most of us procrastinate, a lot. The longer we tell ourselves that we will “get to it tomorrow” the less likely you are to ever start.
In the list below are some proven ideas to get yourself started and to stay on track to achieving your goals.
Rewrite your goals and timeline in fancy script or type them and print on colored paper. This cements the goals into your mind as well as making them easy and pleasant to read and reread.
Hang the goals where they are likely to be seen every day. Tape them to a mirror, the front door, the refrigerator, any highly visible place.
Make the goals into a “to do” list on your phone, iPad, Kindle or laptop.
Add your goal dates to your calendar.
Cross your goals off of your written/typed list as you complete them. Use a vivid red or brightly colored pen to mark them off, giving yourself a visual reminder as to how much you’ve already accomplished.
Give yourself a treat for each item accomplished. Have a spa day, buy a little something special for yourself, take a day off to just play. Rewarding yourself for a job well done helps to keep you motivated and happy to move onto the next task. You may even want to add the reward to your goals list so you know what you have to look forward to next.
Accomplishment is its own reward.
Turning our resolutions into goals will increase our success rate in keeping our yearly resolutions. Having goals helps you to progress a bit each day towards what you want to bring into (or out of) your life. So next December 31st, instead of having unrealized resolutions you will have reached your goals, giving you a wonderful sense of accomplishment, peace and pride in the fabulous year you have lived.
May you accomplish all your goals with ease, joy and great success.
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