The New Year is a great time for new beginnings, setting goals and feeling hope for the future. Here are five steps to help you succeed with your resolutions this year.
1) Set a clear goal, one that is realistic. For your resolution, the goal must be one that YOU really want to achieve. Take time to explore why you want to make a change. (If you are okay with the status quo then don’t bother with this exercise!) Let’s take decluttering the house. Many of us have this goal but why? Do you want to know where your keys are located at all times? Do you want your house to feel more comfortable? Do you want to reduce the overwhelming visual clutter? Do you want to be able to invite guests to your house without being embarrassed? Do you want to clear the house so your mind feels less jumbled?
2) Confirm your goal. Write down your resolution. Create a vision board. Share your intentions with others. Get a buddy. Use a goal-tracking phone app. Make it real. This confirmation acts as your motivation so it must be inspiring.
3) Have a plan. Next, develop a plan that will get you to where you want to go. It can be in the form of a project management sheet, a mind map on paper, a detailed vision board or a specific plan in your mind. It must have two clearly described parts:
Part One: tasks and a timeline so that you know you are on track,
Part Two: a contingency plan (list of alternative actions) that you agree to follow when you encounter a difficult period. Say, during your project to declutter the kitchen, you experience a life crisis. You feel unmotivated to pick up, clean, or put anything away. This pre-existing contingency plan gives you a predetermined list of minimal tasks that will keep you on the right track until the crisis is over and more time can be committed again. (Like having extra healthy snacks on hand when you are dieting!) Even small decluttering activities will make you feel successful in the moment, for that day.
4) Practice flexibility: Keep in mind that you should be kind to yourself. If you lose your willpower one day remember that each day is a new beginning. And you may forgive yourself for one bad day in order to move on. Also, be willing to modify as necessary. A goal is not written in stone. Try to avoid the all or nothing mindset. Compromise on the scope or speed of the project if necessary. Think about it. Achieving part of a goal (or releasing perfection) is better than nothing. There is more respect in modifying than in giving up!!
5) Lastly, try to create a maintenance plan. At some point, hopefully, the goal is achieved. Celebrate but don’t become lax. Because what will happen? The gains will be lost and you will feel worse about yourself than before you began. How to maintain the uncluttered space? Ideally, good habits were formed in the process of achieving the goal. Remember to revisit the original motivating ideas. Confirm how good you feel about yourself for achieving the goal. Continue to follow the new habits. Pick up one area every day. Continue to keep keys in one location. Periodically check in with your support buddy. If the goal was worth doing then it is worth maintaining.
In summary, the New Year is a great opportunity to plan a resolution. The increased daylight and energy will augment your efforts. You are the only one who can make a positive change for yourself. Aren’t you worthy of positive things? And, of course, if you need extra motivation to stay the course - give us a call!