New year, new me.
We say it every year. But we hardly follow through.
New Year’s Eve is a great time to reflect on the last year and make plans for the new one. But we’re really setting arbitrary deadlines on ourselves – we can choose any time to make a change.
Still, it can be helpful to have a time specifically dedicated to deciding what you want your future to look like, whether or not that’s New Year’s. So here are my tips for setting yourself up for success in the new year!
- Instead of looking back on all you’ve accomplished the year before, look back on all you’ve learned. What lessons are you going to bring with you into the new year? What worked and what didn’t? What do you not want to happen again? You don’t want to look at it as mistakes, but rather a guide as to how you’re going to act the next year. This also prevents you from feeling bad over things you didn’t complete this past year – New Year’s is a time for celebration, not a time to look back on all you failed on.
- Avoid setting goals for yourself that are based on others – i.e., get a boyfriend, get an agent, get hired for your dream job, etc. – instead set actionable goals you can accomplish, such as “go on a date a month”, or “submit to 10 agents a month”, or “update resume and reach out to industry contacts”. The goal here is to actually move forward and be able to feel good about yourself, rather than relying on others to notice how great you are, or life goals that might not be in the cards for you this year.
- Similarly, don’t try to change aspects of your personality that you don’t like. If you want to change something about yourself, set it out in actionable goals. If you want to be less anxious, set a goal to meditate once a day. If you want to be more grateful, set a goal to write small thank you notes every time someone gets you a gift or does you a large favor. If you want to help people, set a goal to volunteer at a charity a few times a month.
- Don’t get overly ambitious. If you look down a huge list of goals, you’re going to get overwhelmed and none of them will get down. Focus on maybe 3-10 small goals. Even if you want to change your entire life, you’ve got to start small.
- Similarly, don’t go ham on all your goals in January and then forget them the rest of the year. Start small, at a pace you can actually maintain. Don’t go to the gym every day and burn yourself out so that you don’t go the rest of the year.
- Also, don’t set huge goals you know you won’t complete. Be realistic! Pick the logical next step for where you’re at, and go from there.
- Focus on things you want to add to your life, not take away/stop. It’s a much more positive way to frame things, and will inevitably lead you to stop relying on those things you want to stop. If you want to look at your phone less, set a goal to go on walks in nature more. That way, you won’t entice the rebellious spirit you have inside to disobey, too.
- Focus on smaller increments, not just the entire year. A year is a long time, and if you make specific steps where you’ll reach milestones all year, you’ll be more motivated to keep moving forward.
All these tips definitely helped me with my resolutions!
What are your New Year’s resolutions?