We all have things we’d like to see happen in the New Year. Whether it’s an improvement to your health and well-being, a new career you’d like to pursue, or a bad habit you need to break, resolutions are sometimes easy to conjure up but not as easy to achieve.
The answer to, “why can’t I ever follow through on my resolutions?” isn’t so simple, though. There are a lot of factors that contribute to our unrealized goals, but if you want a chance to make your resolutions happen this year, you’ll need to plan them out.
This is not to say you need a day-by-day, minute-by-minute agenda of how to make it happen, but brainstorming your most attainable goals (and breaking them into categories) is a helpful way to put your plans into action. Ready? Go!
Places I want to see
It’s a tale as old as time. What starts as a well-developed plan to pack your bags and hit the road for an adventurous vacation quickly turns into nothing more than wanderlust as you gaze longingly into an online catalog of other people’s pictures.
How can they manage to take that trip working part-time, and I can’t with a full-time job?
Start by closing your laptop and analyzing what you are really spending your money on. Chances are, eliminating one or two coffees a week will leave you with hundreds of extra dollars in your pocket by the end of the year. You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s true.
Things I want to do
Every time you turn on the cooking channel you find yourself immersed in the gentle one-handed egg-cracking and wrist-flicking flambéing, and commit to signing up for a cooking class. But never do.
It doesn’t have to be cooking, but neglecting your interests in favor of less gratifying daily experiences (Netflix binging, anyone?), is a surefire way to put yourself in a slump. Pursue the things you can do while you are still able to do them—you’ve got nothing to lose.
Changes I want to make
Change is hard. Most people don’t like it. And, really, who would choose being uncomfortable over being comforted? But in order to grow, you need to evolve and change your ways, which starts by taking a hard look in the mirror.
Make a list of five things that are holding you back. Perhaps your fear of public speaking has made it difficult to get ahead at work, or your stubborn nature has kept you from making progress in personal relationships?
Don’t forget to follow up this list with five more things that you love about yourself, and what others like about you. It’s all about balance.
Habits I want to break
Sometimes our habits are annoying, but not necessarily all that bad for us. Other times, our habits put a serious dark cloud over our health and wellness. No matter how big or small, if there is a habit you need to kick, the only thing standing in your way is you.
Focus on one habit at a time as to not overwhelm yourself, and remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took some time to develop that bad habit, and it will surely take some time to rid yourself of it.
Consider sharing your experience with others who have overcome a negative practice and listening to how they broke out of it. Learn from their mistakes, but take their advice in stride. Experiment with what works for you until you’ve found the right solution.
Writing down your goals and placing them where you can see them every day is a huge help in reminding yourself to keep pushing forward.
Download this printable resolution guide you can fill out with your personal goals—and make it happen this year!
For more ways to keep up with your resolutions, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/culture.