New Year, New You?
I’m not sure how it happened but we are about to turn the calendars to 2022. We have survived riots in major government buildings, an election, part two of the Coronavirus pandemic, racial and social injustice, vaccines and booster shots, huge shifts in the weather, holidays, birthdays... PHEW! Some folks have had changes in their jobs. Others have moved and embarked on new journeys. People have started families, ended relationships, and gotten new pets. One thing that holds true for most of us is that 2021 was a year of change and transition.
Change can be scary for many of us. We have anxiety about what will happen over the course of the next year or fear of what we can’t control. We want to make big moves in our lives but worry about how these changes will turn out. Listen, change is a beautiful mess and we have to learn to embrace it if we want to move forward. Let’s use one of our oldest traditions to make change less scary and more achievable: New Year’s Resolutions. The new year usually starts with all of us making goals for the upcoming year; some we stick to and some we pretend we never made.
Let’s approach 2022 differently...more intentionally. Instead of creating goals that we’ll forget about by February, let’s lean into making some lasting changes that will positively impact all areas of our lives. To do this, we need some tips about goal-setting.
Setting Your Goals for 2022
Make your goals specific: In the past, I’ve made New Years’ resolutions to, “...be a better person.” Although that’s an admirable goal, what does that actually mean? What, specifically, should I do to be a better person? Maybe this means that I spend more time serving the community. Perhaps this means being a heart with ears to those in need. When making goals, make sure they’re specific so that you know exactly what to do.
Write your goals down: Once you write something down or speak it aloud, it makes it more real (you can’t unring the bell!). Think about creating a journal for your goals and keeping track of what you want to do for the year. Put your goals on sticky post-its and put them in visible places in your home. Repeat them to yourself aloud regularly so that you remember them.
Pick goals that are meaningful to you: We tend not to achieve what we are not interested in achieving. Make sure that as you choose your goals, you’re picking goals that have meaning or importance to you. Ask yourself why you have chosen your goal. Consider placing a level of importance on it (On a scale of 1-10, how important is this, 10 being extremely important).
Break your goals down into steps: When we have big goals, they can seem overwhelming and difficult to tackle. But if we break them down into steps, they become achievable and less daunting. If your plan for the year is to buy a home, consider breaking it down into smaller goals (save enough for a down payment, meet with a realtor, choose 4 homes to visit, make a list of criteria for your home, etc.).
Consider getting a 365 journal: These journals are the BUSINESS, folks. The journal let’s you write down a few sentences for each day of the year and this lets you look back on what significant things happened that year. These journals are great for seeing your progress, areas where you want to improve, and for instilling gratitude and hope throughout the day.
Celebrate the small victories: If you make a goal to lose 15 pounds, don’t just wait until you hit the 15 pounds goal to celebrate yourself. Celebrate when you’ve lost 1 pound! When you hit 5 pounds, treat yourself to an hour of reading in the park. When you get to 10 pounds, splurge on a pair of workout pants to keep the momentum going. Don’t forget to celebrate the victories along the way.
Don’t get discouraged: If you have a setback, let it be just that; a setback. Just because you make a mistake, doesn’t mean you have to start over again! Take some time to think about what led you to fall back on old behavior. This can help you plan to avoid triggers as you move forward with your goals.
Goals can change: Just because you made a goal in January 2022 doesn’t mean that you need to keep working on it in April 2022. If you realize that a goal you made at the beginning of the year isn’t working, it’s ok to change it to something you want more. Likewise, if you still want to keep part of the goal but realize that it’s unrealistic right now, you can meet smaller goals.
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” - Jennifer Lee
We are thankful for all of you and hoping that 2022 will bring you success, prosperity, health, and wellness!