As we all know, 2020 was anything but predictable. Many of our plans were changed, moved, moved again, and then canceled. None of this has magically altered today, but there is still a way to carve out our own success for the year 2021.
Yup, it’s time for New Years Resolutions. Whether you mark 2021 by setting a Word of the Year, setting new goals or simply patting yourself on the back for surviving 2020, it’s important to mark the new year with some kind of ritual.
Here’s a list of methods that are tried and true. And remember: it’s never too late to begin!
First Thing’s First: Revisit Your 2020 Resolutions
Did you set a goal or intention in 2020? How did it go? If you’re like the rest of us, probably not so hot. If so, it’s okay if you don’t feel connected to last year’s resolution. Kick it to the curb! But if you feel there is still work to be done, start making a plan to carry your old resolution into the new year.
In addition, many of us have some leftover negative emotions that are hanging around the house. Like decluttering and disorganizing, now is a good time to let those go along with your old resolutions. This article from The Aesthetics of Joy is called How to Cleanse Your Home of Negative Emotions and is packed full of wonderful ideas for doing just that.
Enlist an Accountability Partner
One of the big benefits of 2020 has been the expansion of resources for online communities and new modalities of connection. Regardless of the way our social world evolves in 2021, you can find a partner now and plan to meet regularly on Zoom, Facetime, Skype, Facebook Messenger – you name it!
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that “you have a 65% of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.” Find someone who is just as excited to see you succeed as you are, and then get it on your schedule.
Micro Goals with a Macro Impact
If you’re going to make lasting change, it needs to happen realistically and gradually over time. By setting smaller “micro-goals” that are specifically tuned into your resolution, you can manage your progress with less tension.
For example, if your resolution is to eat healthier food, then one micro-goal might be to start each day with a vegetable and fruit blended smoothie for breakfast. What is a small, but daily or weekly thing you can integrate into your life that will get you closer to your resolution?
Practice Patience and Forgiveness
Given the unpredictability of the times, the way you set your goals this year should leave some room for a little slack. Even the most motivated person with the best of intentions can slip or, as we’ve learned, fall victim to changes outside of their control.
When our goals get thrown off track, the most important thing is to continue in their pursuit. Maybe our timeline gets thrown off and it doesn’t happen in the order we pictured it, but every step counts on the road to success.
What’s Your “Why”?
For a lot of us, this past year has put many things into perspective. Maybe you had some time to reevaluate your life and take inventory of that which was or was not serving you. Let your recent discoveries guide your new path. It’s important to make resolutions that have a deep importance to you rather than things that are expected of you.
Challenging yourself is much easier when you do something YOU want, not what someone else wants. Get to the root of why you want to accomplish your goal and you will build a solid foundation to fuel your fire.
Schedule Your Success
We’ve all heard it, time flies. One day can turn into two almost as easily as one week can turn into one month. Let this be the year that you schedule a specific time each week to work on your goals. This could mean that for one hour every week you revisit your goal and write a new list of to-dos or have that outstanding meeting with your accountability partner. Whatever it is, make it intentional and relatable to your resolution.
Phrase it in the Positive
Perspective is everything and studies have shown that the way in which you phrase things can have a massive impact on your ability to maintain endurance and drive towards a goal. For example, instead of saying “I will stop being so messy” try “I will make my bed every morning”. Surrender the perspective that focuses on the negative things or emphasizes what you want to lose, and instead phrase it as something that you gain.
Planning for our own success in 2021 can give us back some of the control we may have felt we lost this past year. With each new day comes it’s own challenges but also, possibilities. How will you move forward from here?
Happy New Year!