There’s something about the New Year that breeds hope. It’s a time for many of us to release the past and welcome in a more positive future. And it’s also a great opportunity to make resolutions about what we want to change and the things we’d like to add to our lives. So in the spirit of change and continuing on the journey of helping you create your happiest and healthiest lives, let’s chat a bit today about how to make resolutions you’ll actually keep.
Always Always Always Start With WhyHere’s the thing about your why when you’re trying to make resolutions: it doesn’t matter what it is. It ONLY matters that it matters to you. I spent years trying to become someone who wanted to workout regularly. To become this version of myself. But if you’ve been around the blog for a minute, you’ll know that mental health is important to me. I lost my father to suicide in 2017 and the need to protect my mental health at all costs became incredibly important. Now my fitness time is my safe space in the day. Your why for your resolution only has to be motivating enough to work for you. And it might require help. That’s okay too. But knowing why you’re starting will help you build the foundation to make a change for life rather than a temporary one. Typically when we make resolutions it’s not meant to be a temporary change. There’s something in our lives that is holding us back from our greatest potential. So if we want to stay the course, we’re going to need something strong to lean back on in the more challenging times. And your why is that something.
Start With OneI’ve recently been reading quite a bit of business and entrepreneurial-based books. My most recent discovery: The Ride of A Lifetime by Robert Iger (amazon*, bookshop*) – CEO of Disney for the last 15 years. For the record, I highly recommend it. But something in his memoir reminded me of was just how much more we can accomplish when our list is small. During Robert’s transition to acting CEO of Disney, he sat down to create his goals for how to revitalize the business. Armed with a list of things he wanted to do, he was reminded by a friend that he was creating ideas rather than goals. He needed to think smaller and more precisely if he wanted to make real change. As a business owner, this is something I often find I have to remind myself to keep things on track. And if you’re setting goals or looking to make resolutions, you’ll need to do it too. So make your list. Let it be a giant brain dump to recenter yourself. Then ask yourself: if I could only do 3 of these things in the next year, which would I pick? And then do it again for one. This isn’t to say that you can’t achieve more than one goal in a year. It will really depend on the goals. If you’ve got 3 and one of those is saving 10% of your paycheck each month, you can automate this and focus on the next goal. But if your goal is to make a giant life change that requires an emotional battle, it might take more of your energy. Start with one and once you’ve achieved it or gotten yourself on course come back to your list.
FOCUS ON THE HABITS AROUND YOUR GOAL
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I will preach habits until the day I die. They are everything. They also happen to be the thing that guides what you’re doing now. So if you want to make resolutions that aren’t just a whim you try in January, you’re going to need to change your habits. If you want to dive deeper into how to do that, I’d recommend checking out Atomic Habits by James Clear (amazon*, bookshop*) or The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg (amazon*, bookshop*).
MAKE IT SMALL
I love setting small goals to start for one big reason: it keeps you motivated. When you get a win early on in the process, you’re far more likely to continue the journey. If your goal is to start working out this year, set a smaller & more specific goal of once a week. I know it seems small and like it will make zero impact. BUT it also puts little pressure on whatever habit you’re trying to create therefore giving you a chance to find joy in it and keep it long term.
Other examples of large goals made smaller:
Drinking a gallon plus of water per day – start with 4oz when you first wake up
Walking 10,000 steps a day – start with 2000 by mid-morning
Working out daily – 1 minute plank every morning
MAKE IT MEASURABLE
How you decided to measure your goal will be completely contingent on what goal you’re working towards. But if you want to make sure you’re motivated to stay going, I’d recommend measuring your goal in both visual and numerical ways. For example, I recently did a look back at 2020 on Instagram. Deep dive there coming on the blog Friday. Nevertheless, seeing all the ways things were laid out visually over the last year was so powerful for me.
I could look at the numbers and nothing had changed as I’d wanted. But visually, I could see all the things I’d discovered, tried, and changed which motivates me to keep working. Make sure you have more than one way to gauge your progress.
DON’T FOCUS ON ALL THE WAYS IT WON’T WORK AND JUST TRY
I don’t think it will shock many of you to know I’m the motivator and sounding board of my friend group. The mom. And whenever my friends are looking to start a new endeavor, we go through the process of talking it out. But here’s the thing that we all have to remember. Sometimes you just need to do it.
It may make zero sense. When I moved back to PC 4.5 years ago, it made very little sense to everyone I worked with at the time. Film takes quite a bit of time to get into and not everyone lasts. Additionally, it can be hard to find your way back to work. Nevertheless, I knew I needed to move home and just try. Just like I knew I needed to start a blog or create a podcast. I knew I needed to do it to find out what I did and didn’t like.
If you’ve sat down to make resolutions and find yourself thinking it won’t work because you’ve tried this before, maybe that means you need to consider why it didn’t work before. Every time we try we learn. So let this be a learning period for you to take your new-found knowledge into the next season and become an even better version of yourself. Because at the end of the day friends, she’s worth it.
If you’re making resolutions for 2021, let us know in the comments below so we can all stay motivated. And be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you never miss a post. Until next time friends. Xoxo, Savvy
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