“NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!” blare the headlines of magazines, newspapers and web articles. The start of the new year also brings the advent of Resolution Season. I myself am a great maker of resolutions. A keeper of said resolutions? Not so much.
But this year, I’ve decided to do it differently. Too often, our resolutions feel more like punishments than attainable goals.
For 2015, I’m going to set goals for the year, and make a resolution to not punish myself when I sway from my purpose.
My first recommendation for your resolution is that you retitle it to a goal. I find the word goal much less looming than resolution.
For example, I might have resolved to exercise every single day. But I know that this resolution would crumble with my first stressful Monday. So instead, I might set a goal: I want to participate in a 5k by April 2015.
Getting to this big picture sometimes requires lots of little steps. So to keep my goals this year, I’ve decided to break down some processes into smaller, bite size pieces that I can reasonably accomplish.
A good example of this is my goal to keep a clean room. To achieve this, I’ve set smaller goals and made a list of chores to do on certain days each week. When broken down into smaller goals, the goal of a clean room is much easier to keep up.
Also essential to these processes is the idea of not punishing yourself. Be sure to write yourself a free pass once in a while as you work toward your goals. The New Year shouldn’t be a time of punishment. I’m striving to make it a year of growth and self-worth.
Going along with this idea of re-wording resolutions, I’ve decided to “billboard” my goals in a way that I will remember. Billboarding means creating a memorable word or sentence to remind yourself of your goals each day. It should be catchy, happy and remind you of why you’re doing what you’re doing.
I’ve developed a sentence about my goals for 2015. “Live Compassion. Pray More, Worry Less. Work It.” This billboard reminds me of my goals to be kind to everyone (including myself), to let go of excessive anxiety, and to “work it” in all aspects of my life, doing the best I can do and showing my authentic self.
This idea might seem kind of cheesy, until you put it into practice. When someone cut in line at the grocery the other day, I came close to losing my cool. Instead, I remembered “Live Compassion,” took a deep breath, and moved on with my life.