Make better choices this year. Take advantage of the fresh-start affect that happens with major changes, whether it’s calendar changes like the new year or life changes like a milestone birthday.
How to Set Goals for the New Year
Every December I set goals for the new year as part of my Annual Review. While one could argue that I have enough on my plate as a mom of 5 kids who blogs and volunteers as her children’s school, I disagree. Setting goals pushes me to stretch myself personally which in turn helps me become a better wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend.
January 1st is a fresh start. A milestone birthday can also be a fresh start. When I was in college, the Thanksgiving holiday became my fresh start, my time to change my eating habits and become a healthier person. To this day, I still feel that fresh start every time Thanksgiving rolls around.
Let go of past mistakes.
Beating yourself up about old choices that didn’t work for you will derail you from making better choices. Changing your strategy is NOT admitting failure. It’s understanding and accepting that one approach didn’t work, and it’s time to try another one.
Focus for a short period of time, and invest in yourself over a period of time.
Your focused time is an investment. Each day will bring you closer to your end result when you decide to spend a focused amount of time on your plan.
I use the Quad Timer to help me stay on task for set periods of time. I set up the 4 settings for 10, 20, 30, and 45 minute increments. When I’m decluttering or working on a blogging project, setting the timer tells my brain I can do something for a specific amount of time and then take a break.
Find an accountability partner.
Find someone who will check in on your progress and not just affirm your intention to make a change. One of the reasons why Weight Watchers is successful is the weekly weigh-in. The scale doesn’t lie. You need someone who will lovingly tell you when you’re getting off track and help you find concrete ways to get back on track.
Make one change at a time.
Depending on how comfortable you are with making changes, you can work on a new habit for 7 days, 14 days, 30 days. Personally, I find 30 days to be enough time for me to make a habit change. This January, I’m doing my second Whole30 to kick my sugar and wheat habit by starting on January 1. I know I’ll be done on February 1st, though I may extend my Whole30 challenge to the beginning of Lent on February 10th.
Track your habit change.
You know you’re making progress when you have a record of the progress. When I prepared for a half marathon a few years ago, I created a fitness journal to help me stay on track with building mileage and the appropriate strength workouts.
This year, as I work on my next Whole30 and get myself back into better shape while waiting for my foot to heal, I’ve tweaked my fitness journal and made a new copy for the new year. I included a monthly calendar to track when I work out at a glance to ensure I exercised at least 3 times a week. I also wanted to make sure I varied my workouts during the week to avoid overuse injuries.
Easy Changes You Can Make This Year
- Read one book monthly.
- Drink 8 glasses of water.
- Eat 5 servings of vegetables and fruit daily.
- Exercise for 20 minutes daily.
- Walk 10,000 steps daily.
- Clean out the clutter 15 minutes at time.