So sometimes the best laid plans fall through. Between school and work, life has been pretty crazy for me.. It’s also the last full week in the office before I leave for New York, so my inbox has been buzzing. At the start of every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions. But did you know that January 17th is known as “Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day?
If you’re like me, then you don’t make New Year’s resolutions. However, I do make goals or plans for the year. So before I get knee-deep in event production, I wanted to share with you my 15 ways to start the new year off right and sticking to your resolutions and/or goals.
1. Figure out your theme for the year.
I blogged about my words for 2016 and my theme song and mantra here. Having a mantra is something that I can repeat to myself when I am feeling low or tired and ready to give up. Something to remind me why I started. My theme song keeps me pumped and the words are my focus. Putting all those together helps for #2.
2. Set reasonable and intentional goals.
Check my post here on why it’s so important for the goals to be realistic.
3. Take daily/weekly steps to accomplish your long-term goals.
Every accomplishment starts with a desire to begin. And every little step you take to accomplish a long-term goal will get you one step closer to accomplishing it. Sometimes it’s easier to take 100 little steps than 1 big jump. So work at your long-term goals day-by-day or week-by-week.
4. Keep a planner/calendar.
Having a planner or calendar helps you keep track of your schedule and goals. Also having a visual keeps your task constantly in front of you, so you know what you are working towards. I’m a planner-by-nature, so I always keep a planner. This year I am using three: one for the blog, one for the business and one for work/life. I write down my workouts for the week, meal plan, goals, work schedule, blog ideas, blog posts, and social media post ideas, etc. I’m hoping that having a planner for the three main areas of my life really keeps me organized and also will service as good references at the end of the year to see how much I’ve accomplished.
5. Create a vision board.
Again, it’s a visual thing. The visual board is a central place for you to keep all of your goals and dreams. Seeing the pictures every day is a good reminder of what you are working towards and a great inspiration.
6. Get accountability partners.
Accountability partners help you create goals. Not only do they check you when necessary, they also check on you to make sure you are staying on track. And if you’re a procrastinator like me, it’s always good to have someone checking on you to make sure you are crossing out the tasks you have. I have a tribe of creative girls. We try to link up via a Google Hangout once a month and then communication by email or tweets the rest of the time. This group helps keep focused on my business goals. I have another group of accountability partners for fitness and life goals. Every week we talk about our goals for the week and then during the week we check in and encourage one another. And just last week another friend of mine asked me if I would be her blogger-buddy accountability partner. I definitely need one of those, so we’re linking up this week to work out those deets. So if you don’t have an accountability partner, gon’ get you one.
7. Refresh your network.
Reach out to old contacts and friends. The new year is a perfect reason to reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Grab coffee with an old co-worker, mentor or friend. You never know how re-connecting with someone can help you this year.
8. Don’t overextend yourself.
Have you heard the phrase “Jack of all trades. Master of None.”? That’s kind of like what happens when you overextend yourself. You are so busy trying to do a million different things and might end up doing some half-ass and never completing others. However, by setting realistic goals, you’re honest with yourself about what you can accomplish. This keeps you from adding too many things on your plate or overcommit because you have a clear understanding and view of your life and what you can take on. Let your yes mean yes, but also know that it’s okay to say no sometimes. Which leads me to
9. Schedule rest time.
I know people say “Sleep is for the weary” or “entrepreneurs never sleep”, but let’s be real. Burnout can happen. Just like that. So take time to enjoy life, take in the fresh air and even take a social media break.I am addicted to social media, but I am going to make it a goal of mine to take at least
one day, a half a day (setting my realistic goal here) each month to just break away from any social media. Read the bible, cook, and hang out with friends or NAP. Anything, but have my face all up in my phone.
10. Make a yearly financial plan and monthly budget to keep up.
You can’t start the year off right without having a good financial plan and budget. Especially if you went a little crazy during the holidays shopping. So make a plan for your finances for the whole year and then your monthly budget that will help stay on track. This is something I haven’t done yet, but will be completing very soon.
11. Exercise/workout partner.
Everyone’s favorite New Year’s resolution is to lose that extra weight they packed on last year. But it’s also probably the most frequently broken resolution. But if you really want to exercise, set a reasonable goal for yourself. Don’t make a goal that you know will be hard to achieve and then be upset when you don’t reach that goal. Also, make plans with a friend to work out together (aka an accountability/workout partner). I have a friend I meet with twice a week. Knowing that I already made plans with someone helps me plan out that time to go to the gym and also holds me accountable. If I want to wimp out, I know I’d be letting my friend down, so not wanting to leave someone hanging is usually my extra push to get to the gym.
If going to the gym isn’t your thing, there’s some great apps for exercising outside or at home. I’ve used Daily Workouts, Workout Trainer, Blogilates and Nike Training Club. I believe most of these apps are available in the Play Store as well.
12. Create a healthy lifestyle.
If you really hate working out (I do), but still want to have a healthier lifestyle try cutting out sugar, especially sodas and limit your carbs. Or at least limiting the amounts of sugar and carbs you intake. The MyFitnessPalapp is a great tracker for all your food. It syncs with some fitness trackers and a lot of fitness apps too like Runkeeper, so it will give you calorie credits for any exercise you’ve completed for the day. Check out this article about ways to drink more water throughout your day. Diets never really work for me. I have the type of personality where if you tell me I can’t do something or have something, it only makes me want it more. So rather than just cutting out things altogether, I will limit my intake. This year I am trying to drink more water and less juice. So I keep a water bottle with me at all times and have made a cold green tea/peach tea mixture for anytime I am craving a sweeter drink.
13. Have and show gratitude.
For the little things. So when the big things come, we don’t take them for granted. It’s so easy to take for granted the roof we have over our head or the car we drive every day because we are so busy wishing we had better. But it’s important to show appreciate for what we have. Even if it’s small. It makes a big deal in the long run. I have 4 ways/areas I am trying to show more gratitude, you can learn about them here.
14. Create organizational system.
Organization is key to staying afloat. For me anyways.
Bills – Create a filing system for your bills. It makes them easier to find and pay when necessary. Use a planner or calendar to mark when bills are due so you won’t forget.
Office – Reorganize/redecorate for the new year. Less clutter helps get those creative juices flowing.
Blog – Editorial calendars and blog planners are great to keep track of current, future and draft posts. I like to use Evernote to jot down ideas or save articles I find online that I might want to blog about later.
Business – Go through files/folders and clean out anything you don’t need. Gather your financials from the year before for tax time. I have a calendar set up just for the business. I mark important dates and track my social media posts on the calendar.
15. Don’t Give up.
This is the most important tip. Schedules will get busy. You will get tired and frustrated and want to give up. But, DON’T. Keep going. #dontstopGetitGetIt