How to Make & Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
Each year, we promise that this year will be different. We make Resolutions that we do not keep. This year, that is going to change! I am committing to working with you to achieve our goals together! Who is with me?
Each year, millions of people set goals or resolutions that they hope to achieve in the coming year. And each year those people say “This year will be different.” “This is my year!” My question to you is “Is it? Is this really your year?” Or, like last year, will you start out with good intentions and let it fizzle out? Or, will you make resolutions that you think will impress others, but you actually have no intentions of following through on them.
Resolutions are often made but seldomly achieved. Why is this? I think it is because we give other people’s opinions the power to dictate how we view our dreams and our goals. We allow others to decide how to think and feel about our dreams.
Back in 2011, I decided that I was going to get a six pack (abs) and that I was going to fall in love with running. Someone whose opinion I held in high esteem said that my resolution was ridiculous and that I would never love running… So you know what happened to my resolution. Nothing. I did nothing, because I allowed that person’s opinion to dictate how I responded. I allowed them to make me feel silly about wanting to love running and wanting rock hard abs. I didn’t even try.
You do not need other people’s approval or permission to chase your dreams.
Read this out loud, yes, I said out loud: I do not need anyone else’s approval or permission to chase my dreams.
Whether you want to lose weight, run a marathon, start a blog or hike 52 hikes in a year, you have the right to work toward your dreams. Why is it that we allow other people’s opinions the power to shape our dreams, allow them to decide whether or not we even try to chase our dreams at all? If you are like me, you have used one of these excuses before... Maybe you are afraid of failing, or of making a mistake. Maybe money is tight and you can’t afford to finance your dream. Maybe you are a tired mom with a child (or children) that require more energy than you have left to give. When it came down to it, my biggest fear was what other people might say.
All of the maybe’s that you carry with you are keeping you from making and sticking to your resolutions. But, the good news is, that they do not have to be.
One of my resolutions is to help others keep their resolutions. Over the next 12 months, I am committing to showing up and providing practical ways to help you achieve your dreams. The first step in this process is to identify your goals. *Yes, I know that it is January 3rd, 2019. We are three days into the New Year, but you know what, if not now, then when?*
Identifying your goals might be easy, but not always. When I finished my Master’s degree, Aaron asked me what was next. What did I want to do now? I couldn’t answer. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. My identity had been so narrowly focused on being a student and a mother, that I hadn’t thought outside of that. Had you asked me this time last year, my dream was to finish my Masters and keep Addie alive. Okay, I had done that… now what?
Part of identifying your goals, starts with identifying who you are and what you want to achieve. My goal is to one day be a Best Selling Author. I have shifted my thoughts about who I am. I am not someone who hopes to one day be an author. I declare the outcome of my dreams. I am an Author. I write. This is part of who I want to be. So until my first book publishing, I will work hard and dedicate time to this blog. I will give it my energy and make it a priority. Why? Because being a published author is a goal of mine.
So, grab a piece of paper, a notebook, the back of an receipt and write down who you want to become. Do you want to be a Stay-at-home Mom? Do you want to be a chef of a restaurant? Write down whatever and whoever you want to become. Nothing is too big or too small. Now, keep this list. For me, mine looks like this: I want to be a good wife, I want to be a good mom, I want to be known for my hospitality. I want to be a Doctor and a public speaker. I want to be a published author. I want to be kind to all, slow to judge, debt free. I want to vacation in Hawaii in 2020.
The next step is to declare them. Out loud. On your bathroom mirror. On your phone’s background image. On the rear-view mirror of your car. In the sky with a plane. Declare it and claim it as yours. I am an author. I write it in my planner. I write it in my journal. I say it each time I sit down to write a blog post. I am an author. What I have to say matters. Who cares if I have no one reading or hundreds of readers, I write because it gives me life and makes me feel good. I write for me as much as I write for you.
The third step is Preparation. Find a calendar - if you don’t want to buy one, Google calendar works great! Write out a timeline. Create steps to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions. Give them a deadline. For instance, I have a calendar that spells out each of my blog posts for the next two months. Two posts a week, plus a newsletter. Each week for 8 weeks. I am setting myself up for success, by doing research now for those upcoming topics. I have given each post a start date, a final draft date, a photo shoot date, and a publishing date. I have also set aside “Writing Time.” For me, this is in the evening after Addie has gone to bed. With dishes done (or not), laundry drying, I pull out my laptop and spend up to one hour writing. I am on day 2 of writing this article. I do not go over that time limit, because I do not want to get burnt out or overly stressed.
The final step is Action. You have identified your goals, you have declared that you will achieve them, you have planned for them. Now it is time to act. The first step to your Marathon Running goal, might be taking a ten minute walk each day to build up stamina. It might be getting up a half hour early to read a new book or write for your blog. It might be trying one new recipe a week and writing what you thought of it. You can start small and build momentum.
The goal here is to overtime achieve your big dreams and goals. That starts with you making a promise to yourself. Each month, I will be doing a New Year’s Resolution Check in, where I go over how my New Year’s Resolutions are going, practical ways to keep at them, and sharing encouragement to keep you on track too! I want to invite you to be apart of my New Year’s Resolution too! Click here to sign up for Mariah’s New Year’s Resolution Challenge. You will share with me what your resolutions are, what you need help with and you will get a personal email from me helping guide you through the process. Want to read my Resolutions to get some ideas? Click here.
Friend, we are not meant to live life alone! We are meant to be in community!
Happy New Year’s, I pray that this year is a year for chasing dreams and crushing it!