Achieving Goals: From Resolutions to Reality

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How to Make Lasting Change Any Time of Year

If you know me, you know I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. To me, it feels like just another opportunity to put off for tomorrow what could be done today. But, I’ll be the first to admit that the holiday season can be a very busy time, and it tends to slow down a bit after the new year, so it can be a good time to make personal growth changes.

 

Why New Year's Resolutions May Not Stick

Unfortunately, this resolve usually only lasts a few weeks. It’s no secret that these resolutions can be difficult to keep, and many people struggle to follow through on their commitments. Perhaps you’ve set a goal that seems too lofty, or you’re unsure how to move toward it. Perhaps you aren’t feeling motivated or committed to your resolution, or you aren’t receiving the support you require to stay on track. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that making a resolution and actually carrying it out are two very different things. When you’re working toward a long-term goal, it can be difficult to stay motivated and focused, especially when there are so many distractions and temptations around. With a little perseverance and effort, you can make your resolutions a reality and make meaningful progress toward your personal development goals this year.

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Simple Strategies for Success

How? Well, I’m glad you asked! Here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful in the past:

  1. Set specific and achievable goals.

    • It’s simple to say, “I want to be healthier” or “I want to be more successful,” but those objectives are too broad to be truly effective. Set specific and attainable goals for yourself instead. “I want to lose 10 pounds by March,” for example, or “I want to save $500 for a trip by June.” These objectives are more attainable because they are specific, measurable, and achievable.

  2. Make a plan and stick to it.

    • Once you’ve set your goals, it’s important to make a plan and stick to it. This might mean creating a schedule or setting aside specific times each week to work on your goals. Whatever it takes, be consistent and dedicated to making progress.

  3. Surround yourself with supportive people.

    • Personal growth can be tough, and it’s important to have a supportive network of people around you who can encourage you and help you stay on track. Find a life coach or a group of friends with similar goals who can offer guidance and accountability.

  4. Keep track of your progress.

    • It’s easy to get discouraged when we don’t see immediate results, but it’s important to remember that progress is often slow and incremental. Keep track of your progress and celebrate your small victories along the way. This can help keep you motivated and on track.

  5. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

    • It’s okay to make mistakes and have setbacks. Don’t beat yourself up over them – instead, use them as opportunities to learn and grow. Remember, personal growth is a journey, not a destination.

  6. One more tip for sticking to your personal development goals.

    • Identify the purpose behind the goal. Understanding the “why” behind what you’re attempting to achieve can help you stay motivated and focused. However, beyond the “why,” there is usually a deeper “why,” an emotional motivator. When it comes to making changes, this emotion can be your best ally (and self-awareness is key to recognizing and harnessing emotions). You can use that emotion, whether positive or negative, to help you grow. You’ve probably heard of the concept of visualizing what you want to bring into your life. In fact, I frequently have my clients draw a vivid picture of where they want to go as a reminder. The premise of the book and film The Secret is that positive thinking attracts positive things and that we can achieve whatever we set our minds to. While that statement may be exaggerated, I believe a strong vision and meaningful goals are the foundation for positive change. However, negative emotions are the most powerful change agents. Positive emotions do not have the same power. Struggle is the true catalyst for change. That is why, when you are struggling to get motivated to go to the gym or spend 15 minutes reflecting and journaling before bed, you can tap into negative emotions and imagine the negative consequences of not making changes. I don’t recommend living in doom and gloom, but using it to amplify your future vision can be very effective.

From Resolution to Reality: Get It Done Any Time of the Year

So, there you have it! Despite my reservations about New Year’s resolutions, I recognize that the slower pace of the post-holiday season can provide an opportunity for personal growth. However, sticking to these goals in the long run can be difficult. Set specific and attainable goals, make a plan and stick to it, seek support from others, track your progress, and be kind to yourself when you face setbacks to increase your chances of success. Understanding the purpose of your goals and tapping into both positive and negative emotions can also help you stay motivated. While lasting change can be difficult, it is possible with dedication and effort and hiring a life coach will put your personal development journey on the fast track.

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