New Year’s resolutions are a very popular topic during this time of year, wouldn’t you agree? New Year’s resolutions are a great way to set new goals and achieve them but I’ve learned so much in the past year that I wanted to share those findings in a blog post. Here are my five tips for creating your New Year’s resolutions:
1. Don’t wait ‘til the end of the year
I find it helpful to begin thinking of your goals for an upcoming year at the end of October/ beginning of November. Why? The first reason is that the more you procrastinate, the more likely you are to completely put it off. Secondly, the holidays! The holidays can come up quick and if you celebrate holidays that involve gift giving and activities with your family, you will most likely not make the time for your New Year’s resolutions. Third, starting early can really give you time to think about what you actually want in the upcoming year.
For example, it is really easy to put things on your list because they sound good or the right thing to do. Then you look at your list mid-way into January and find that you are actually not motivated to do any of those things because they don’t actually mean anything to you. Then, there goes that and you wait for the following year to try again. Breaking the habit of making a change at the beginning of a year will help propel us into creating new habits at any point in time.
2. Pick at least three goals that are important to you
Approaching your New Year’s resolutions with a “top three” in mind will help simplify things for you during the year and help keep you more motivated. For example, I didn’t accomplish most of the things on my list from last year but I did accomplish three big things on there: My artwork was shown eleven times last year (I had a goal of ten exhibitions), I read twenty four books (my goal was to read twenty four books in 2018) and I made $1100 this year from my art (my goal was $1,000).
I find that “analysis paralysis” happens when we have too many choices. I’ve noticed that my brain spazzes and gets overwhelmed when I have too much in front of me. Having three goals to focus on (which truthfully were two goals: exhibitions and reading) really helped me not get de-motivated when I didn’t hit my target body-fat goal in 2018. I realigned that goal to just workout consistently and track my calories.
When selecting your top two or three things, pick resolutions that really matter to you. Why do you want to accomplish what you want to accomplish? In the beginning of 2018, I wanted to be able to have something to put on my CV in 2018 so it was important to be in at least one gallery. Additionally, I wanted to prioritize reading because I wanted to spend time doing something that didn’t involve staring at an electronic device. Plus, I wanted to take that as an opportunity to learn something new (through personal growth books) and exercise my imagination (through novels and fiction books) to help with my conceptual images.
4. It’s okay to change your mind
Don’t allow a change of heart to discourage you from your New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes, you will find that even with all of the thought you put into your list, you simply won’t want to pursue one of your items or it’s actually not as important as you thought. That is totally okay just don’t give up on the things you do want to accomplish. If your resolutions change throughout the year, that is also okay. I decided that I didn’t want to pursue an aggressively low body-fat percentage this year but instead workout regularly at the gym so that I could enjoy outdoor activities without the physical strain (I live at elevation so the gym helps out TREMENDOUSLY when I snowboard 11,000 feet above sea-level).
5. Write your accomplishments down!
This is SO important. You HAVE to keep track of your accomplishments. It will feel SO good to revisit them on a regular basis and see how far you’ve come since you began. I admit that I had a really slow start with my reading resolution at the beginning of the year. I almost decided to give up but I had made a commitment to myself and kept reading and tracking what books I read. Around November, I saw that I was still far behind so I stepped up my reading and now I am about half way through my very last book. This feels SO good. Not only because I am going to accomplish my goal but because I’ve read twenty four more books this year than I have ever read in a year in my life!
Reading was a huge part of 2018 for me. In order to successfully accomplish this goal, I needed to have a system. I tried my best to read two books per month. In order to achieve this, I would look at the number of pages and then divide them by the number of days in a month. This would provide me with the minimum number of pages per day that I needed to read in order to finish that book in time. Towards the end of the year, I did this and made sure to read more so that I could catch up. I loved reading so much. Taking a break from all electronic devices felt really good. I make a commitment to read while I eat breakfast every day then again before bed.
I want to know what are some of your 2018 New Year’s resolutions that you have achieved this year (or made more progress than you would have made had it not been a goal) and what some of your 2019 resolutions are. Please share in the comments below.
Below is my list of reads for 2018 along with my Top Five Book of 2018.
** Edit: I saved “The Magic” for 2019 because I could only bring one book with me on my end of year trip so instead I read “Given to the Sea” by Mindy McGinnis
1. “Eat that Frog” by Brian Tracy
2. “The 10x Rule” by Grant Cardone
3. “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod
4. “The Power” Rhonda Byrne
5. “Start with Why” Simon Sinek
6. “Annie Leibowitz at Work” Annie Leibowitz
7. “When” Daniel Pink
8. “No Opportunity Wasted” Phil Keoghan
9. “Good to Great” Jim Collins
10. “The First Phone Call From Heaven” Mitch Albom
11. “The Power of Habit” Charles Duhigg
12. “Communicate to Influence” Ben and Kelly Decker
13. “Raise Your Vibration” Kyle Gray
14. “A man called Ove” Frederick Backman
15. “The 5 Levels of Leadership” John C. Maxwell
16. “A Soft Place to Land” Susan Rebecca White
17. “Recovery. Freedom From Our Addictions” Russell Brand
18. “My Life on the Road” Gloria Steinem
19. “The Happiness Advantage” Shawn Achor
20. “Shanghai Girls” Lisa See
21. “You’re a Bada**” Jen Sincero
22. “Wisdom and Wit” Abraham Lincoln
23. “Snow Flow and the Secret Fan” Lisa See