5 Steps to Achieve Your New Year’s Goals
by Claire W.
With the new year comes an opportunity to start fresh and seek new and exciting goals. January serves as the spark, blazing a path for the days to follow. With these often ambitious resolutions, however, obstacles, like procrastination, lack of motivation, and life complications, can hamper our achievement. So, to start of the new year right, here are five tips to achieve any goal you set your mind to!
- Reflect and visualize.
Start the process by considering what you have accomplished in the previous year. Look to the positives: consider what you did well, what you enjoyed the most, and what goal you are proudest of. What made those achievements so great, memories so wonderful, and work so effective? Did you set a schedule or routine, or try something new? Also, reflect on what could be improved: could you have dedicated more time to a certain area?
Reflecting on events past can provide motivation and guidance for the future. As you cement your new goals, I like to imagine what achieving them would feel like—personal satisfaction surpasses others’ expectations. Keep in mind that your goals are for you, and no one else, and take pride in what you have accomplished and the work you will continue to.
Never doubt yourself against a standard of a goal you are working towards!
- Track progress.
In my experience, the best way to get things done lies in a method that tracks progress over time. Tracking the steps you take, be them every day, every week, or every month, displays your growth over time and can serve as motivation when you’re feeling down. I like to jot notes on index cards that I keep in my room or my mixed bullet journal and agenda, but this tracking does not need to be formal. This can take the form of any small notes to yourself, voice memos, a website tracker, or anything most comfortable for you!
Consider also setting checkpoints to look back at how far you’ve come and adjust for the future on a monthly, bimonthly, or trimonthly basis.
- Get pumped.
There will be days when the going gets rough; when obstacles emerge and seem to obstruct every step in your path. On these days, finding something to motivate. Dedicate time this year to discovering what these things may be for you. For me, motivation takes the form of music, admiring others’ work, going outside or collaborating with classmates, depending on the endeavor I am pursuing. Something about mid-temperature weather makes me want to run, and there’s something in reading a good book that inspires me to write or complete schoolwork.
On a similar note, realize that rest days are acceptable. Dedicating time to destress, recuperate, reevaluate goals, or just take a break is not lazy, it’s practical and necessary.
- Find a community.
Friends and family can act as a wonderful support system to achieving your goals. While I wouldn’t pressure to broadly publicize your goals if that brings discomfort, I would encourage you to find a community of people you can lean on and talk with. Outside friends and family, the internet can provide an opportunity to find this community—a simple search for your goal can lead you to a host of blogs with helpful tips and social media chat groups!
- Remember that this is for you.
It can be easy to become self-critical while striving for a goal, especially when obstacles appear or progress does not come as quickly as hoped for. Always keep in mind that striving for this goal is for you: for your well-being, your accomplishment, and most importantly, your happiness. If something is making you unhappy, it may be ultimately harmful. Of course, remaining persistent is crucial, and hard work required. Sometimes, though, recalling why you started and how far you’ve come is important, for your personal satisfaction.
I’m wishing you all the best with resolutions in this new year. Go get ‘em!