You know that saying about not waiting to make changes? How January 1 shouldn’t be the impetus for life changes — and that you should start making good habits TODAY?
Baby steps, people. Yes, I do agree that a date on the calendar is widely misused as a placeholder for resolutions. So whether you decide that January 1 or your half-birthday is the day that you want to set some new goals for yourself, have at it. But real, honest change will come if you start doing something now. Like, NOW now. I’m not saying that your life will instantly change in that moment, but if you want something new or different to take place, do something right this second that leads to that eventual start date.
Say for example that your resolution is to “lose weight” in 2016 — do you have an exercise plan, have you consulted with your doctor, have you researched the monthly cost and/or joined a gym, hired a trainer or nutritionist, pinned some healthier meal options on Pinterest, or thrown out all your gross processed stuff in the freezer? And what does “lose weight” mean? I hope your goal is SMART or CLEAR. I guess there are HARD goals now as well. Do you at least know how to increase your chances at success? Doesn’t it feel SO OVERWHELMING?
Baby steps. One foot in front of the other. One day at at time. Write a to-do list. Buy some new sneakers.
So, yeah, I have goals for 2016 — quite a few, actually. But if I don’t start changing some of my bad habits now, I will be setting myself up for a mess of frustration on January 1. And likely, failure, by March 15. I can’t let my already-good habits go by the wayside either.
An example of my own baby steps? Waking up at my first alarm. NOT sleeping through five different alarms. I’m seven days in! This will lead to a bigger goal. But for now? I get to celebrate some small successes (and hopefully help my sleep schedule out a little in the meantime).
Mind Tools has a bunch of articles about goals. Check out this article about personal goal setting. There are some great explanations about the different methods (with more links to further explain) and questions to ask yourself before you get started with the process. And if you have a coach or mentor (or are one), I personally like use of the GROW model.