New Year’s Resolutions Check-In

There is nothing in the world that feels quite as good as accomplishment. Your confidence grows as you make effort toward your goals and see progress in your life. That confidence brings courage to do more, to work harder, and grow stronger. Success begets more success, so goals truly are essential. If you’d like to improve your success rate with your goals, here are six suggestions that should help.


Determine what’s important to you.

Don’t set goals that don’t matter to you. Base your goals on the things that make you who you are. Determine the principles and values that govern your actions, and base your goals on those things. It’s much easier to work toward a goal if it’s centered in a desire that eats at you and drives you to act every day. When you wake up in the morning, write down the things, places, people, activities, and ideas that first come to your mind. Before you drift off to sleep, make another list. What’s eating at you? Where are you lacking? What are you dying to create?


Start small.

Make resolutions that you can keep. Our brains produce dopamine every time we cross something off our list. Dopamine produces a feeling of euphoria that can motivate us and drive us forward until we’re crossing something else off our list. Making small, achievable goals allows you to cross more things off your list early. It’s easy to work long and hard at a big goal and still have little to show for your efforts. With nothing to cross off, your motivation can die.


The secret to great success has always been small, steady, simple steps. No matter how big or small your goal is, find ways to break it into small pieces that you can schedule into your day. A few focused minutes each day can lead to amazing results down the road. Setting daily goals that take a few minutes of focused effort allows you to cross things off your list early and often, so your motivation doesn’t wane.


Focus on one resolution at a time.

Multi-tasking is overrated. The truth is, our minds can only focus on one thing at a time. Trying to track several unrelated tasks in your mind at once, only leads to clutter and confusion. You likely have more than one goal that you’d like to achieve, but don’t double-book your time. Hold your focus to one goal at a time. That’s another great argument for breaking your goals into bite-sized pieces. You can devote your effort to one piece until it’s completed and then move on to something else.


Ask for support.

Talk about your resolutions with friends and family. Be open with them. Share your concerns and ask for help and encouragement. Who knows? You may inspire someone to join you in your effort. Whether they join you or not, they can become part of your team. It’s often easier to find the motivation to work toward a goal when you know you’re going to report your results to someone.


Stop intending and start acting.

It’s easy to talk and dream. How often have you found yourself creating Pinterest boards rather than actually creating? Looking at the work of others and planning your own projects is great, as long as you use that as motivation to move. The real satisfaction comes from your actual efforts. So stop intending and start acting.


Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Change and growth aren’t easy. You’re certain to fall back at times. There will be times when real life gets in the way of your dreams, or times when you simply don’t do those little things that matter most. Setbacks are common with everyone. When that happens, don’t kick yourself when you’re down. Instead look through your planner and take note of all the things you’ve planned and achieved. Ignore the things you haven’t done yet, and imagine where you’d be if you hadn’t finished the things you have done up to this point.


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