As humans, there’s something about new beginnings and clean slates that give us hope and excitement about being better and achieving more. How many times have we said “I’ll wait till Monday to start my diet” or “When September comes I’ll start planning ABC“. And how many times does Wednesday or October creep up on us only to find that no progress has been made? The start of the year is a prime example.“New Year New Me!”…Yeah, we’ve all heard that line before, together with all the promises of being this or doing that over the next 365 and 1/4 days. But mid-year often comes along only to find these goals lost in memory.
Personally, I want to change this habit of forgetting or giving up on my goals. So in the spirit of the new year, I would like to share with you some things we can all do to actually make things happen.
1.Give yourself space to think
I recently sat myself down and really thought about what I wanted to change or happen in my life over the next year. Having a one to one’s with yourself can help you shed light on what you really want and what is important to you. Let’s look at this scenario of wanting to find a new job – “You want to find a new job. Well, why do you want to? Is it because your bored, or you want to switch careers? If it’s because you’re bored, why are you bored? Is it because you’re not passionate about what you do? Well then, what are you passionate about?…” Such thought processes help us to target and pin down what we really want to change.
2. If you think it, Ink It
Our thoughts and ideas have a way of being completely or momentarily forgotten. It’s therefore important to catch them and materialise them. Whether this is on paper in the form of a list, or via a mood board with pictures, it helps us focus our scattered thoughts, motivate us and remind us of our goals. If you wish to travel more for example, why not put up some photos of all the places you want to visit. I have created a bucket list of all the things I want to achieve in 2017! These range from major goals like buying a house to the little things like going snorkelling.
3. Operationalize Operationalize Operationalize
In the first year of my psychology degree, my statistics lecturer drilled into us the concept of operationalization. Not only is it important to write your goals but it is necessary to quantify them. Let’s take the example of “I want to get fitter”. But in what way? How will you measure this? Is it by the kilos you want to loose? Or maybe it’s the number of kilometres you want to be able to run? Making your goals measurable makes it possible for you to measure your success. It also makes your aims clear!
4. Track your progress
Tracking your progress helps you stay motivated about what you want to achieve, and reminds you of your goals. I personally keep a diary where I write about some of my achievements. You could also do this in the form of starting a blog or even an Instagram page dedicating your journey to this. I started really getting into cooking over a year ago after going vegetarian. To keep me motivated and encourage me to try different recipes, I started a food Instagram page (theafrovegeterian). Not for the likes, but for me. I would post all the food I had cooked together with my recipes and it worked! I also got to see all the progress I had made. In turn, this has motivated me to actually write a cookbook, and again, just for me. Everybody is different but the key is finding what works for you.
5. Share your Progress
I personally believe that you should aim to achieve things for you and not for someone else. The happiness of meeting your goals should be as a result of your achievement rather than someone else’s recognition of it. However, sharing your journey with someone else can help you stay motivated. This could be through talks with you partner, via facebook, or even with an online community committed to the same goal. Two years ago, I really got into fitness and wanted to get lean and strong. So I joined an online fitness community via an app where everyone shared the food they ate, and their achievements. It helped me stay on track, encouraged me to workout and eat right which I in turn shared with everyone. Getting cheered on or praised often makes us feel good, so sharing our achievements with someone can help us stay motivated and progress.
I really hope that these tips can help you achieve your goals in 2017! I wish you all the happiness in the world for the New Year, and to everyone who has followed me on my WordPress journey, I thank you.
Remember nothing is impossible, we just need to realise that to achieve what we want.
Happy New Year!
My 2017 Bucket List (only some!)
Write 24 blog posts
Try a Yoga Class
Learn a New Language
Run a Marathon