Mapping Your Desires For The New Year

The new year is upon us, and even if you’re not one to make resolutions, they still creep into your mind. When I was younger I would make big, grandiose resolutions: lose 15 pounds, run everyday, read a book a week, be a photographer. That third one I came pretty close to for a couple years, but overall, resolutions were big promises I made to myself that I always ended up feeling guilty about breaking within the first week - or, I had no clue how to actually achieve.

How about you?

Not that I think resolutions are bad, but they’re often grand and non-specific. The end result may be specific, but the steps you need to take are left hidden away.

Also, who are these resolutions for? Are they really for you? Or, are they simply generic things you think you’re supposed to aim for because everyone else is?

I didn’t really care about losing 15 pounds! I did care about reading a book a week. Why was I more successful with that?

One year, my resolutions were to make a pot of Vietnamese hot and sour soup and get a crockpot. Make your resolutions as you wish!

Breaking Down Resolutions

At the heart of our drive for success, there’s a core sense of “I want to.” And it’s far more powerful than, “I should do this,” or “I should want to do this.”

It’s about getting real with yourself about what’s driving you. Similar to decluttering, focus on what you love. Try some things out. Maybe that’s your goal. Sign up to learn something new every 3 months. Learn how to dance the merengue.

Be Specific

Why was I more successful when I decided to read a book a week? Because there was a:

  • Time frame, and

  • Specific task.

When we say something like, I want to eat healthier, it’s a big wobbly statement. We need to give it legs. What’s healthy mean to you? Less sugar? More water? More sleep?

Change Is Incremental

Why do most of us break resolutions? Because they’re big. Because they’re difficult. Maybe too difficult. Maybe too much all at once. Let yourself be successful. Pick a step along the road to incorporate into your life.

One that you could feasibly do, without a lot of effort.

Make Concessions

Technically I didn’t read a book a week exactly. Some books were quite a bit thicker than others. The point was to read on a regular basis. I’m not a very fast reader, so forcing myself to try for 100 pages a day would be misery.

Your goals should be fun!

They can be challenging, but there’s challenging and then there’s grueling. For those times, I made the bar at least 10 pages per day. That’s achievable!

From Castles in the Sky to the Ground Under Your Feet

It’s okay to have those big grandiose resolutions like lose weight, exercise more, stay tidy, save your money. But build the scaffolding. What needs to happen to achieve a goal?

The War Room

Like in business, the war room is where brainstorming and planning happens. It’s what comes before the deal is made, before the project is set. Pick a goal, whether big or small, and think through the steps you need to take to achieve it.

Think outside the box.

Are you considering all the possibilities? Are there other roads to success you haven’t thought of? If you want to save money, are there types of accounts that yield higher interest you didn’t think of? Are there ways you can make money on the side you hadn’t thought about?

Know Where You Struggle

The flipside of thinking about the possibilities is also knowing your barriers. What trips you up? If you’re trying to exercise more, what’s your biggest stumbling block to doing that? Is it motivation? Is it lack of knowledge?

If it’s motivation, is there an exercise you haven’t thought of that would motivate you? Maybe you’re thinking you have to go to a gym in order to exercise, but maybe you’d prefer to be outside. Or maybe you’d rather take a dance class. Or join a meetup group that hikes together.

Identify your barriers and start building ways to remove them.

Know Your Reasoning

If motivation is your biggest hurdle, ask yourself again, why is it you want to do this? Or think you should?

Rather than because you want to look good for someone else, do you want to look good for you? Maybe you need to shift your reasoning all together to find your sense of motivation.

Is there an activity you want to excel at? Do you want to learn to swing dance? Or do nature photography in the mountains? Do you want to swim competitively? Play on a volleyball team?

Keep searching for that thing that is your motivator.

I will also suggest the Just Do It attitude, but within the confines of just doing it in order for you to see if your motivation might be hidden within the activity itself. Everyone says you always feel good after working out. Do you? Try it and find out.

Pick the Very Best One

Like your mom says, pick the very best goal. Make it specific. Give it a time frame, like every week or every day. If it’s a measurable goal, how will you know you’ve achieved it? Is it after you’ve saved $5,000? Walked a total of 5,000 miles?

Add Some Mini Milestones

These are like checkpoints along a race. Give yourself small, attainable goals. Little things that help you gauge where you are along the way. If you’re hoping to save $5000 by the end of next year, then according to your plan you should have x amount of money after 3 months.

These aren’t to be used to punish yourself, just to help you check where you are. Maybe you’ll have to rework your goal. That’s okay too!

Snuggle Into Your Dreams

And get cracking. Don’t let those dreams stay just that. Start heading out to meet them.

Much love to everyone! Here’s to a bright new year!