Why short-term goals are the better alternative to New Year's resolutions
Do you still make New Year's resolutions at the start of January each year?
I still want to achieve two things in the upcoming year: 1) read more 2) start working out.
But, when it comes to New Year's resolutions, I just don't bother with them anymore.
I've come to realize that I never stick to them, and I've decided I am no longer going to set new year's resolutions for myself.
That doesn't mean I don't want to achieve things - trust me, I do - but I think setting short-term manageable and doable goals is the better alternative. It can help you succeed with all the things you want to achieve in the New year.
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Also read: 50 tips for personal development to improve your life
How to switch from New Year's resolutions to micro tasks and short-term goals
Define your New Year's resolutions and categorize them into small tasks you can actually do.
Don't set unrealistic standards for yourself and give yourself breathing room.
Also, you might need to adjust the time frame or scrap certain goals altogether - and that's okay! Don't fret about it too much!
Please keep in mind that your physical and mental wellbeing is more important than any goal or resolution.
But with that being said, there are real practical ways to set goals you can achieve and feel satisfied with.
Here's how to do it:
Step one: create a visual & written "goal board"
You can do this on your computer, phone, or the old-fashion way with a pen and notebook.
What I like to do is I take my blank page notebook, and I write down my New Year's resolutions on one half of the page.
Then, on the other half, I start brainstorming and write down short tasks or actionable steps towards achieving my goal.
Here's an example:
Resolution: lose weight
Short-term goals: do yoga for 10 minutes a day + stop eating junk food at night
Resolution: read more books
Short-term goals: read 1 book in January (add title)
The main thing to keep in mind here is that you need to hold yourself accountable. Each day, go through the journal to remind yourself of what needs to be done!
Tips for Setting Short Term Goals
When you set a goal, no matter how big or small, the one thing you want to make sure of is that it will be met.
Something vague like "I want to lose weight this year" is not clear enough. Instead, go for short-term goals like "I want to lose 5 pounds by mid-February" or something similar.
Now, the achievement of a goal is dependent on a number of factors, but there are a few things you can control.
If you plan your goals with these considerations in mind, you'll have a far better chance of achieving them.
The following is a list of things you should think about when turning New Year's resolutions into short-term goals:
Is the goal practical?
To begin, think about whether the objective you're setting is realistic.
Is it at all feasible? Is it necessary?
Are you putting something in place for yourself that you know will be full of limits and lead to a waste of time and resources?
When you're setting a goal, be sure it aligns with your objectives. You must believe that it is possible. It's fine if the objective is difficult to reach; this should not deter you; nonetheless, you should ensure that it is a feasible goal to achieve.
Think about the impact of chasing goals on your mental health. It's okay to strive for success but make sure you are happy while doing it.
I have a STUPELL ABC'S OF SELF CARE poster up in my office space to remind myself to stop, take a break, and do something for myself.
How long will it take to achieve?
Do you think you're giving it too little time?
Make a clear assessment of when you want to achieve your objectives in relation to the time you have available.
Make sure you're not placing too much strain on yourself or your resources. You'll need to account for some wiggle room to get the best results.
Don't be fixated on deadlines - improving your life doesn't have to resemble a stressful work situation. Don't feel like your boss is out to get you!
In my opinion, you should place self-care above other goals most of the time. To improve your life in any way, you need to be your best self. A self-care journal can help you create healthy routines.
What is the purpose or end goal?
What is it that you REALLY want to achieve at the end of the day?
If you're setting financial goals like saving money, think about what you actually want - a new home? A new car? How can you balance living a fulfilling life with saving money and being stingy?
Ultimately, you have to see what purpose your goal accomplishment will serve. Why are you chasing it anyway? How well does it fit with your core values, and how will it take you and your organization further? What prospects does it entail?
These things give a very clear idea of how much effort you should put into a particular goal and what you can do to achieve it.
Think of these things when you are setting goals. Consider your goals well, and you will see that they can actually get accomplished in a much better way.