Well Happy New Year and welcome to 2015--the 15th anniversary of Y2K and the year of my college graduation.
There's something exciting and dreadful about the concept of a new year.
This new year means we get a clean slate, an opportunity to start again, and to right the wrongs that somehow got away from us in 2014.
But at the same time it's scary. We set such high expectations for ourselves. We feel invincible on January 1st, but something happens to our morale somewhere between January 1st and February 1st...
Now, I'm no master of goal setting and maintenaince... but I have learned a few things I'd love to pass along.
1. If you mess it up once, KEEP GOING.
It's so easy to feel like a failure because of a few mistakes, but if you're not used to making mistakes at this point in your life, you better start getting used to it. Mistakes and missed goals will happen, and that is okay! The real challenge is learning how to pick back up where you left off and keep going! I promise it will get easier.
2. Don't do it alone.
Find someone to hold you accountable. I don't mean just talking about being accountability partners with someone, I mean actually setting measurable and attainable goals of how you will hold each other to the standards you've set. For example, a friend of mine wanted to get in the habit of reading her Bible everyday, so she sends me a selfie EVERYDAY to show me she's met her goal and is one step closer to forming healthy habits. If she misses a day, we just move on and pick up the next day! No discouragement necessary. Grace and accountability go hand-in-hand.
3. Keep it real.
Set goals you can actually keep. Come on people. You're not going to lose 50 pounds in a month. But 5 pounds? Pace yourself and set goals you can measure and actually accomplish!
4. Do it when you don't feel like it.
What if you wake up one day and just don't have that same motivation you had on January 1st? I hate to break it to you, but that will most certainly happen. Learn to make decisions and choices that are not based on your current mood/feelings and stick to your convictions. That's what discipline is!
5. Rest is Best.
If we don't properly rest, then there's only so much we can handle until we burnout. So rest. Give yourself one day a week to chill, take a break from whatever you've been pushing yourself in, and give yourself time to grow through rest.
6. Make a fun goal!
Yes, it's good to set some goals that might not be the most enjoyable, but balance it out with setting a goal you will love. It will be easier to keep that goal and will give you encouragement to press on in your other less-fun goals. For example, I like to write, do I not? So this fall, I set a goal that I would blog once a week on my personal blog. So far I'm still loving every bit of it, and it keeps me young.
7. Eat Ice Cream
What is life without a little sweetness? In the midst of all your rigorous goal setting, don't forget to reward yourself and have a little fun. Put chocolate chips in your pancakes on occasion, eat an extra scoop of ice cream, buy the expensive chapstick once in a blue moon. Because life is still fun and memories are still waiting to be made.