As the start of the new year progresses, we reach that time when we start working on goals that we outlined for the year, and many of us realize that we may already not be meeting a goal. If that’s your story, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when dealing with New Years’ resolutions and goal-setting, in general.
The first thing that you need to remind yourself is that it is OK to to not reach your goal on the first try (or even later tries). Life is all about getting up and starting again. Setting New Years’ resolutions or goals should never be something that hangs over your head. They should be something that motivates and encourages your life. Create a vision of what you want to achieve in the future and then set up ways to make that happen. Below are a few tips that could help you in this process.
1.) Specify Your Goal. People who are successful in changing an unwanted habit are able to say exactly what it is they will do. People who are vague about their goal have less chance for success. Be as specific as possible. The more you understand your goal and how to achieve it the more you will want to achieve it. For example, I want to read more. To help me achieve this, I can specify the time that I want/plan to read and exactly what I want to read. I can make a list of books I have wanted to read. This will help motivate me as I will know what titles I get to look forward to. If you are a caregiver, perhaps your goal is setting aside 30 minutes per day for an activity that you find relaxing. If you are a patient, you may want to begin a list of what you have to be grateful for and set aside time each day to read your list and share with those that you love. If you have lost someone to meso, perhaps you can reach out to someone who is wearing your old “shoes” and offer them advice or support.
2.) Start Small. If the goal is too large, vague or overwhelming you will not know how to begin. Start with something small that you know you can accomplish, and once you do, the satisfaction will propel you forward.
3.) Plan for Relapse. We can start a goal with the best of intention but it is always easy to lapse or backslide. Plan for this. Don’t berate yourself for slipping up. Start again and remember to always reward your successes.