Out with the old and in with the new is a motto thrown around a lot this time of year. Whether it’s goals of financial stability, weight loss, or stress relief, the dawn of a new year is a time of possibilities. Before setting goals for the new year there are a few things you should consider. Examine yourself before settling on making a change.
- Recognize the need to change, acknowledge how current patterns of behavior or thinking are NOT helping you reach your dreams or goals.
- Be willing to change, make sure you are ready.
- Understand the upside of change, list the potential rewards of changing your behaviors or thought patterns
- Plan a start date (New Year’s Day may not be the best option for some).
- Stick with the changes for a minimum of 21 and ideally 45 to 60 days. By then you may not even remember what it felt like before you changed.
After you’ve gone through the process above, it’s time to take steps that will ensure you are successful in reaching your goals. Here are 4 ways to accomplish change in the New Year.
- Address any barriers to the resolution sticking (negative mindset, external conflicts, lack of opportunity, etc.). Fear of failure is the most common barrier, but you can overcome it!
- Prepare for action. Focus on one small change at a time. Also, set a realistic goal around something that you have spent time contemplating and have decided you are READY and WILLING to change or overcome.
- Keep a journal or log. You are changing a behavior and it takes commitment, time and energy before it becomes a habit. Writing down your results will help you see things through.
- You are not in this alone. Weekly check-ins with a support buddy is a spectacular idea. Let’s say you are resolving to be better with money this year. Talk to someone you trust about your budget and whether or not a “big” purchase is necessary. Sometimes just saying things out loud will change your perspective.
With forethought and planning, you can accomplish anything! Work towards your goal day by day. Set up time for reflection and rewards and appreciate yourself every step of the way.