I love the opportunity to reflect on what I did last year--to be proud and humbled by the amazing experiences--as well as to transition into opening myself up to something new this year.
It's a chance to start out fresh and take decisive steps to live my most badass life.
While I can honestly admit that I didn't get everything crossed off my list in 2017, I did accomplished an incredible amount of things from my wild list like spending 2 months traveling and working in Europe last summer, reaching 4K followers on Instagram and getting a new apartment with a washer and dryer!
Here are 7 clever ways I've found to keep New Year's resolutions:
1. Make bite-sized goals
I'm an overambitious overachiever. If it were up to me, I'd take on the whole year in one week...but alas I'm only human and there are only so many hours in a day. If I start out too aggressively, I get overwhelmed and give up quickly. I love Tony Robbin's idea of making a Massive Action Plan where you write down the specific steps needed to reach your goal, what result you want, and WHY you want to reach this goal.
Breaking my goals down into bite-sized pieces helps me to stay on track and not feel like a failure if I miss a day here and there. Make your massive action plan, and then only focus on the next little step, perhaps something that you can easily do in an hour or two.
2. Mobile reminders of your goals I get really excited about goals when I start something new, but I have a hard time being consistent. I am forgetful and can dive deep into a pool denial and avoidance when I'm not in a good mood. For this very reason, I put my bite-sized goals in my Google calendar so I receive a daily email and notification on my phone. These notifications remind me of my intentions and what I'm working on. It gets me back on track and helps me relax knowing that I have some accountability. Take just 5 minutes today to put your daily intentions into your Google calendar.
3. Start your day with inspiration
What you look at first thing in the morning really does set the tone for the day. I used to wake up and check my email or Instagram first thing, but I found myself feeling scattered and focusing on other people. What's best for me is starting with inspirational quotes on Pinterest. It gets my mind and body revved up to jump out of bed and kick some butt! Find what's best for you and stick to it. Once you get yourself into the right mindset, you get do anything you set your mind to!
4. Schedule that sh*t
What I learned from Marie Forleo is that if it's not scheduled, it's not real. When I plan to do something, I give it a date and a specific time when I'm going to do something. If I want to go running or work on a blog post, once it has a real place in my schedule it will get done. It's amazing how scheduling take an idea and helps me turn it into reality. If you're serious about getting a specific task or step in your plan done, schedule it right now!
5. Pair it with something that you enjoy
My husband and I used to put off going to the laundry mat to wash our clothes. It was a life-sucking process to drag everything to the car, drive to the laundry mat, and wait hours until everything was dry...that is until the day we discovered this cheery little Mexican restaurant a few doors down from the laundry mat. It served a delicious authentic Mexican brunch. We started waking up excited on Sunday mornings to go do our laundry. We'd pop the clothes in the washers and rush over to have huevos rancheros. My best bet for staying motivated: make it fun...or find something fun to do afterwards to keep you motivated. Have a tough goal? Choose something you enjoy to do while you are working on it, or afterwards!
6. Post a picture of your goal and your next little step
As a creative person, I feel most inspired by finding or creating a picture of what I desire in my life and taping it up in my apartment where I can see it--maybe on the mirror or close to my bed. Underneath the picture, I put a sticky note of the next little step I need to take to make that happen. The visual reminder keeps me positive and helps me stay excited by visualizing what I want to create in my life. The post-it note changes as I complete each little step. It's a nice little inspiration kick in the pants towards my best life! Try it out and let me know what you think. :)
7. Focus on how you want to feel and be open to the way it happens
When I sit down to make my list, I just let my mind run wild. While I do accomplish several very important things on my list, at the end of the year I usually feel a little let down at the things that I couldn't fit in. I just started reading Danielle LaPorte's book called The Desire Map that talks about creating a list of how you want to feel in the different aspects of your life, instead a list of the things you want to accomplish. She explains that the resolutions and goals are desires to feel a certain way. While it's great to make a specific list of goals, it's also good to keep in my WHY we want those goals and what we hope to get out of accomplishing them. I've started making 2 lists: one with specific goals and what with how I want to feel.
What I'm beginning to realize is that growing and becoming more and more the person I want to be isn't difficult, it's just uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable to face bad habits and to take that next scary step towards the person I want to be, but when I do I feel lighter and freer and more alive.
This year, I decided not to make "New Year's Resolutions" per se. Instead, I decided how I want to feel and added a few goals.
My 2018 New Year's Goals
1. Trip to Cuba
2. Let myself off the hamster wheel of "doing" and focus on being
3. Feel masterful with my Italian, Portuguese and Spanish
4. Start learning Russian
5. Pay off my credit cards
6. Exercise 3 times a week
7. Make writing a guiding priority
8. 10K on Instagram
9. An engaged and authentic blog
10. Lead 1 trip to Italy
1. Relaxed in my own skin
3. Trusting the Universe and myself
4. Authentic and unashamed
I'd love to hear from you: What is one of your goals or intentions for 2018? Which tip did you find most helpful?