Another new year and another list of new years resolutions. For many of us, the collective energy of ambition and 'this is going to be the year I..' attitudes last for just a short time. Some of us make it a couple months while some of us only last a few days; some of us set big goals while some of us only want a few small changes. Whatever your goals this new year, challenges can creep up in unsuspecting places giving us the perfect excuse as to why we can not or should not continue on a path to make our lives healthier and happy. Here are a few tips to help stay on track:
- Don't make a decision, make a pursuit. By very definition a decision means “a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration.” Its easy to consider all the things that don't make us happy or to think about the things we want - “I wish I had more money” or “I want to be thinner,” and then to make the conclusion that you should spend less money or eat less food. However, in the definition of pursuit you'll find the words 'action of following something'. Its not enough to just think about what you should be doing to become happier, you need to actively work towards those wants. Start by saving a percentage of your income or begin adjusting your diet and increasing exercise. Whatever your goal, make it a conscious and active effort.
- Set realistic expectations. So often, we set ourselves up for failure by setting goals that aren't compatible with our lifestyle or daily routines. Work with your schedule and set time aside each day to make your goals a priority. If you're hoping to become more physically active, fit in a stroll on your lunch break or schedule a time to exercise before or after work. Maybe you want to work on a personal project? Start by dedicating one hour a day to your design and you'll soon begin to see your work manifest into reality.
- Decide whats most important. Remember the definition for a decision? Consider how you spend your time. Is the majority of your time spent being productive? Do you choose to watch television after work instead of working out? Would you rather opt for fast food than make a healthy home cooked meal? Now decide what you value most in life. Is it spending quality time with your family? Making money? Or maybe you want to travel? Whatever it is, identify all the things that make you happiest in life. Now pursue them! Plan a day to spend time with your family and nothing else. Schedule a trip and work everything else around it. Give up anything that could cause you to risk losing your greatest happiness.
- Just start. We can easily become discouraged when our goal seems too distant or too great a task. The easiest way to accomplish anything is to simply start working on it! No matter the size of your goal, find the easiest, simplest thing you can do to work towards it. If you want more time in the day, make a plan each night for the following day and allot so much time to each activity. Even if you don't follow it exactly, stick to your basic time frames and each day you'll find yourself getting closer and closer to greater time management. In a matter a weeks you may find yourself with more time to work on other projects, spend time with family, or just relax. Think about a pilot or captain navigating in open territory. If either one are off by even one degree on their map they'll land in the wrong place entirely. So think about what one degree in the right direction would do in your life..
- Remember -its your life! You're the only one who can pursue giving up and you're the only one who can pursue your happiness and creating your world around it! Now go do it!!