Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Tips to keep your New Year's Resolutions going past January! :)

Tis the Season for Goal Setting! 
Okay, so I have to be honest today!  I'm a TOTAL slacker this year when it comes to setting goals.  I'm six months pregnant with my third and have hit survival mode with life in general, so although I've written my goals for this year (generally), I have yet to even hit the print button on my computer and make them official yet!  And it's almost February!!!  

Well, now that my confession is out of the way...fellow slackers UNITE!  If you are like me and haven't taken a moment or two to set your new year's resolutions this year, then this post is for you!  If you have, and have already fallen off the bandwagon, this post is for you too!  If you've set your goals and are already working like a mad-man/woman on them then good for you, and maybe these ideas will help you keep those goals past January! :)

Here are 5 Tips to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions Going Past January!

1.  Put it on Paper
So here's another confession since I seem to be in the mode for that today.  I used to never write down my goals.  To be honest, I figured if I didn't write them down or tell anyone about them, then if I failed, no big deal; only I would know and no one would be the wiser for it!  Now you're probably wondering how those goals went for me...yep, you guess it!  I failed miserably at most of them!  It's a true fact that most goals that are not written down and shared, are also not accomplished and achieved!  You sew what you reap...and reap what you sew when it comes to goals.  A difficult to accept, yet true fact of life!

And don't just write them down and tuck them away somewhere!  You need to display them so that you will see and read them frequently.  My solution was to put them up on the wall of my bathroom.  After all, as a mother there are few places I actually sit and think these days, and sadly that's the most peaceful of them! :) (Even if little fingers are often found creeping under the door).  You mothers know what I mean!  It's one place you will visit frequently and always need good reading material, so why not have it be your goals?! :)

2.  Keep it Minimal
One of the biggest mistakes we make in setting goals is that we have too many.  As I've looked at many goal sheets over the years, I've discovered they often have at least ten or sometimes more places for goals!  In my opinion, that's way too many to keep track of!  And you know what that means...they just don't happen!  Choose four or five categories and narrow your goals down to those.  In my house we put our goals into four categories:


These are based off of the scripture found in Luke 2:52
"And Jesus increased in wisdom (intellectual), and stature (physical), and in favor with God (spiritual) and man (social)."

I figure if the most perfect person that ever lived could categorize his improvements in four areas of life then certainly I don't need to go searching for more!  It's enough just to try to do that!

3.  Make Them Measurable and Specific
Far too often we set our goals so generally that even we don't know if we've really achieved them!  I used to always set goals like: eat more healthy, read more books, exercise more, lose weight, be more patient with my kids, etc.  This not only sabotages your goals, but can lead to discouragement, thinking you haven't succeeded when perhaps you've made more progress than you even realize!  

Instead set goals like: eat a full serving of vegetables at every lunch and dinner, only have one or two desserts a week (one portion size), read five books this year, exercise five days a week, lose ten pounds, play with my kids individually for 15-30 minutes a day, etc.  These goals can be measured and are more likely to be achieved.

4.  Break it Down
Get Monthly Goal Sheet HereMy husband helped me with this because he is quite the organized goal setter!  One year we worked together to develop a goal sheet to help us track our progress throughout the year on our new year's resolutions.  After we've written our four main focus goals for the year, then each month we sit down and write a monthly goal that will help us grow closer to achieving our goal for the year in that category.  Then we break it down even further into what we are going to do each week to reach that monthly goal.  Don't fill in all the weeks at once!!!  Do one week and then at the end of that week, assess how well you did and what you need to do to improve the next week.  Some goals will carry over for several weeks as well.

Here is our goal sheet if you'd like to print some for yourself!  Just click on the picture and it should take you to the free download!

Get Weight Run Chart HereIf you have a weight loss goal, my husband also developed this sheet which you can click on and print to help you along your way.  The lines on the left are to record weight goals in five to ten pound increments (each square up is another pound).  The numbers at the bottom represent days of the month.  You put a dot at your weight each day and then connect the dots to make a line of progress throughout the month.

The lines and boxes at the bottom are to write and record progress on small goals such as: exercise, drink 8 glasses of water, no desserts, no eating out, full serving of fruit and vegetables, etc.

5.  Don't Give Up!
So you messed up one day, or one week, or one month...that's okay!  Too often we see small failures as reasons to throw in the towel!  I do this all the time, saying things like, "Well, I already ate brownies and ice cream on Monday so I guess my whole week is shot, might as well have dessert every day!"  This is SO not true!  Just because I messed up today, or was too busy, or forgot, does not mean it's over!  Just as is quoted in the beloved Gone With the Wind, "Tomorrow is another day!"  

New years are not the only new beginnings!  God has given us the gift of sleep...(praise him for that!)...and thus renewal each morning of a NEW day!  Don't let yesterdays failures determine tomorrow's destinies!  With the help of those we love, and especially the help of the Lord, we CAN do anything that is worth doing!!!

May the force be with you! :)
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