As I scroll through Instagram, hours away from the New Year, most of the 2018 memes seem to think this past year was a disaster. Whether you’ve made progress on certain areas in your life or have experienced disappointments, there will always be ups and downs. Just because 2018 is coming to an end, doesn’t mean it should get tossed out the window. I think it’s so important to use this past year’s experience to shape the way we want to move in 2019. However, before you go shouting New Year, New Me, consider these three things to keep in mind while cultivating goals in 2019.
If you’re like me and keep a journal, then this would be the time to flip through a few “Dear Diary” entries to jog your memory. If not, then set aside time to reflect on any life changing moments, accomplishments, or other significant events that happened this year. Once you have a list of memorable moments, begin to assess them for value. What was successful? What could have been done differently for better results? The point is to recognize the lesson within the past experience. For example, my back injury has taught me to take longer recovery periods, practice frequent yoga, and stretch in between lifting sets. Self-reflection will help you understand what you would like to do again, but better in the New Year.
Make it Meaningful
I believe goal setting needs to feed your unique essence. You should be consciously creating the person you are becoming. As mentioned earlier, I learned that integrating more frequent yoga into my life was a successful way to keep back injuries at bay. While I’m not a morning person, I love how early morning yoga sets the stage for a positive day. To get myself out of my comfy bed, I knew I had to make the yoga practice even more meaningful. So I made it into a ritual. The night before I would set my alarm and choose an online yoga video. In the morning, I would wake up, sip a glass of water, change into a yogi outfit, burn sage, write a few thoughts down in my journal and then flow. I turned my original goal of I want to do more yoga into I want to do more yoga so I can improve my physical alignment and have a more productive and happy day. By making my goal more meaningful, I had more of a reason to get up and do it.
Of course, settings goals are easier said than done. You should also be considering how you will execute your goals. I find keeping a journal allows me to write down goals by year, month and week. At the start of each week, I’ll write down smaller actions that will eventually help me get to my monthly or yearly goal. This method helps me to stay organized and keep my goals top of mind. However, execution certainly comes down to accountability. Perhaps you can share your goals with a friend or family member and ask them to check in with you every so often. A friend who is willing to keep you on track, is a real one! Lastly, consider rewarding yourself for achieving certain goals. For every goal you hit, put away $5 in a piggy bank for a rainy day. If you successfully complete all your workouts in a week, drop an Ab Lincoln into your fun fund!