It seems that new years resolutions are something everyone has heard of, but that no one wants to do. The idea of new years resolutions have become synonymous with big goals that we set at the beginning of the year that we abandon after a little while. I hear people all the time say they don’t believe in resolutions, they don’t do them or they never work.
But I have to admit that when I hear people say these things, I cringe a little inside. Partly because my personality is one in which I love and thrive on goals. But it is also because I know the importance of setting desires and intentions for ourselves.
Have you ever heard the quote,
Is that what you want?! I know that’s not what I want.
The new year is a great starting point for a fresh start. It is important that we take the time during the year whether at the beginning of the calendar year, at the beginning of the school year, or at some other point during the year to set intentions or goals to look ahead and grow. We need to think about what’s working for us that we want to continue and where we want to grow. This can be anything from changing an internet provider to losing 50 pounds. It doesn’t have to be big, but it gives us time to look ahead, make our goals concrete, and put those ideas that are floating around in our heads into action.
So the question is how do you do it in a way that suites you…You see the new years resolution idea as something that doesn’t really work for you. Try something different. I am always on the hunt for a new way to look at goals setting. So here are some ideas that look outside of the box to help us grow in a way that works.
A vision board is a visual way of mapping out intentions and goals for ourselves. It can be a virtual board or a physical bulletin board. You can lay out your intentions visually but putting words, pictures, and lists on it that you are setting out to do. Then you put it somewhere that you regularly see to remind you and help you with your intentions. This is a great way to lay out your desires for as an individual, as a couple, or as a family. For more information on making a vision board check out this post.
2)The 12 Week Year:
One of the aspects of making new years resolutions that can be particularly ineffective for some people is the idea of making a goal that will last the whole year. Sometimes this means having a goal that will be fully realized by the end of the year and other times it means carrying a new habit through the year. Well a year is quite a long time to carry out a goal. It is kind of a big reach for a goal. A potentially more effective way to look at our goals is in 3 month increments. Instead of trying to stretch to the whole year, take the next 3 months and set desires and intentions that amount of time. Check out this book, The 12 Week Year: Get More Done In 12 Weeks Then Others Do In 12 Months, for more information on this kind of goal setting.
3)18 for 18:
I listen to a podcast called Happier, that is about small things that make people’s lives happier. It is cohosted by happiness and behavior researcher, Gretchen Rubin. For this year, her and her cohost, her sister, Liz Craft, decided that were going to look at their year with bite size goals and make a list of 18 things that want to do in 2018. I decided to do this with my sister as well. It has proven to be a fun way to look at our goals both small and big and step into them in a less daunting way. My 18 for 2018 list ranges from expanding my music taste to taking a trip alone with my hubby.
4)Project of the month:
Another way of goal setting is to map out projects for the month. This can be a way of looking at the year in a manageable way and deciding on something you will do each month to better yourself. In a podcast episode I was listening to this morning, one listener decided to learn about someone famous each month and would use their life as inspiration for the month. You could decide a focus for each month and then one task to complete during the month to fall within that focus.
Life maps are another visual tool, which you can use to reflect on life as it has been in the past, is now, or what you would like for the future. There are different life maps out there and you can use them for as much or as little time as you want to help you use reflection of the past to fuel goals for the future. One such set of maps is from One Life Maps. It is a Christian set of life maps use to reflect on God’s work in the past on your life and to fuel you and set intentions moving forward.
Don’t let mental blocks on new years resolutions keep you from setting intentions for growth for the new year. Take the time to put into play those things that you would like to see change this year from getting a new hair style to repairing a relationship. A small amount of time put into planning can yield big results.