How to Best Track Resolutions & Goals This Year
The last week of December is one of my favorites. It’s the perfect time to chill after the holiday madness, reflect on how the year went for you personally, and find motivation that comes with the brink of a new year. During this week, I love to write out my thoughts on the current year and then start planning ahead.
I’m not a huge fan of strict and unattainable resolutions (that I usually stop by February and then feel bad about myself for), but I do enjoy taking on goals to better myself. For example, past goals have been: sit up straight, use less paper towels, do yoga regularly, learn about photography, prioritize self-love.
In case you need a little motivation on how to track and succeed with resolutions or goals, here’s the system I’m using:
First up, I look back at my goals from the start of the current year and see where I’m at. Which goals did I meet? Which didn’t I? What changes made me feel best? Worst? Why didn’t I meet a resolution? Do I want to focus on that again this year? What is missing in my life that I want to add or improve on? What do I not care about anymore?
Writing this out is not only therapeutic, but it’s a realistic look back at the year. A lot of times, I realize that I made more strides than I remember, and the reason a resolution didn’t stick is because it was longer relevant in my life. It also shows where the holes are—where I didn’t follow through and the road blocks that caused failure.
2017 Brain Dump
I let the 2016 reflection marinate for a day or two, then start thinking ahead. I look at what I wrote out for the 2016 reflection and jot down a bunch of goals that come to mind. I think we all know areas of our life that we want to tweak or incorporate in the future, so this is the time to come face-to-face with those thoughts.
After the brain dump, I cross things off that don’t seem as satisfying as others, and come to a conclusion of 5-10 goals. Remember, these goals don’t have to be grand; something as simple as ‘drink more water’ is a positive, realistic goal.
Once my list of goals is set, I schedule something each day or week that will make that goal progress. If I was trying to drink more water, I’d create an alarm every few hours that reminded me to get up to re-fill, or I’d use an app to track consumption. That way it’s in my calendar and I don’t have to stress about what I’m not doing each week
Next, I schedule monthly checkups on my goals. This holds me accountable and keeps my goals fresh each month. I usually set an alarm for the middle of the month and save an hour for me to check in with myself. This is the time where I’ll schedule the daily or weekly tasks that help to progress my goal. If I’m not meeting a goal, I try to figure out why it’s not happening. Most of the time, I can tweak my routine to fit that goal in.
The monthly check-in is also nice to see if something is actually important to you or if you’re doing it for external satisfaction. If you find that one of your goals is bringing more bad than good, or is stressful, take it off the list and check-in next month or year.
This system takes dedication and time, especially the scheduling part, but it has been extremely helpful for me. I like that there is flexibility and that by checking in with myself monthly, I don’t forget about what I’m attempting to accomplish.
Take time this week to think about what positive changes you’d like to bring into the new year, and how you can incorporate them in a realistic, happy way.
I’d love to hear any resolution systems you have, too, so please share! What are you focusing on in 2017? What did you accomplish in 2016?