Start the New Year Right with Realistic Resolutions

How to start the new year right with realistic expectations by Pam Hetlinger | New Year's resolutions, casual winter outfit, chic winter layers

Happy New Years everyone! I hope you’re all off to a great start on 2019. My year is already faring out to be a busy one since I have a big trip to Dubai coming up – more on that soon. But today, I wanted to dive deeper into goals and New Year’s resolutions. At the beginning of every year, we all set out to achieve some big goals but as the year draws on, not everyone is able to commit and follow through. So instead of aiming for big, fanciful results, I want to talk more about how you can start the new year right by setting practical goals and having realistic expectations, so that you don’t set yourself up for failure.

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Set your goals by reflecting backward

Before you set new goals, look back on the past year and write down what you achieved. Be honest with yourself and take inventory of what you did well and where you fell short. This should be your starting point for how far you want to stretch yourself in 2019 and what you could realistically achieve. For example, if your goal was to hit 100k Instagram followers, but you only hit 90k, it would be unrealistic to stretch yourself to 200k – in that case, 150k would be a better number. You always want to push yourself but not to the point where you’re setting a target you’ll never reach.

Start small and work your way up

Starting with smaller, realistic goals usually means you’re more likely to stick with them because it’s easier to make small changes than to try and make one big jump. So if your goal centers around losing weight, that could mean slowly cutting sugar out of your diet once a week and working up to a few times a week rather than quitting cold turkey. Or if you want to exercise more, then maybe you start going to the gym 2x per week instead of everyday.

Have a realistic plan

I feel like most people end up losing track of their goals and resolutions because they don’t have a realistic game plan. I have to admit that making a lifestyle change is hard whether that involves your career, health, or money matters. That’s why it’s so important to get specific with your goals and set some parameters. I like to work mine into my daily schedule. I’m such a planner, so I’ll usually set a week’s worth of workouts (typically in the morning), plan a monthly budget, and schedule monthly calls with my team. Since I’ve already planned for it, I don’t have to think about how to fit it into my day, making my goals a much more seamless part of my lifestyle.

Set check-in dates

I’m am huge on deadlines since it’s the the best way to create urgency and avoid procrastination. If applicable, set a deadline or check-in date for your New Year’s resolution so that you can monitor your progress. If your resolution is saving a certain amount of money or having a certain number of Instagram followers, set some dates to help you stay on track. The best times to check in for me are at the end of every month and quarter. By following up on myself, I know I won’t end up feeling like I failed at the end of the year. I also love using this time to celebrate any accomplishments and reflect back on how hard I worked to get to where I am.

Don’t be so rigid and set in your ways

It’s easy to get caught up on a big goal you set at the start of a new year, but it’s so important to remain open to God’s course-altering perspective along the way. There’s a blessing in every rejection or whenever opportunities fall through. Remember to not get discouraged and trust in what He has planned for you. I am always thankful to know that God’s plans are always better and bigger than anything I can imagine.

I hope everyone has an exciting and safe 2019 – wish you all the best!

Start the New Year Right with Realistic Resolutions
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