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The start of a New Year is a natural time to make a fresh start. But how do you avoid the resolution trap, where you start with great enthusiasm only to find your motivation waning after just a few weeks? Here’s a simple plan you can use to create a fresh start and stay motivated along the way.
Make a list of goals. Start by writing a quick list of what you want. Don’t worry if your list feels more like a to-do list at the start. Getting those mundane tasks out of your head will help you get to the heart of what you really want — your true goals. It can help when setting goals to think about the various areas of your life such as relationships, health and fitness, home, career, finances, etc. Having goals that represent various areas of your life will also help you create balance in your life.
Figure out what’s blocking you. If you’re struggling to come up with a list of goals, brainstorm what’s standing in your way. Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed by an already too long to-do list, or maybe the clutter in your home makes it feel impossible to move forward on anything. Once you have a feel for what is standing in your way, make clearing this block your very first goal.
Dedicate time to make progress. Once you have a feel for the fresh start you want to make, think about the cadence of your weekly schedule. Where are blocks of time when you can work on your goals? If you have a 9 to 5 that’s more like a 7 to 7, then weekends may be the best place to find dedicated time to work on your goals. Get as specific as possible, such as scheduling time on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for a workout and Saturday mornings for making progress on your decluttering goal. Be realistic about your schedule and the actual time you have. Schedule your most important goals first, knowing you can come back to your list once some of your goals have been accomplished. Creating a realistic game plan that prioritizes your most important goals will help you maintain your motivation going forward.
Bite size the big goals. Another way to stay motivated is to bite size your big goals. For example, if you want to organize your whole house, bite size this into specific rooms, and then areas within that room. By focusing solely on one small area of your home at a time, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and get a greater sense of accomplishment as you check your smaller goals off your list.
Establish check-in points. Pull out your calendar and schedule specific blocks of time to check in on your goals. Think of these check-ins as opportunities to take stock of the progress you’ve made and then reassess. During these check-ins, do a gut check. Do you still feel energized and excited about your goals? If not, consider diverting your attention to other goals for a period of time so you feel reenergized and motivated to keep going!
Celebrate your victories. Finally, celebrate your victories big and small throughout the year. This step is one of the best ways to stay motivated as you continue moving forward.
P.S. Don’t forget – now is the time to get started on your fresh start with simplify 101’s online classes. Get started today!