How to achieve your goals this year
It’s that time of year again. The festivities and excesses of Christmas and the New Year have passed, our bank accounts have thinned out and we’re feeling the effects of overindulgence. But this post-holiday calm is the perfect time to let our minds, bodies and wallets recover and think about what we want for ourselves in the coming year. This often takes the form of New Year’s resolutions.
Of all the people that made resolutions for 2022, 28% of people kept all of them, 53% kept some of them and 17% didn’t keep any of them, according to YouGov. So how do you make a resolution that will last way past January? We’ve put together some tips and advice to help you live the life you want this year and get closer to your goals and dreams.
Reflect on the previous year
Ask yourself why
Make your goals specific
Write down the steps needed to achieve your resolution
Plan for when things go wrong
Remind yourself of your resolutions
Create a support system
Ask for help if you need it
Alternatives to New Year’s resolutions
Before deciding on your New Year’s Resolutions, reflect on the previous year to see what went well and what didn’t go so well and if there was anything you could have done differently. What did you particularly enjoy last year? What did you achieve? What went wrong? What would you have done differently? If you find yourself in any similar situations this year, this will help you to be better equipped to deal with it.
Think about whether you made resolutions last year. If you did, which did you keep? If there were resolutions you didn’t keep, why not? What stopped you?
Take some time to reflect on the last year, notice what went well for you and which areas of life you feel would benefit from changing, improving or remaining consistent with.
When making your resolutions, ask yourself why you want to make this change. Write down all the reasons you want to keep this resolution and how it will enrich your life. If one day you’re feeling demotivated to make that healthy meal for example, you can always look back at your ‘why’ and remind yourself exactly why you decided to do this in the first place.
For example, instead of setting a resolution to run more regularly, specify how far you want to run and how often. Having a goal of running 5K twice a week makes it much more measurable and clear if you’ve achieved it.
Although ambitious goals can inspire us to dream big, they can also be daunting and sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. When you jot down your resolutions, alongside them, write all the steps you’ll need to take to reach your goal. This will break down your goal into manageable chunks, making it feel much more realistic and easier to achieve. Make sure you celebrate and congratulate yourself when you take each step so you can appreciate the progress you’re making and make the journey as enjoyable as the end goal.
Have a think about whether there’s anything that might get in the way of you reaching your goal and how you’ll overcome this. Things will go wrong that will be out of your control - maybe your boiler breaks and you have to pay to have it fixed which throws you off your savings goal temporarily. But don’t be discouraged - keep going, stick with it and you’ll soon see you’re making progress.
Remind yourself of your resolutions at regular times throughout the year. All too often, we can’t even remember the resolutions we set a few months ago. Write them down and put them somewhere you’ll see them everyday so you’ll be reminded of them often. Take a look at how you’re doing at regular times - after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 9 months so you can see how far you’ve come or the work that still needs to be done. If after a few months you haven’t achieved everything you want to, don’t beat yourself up - think about how much progress you’ve made, celebrate that and figure out what you need to do from there onwards.
Do any of your family or friends have a similar goal to you? Working towards the same goal together can help keep you motivated, accountable and also make the journey more fun! Or, join a group aligned with your resolution - maybe that’s a sports club, a book club or a hiking group. Being around like-minded people working towards the same goal makes it more likely that you’ll keep your resolutions.
If sticking to your resolutions is proving more difficult than you thought it would be, don’t be afraid to ask for support. What would help you move forward? Coaching? Lessons? An online tutorial? Everyone needs help from time to time and there’s no shame in asking for it.
If you find that New Year’s resolutions don’t work for you but you want to set intentions for the year ahead, there’s other ways you can do this.
Put together a vision board
You can do vision boards in different ways - choose whichever way works best for you. Cut out whatever images and words inspire you, whether you have or have not yet experienced these things. Everytime you look at it, it will bring you positivity and motivate you. Alternatively, consciously create a mood board of all the things you want in your life in the coming year. Be sure to put your mood board somewhere you’ll see it everyday to remind you of everything you want for yourself this year.
Create a bucket list
A different way of thinking about resolutions is to make a bucket list. Focus it around experiences, goals and dreams for the year. Bucket lists can encourage you to think bigger and have less of a time pressure than resolutions, where it’s easy to feel disheartened if you haven’t stuck to your resolutions in the first few weeks of January.
Focus on a different theme each month
For example, January could be the month you read more, February could be the month you track all of your finances, in March you could declutter, in April you concentrate on fitness etc. For some people, having a 30-day timeframe rather than a 365-day timeframe can be more motivating, inspire them to focus and provide variety and freshness each month.
Word of the year
A word of the year is like a theme that you repeat to yourself throughout the year which reflects how you want the year to feel. Example words could be ‘adventurous’, ‘simplify’, ‘joy’ - pick any word you like that really speaks to how you want to live the year ahead. It could be helpful to make a list of words and then narrow it down to one that feels best for you.
Life coaching with Ben
Life coaching gives you the opportunity to work with a qualified Life Coaching professional to help you maximise your potential, set and reach your desired goals and become the best version of you. It will help you identify areas that you’d like to change or improve by looking at ‘where you are now’ and ‘where you want to be’. They’ll be your cheerleader and your mentor – empowering you to stay motivated and focused to help you live your best life. Whether you’d like to improve your lifestyle or fitness, save for that dream home, progress your career, improve your relationships or simply boost your self-confidence - whatever your goals are for the future, Ben can help.
It’s free for everyone who works or has worked, in the automotive industry.
Get started by completing our short online referral form, or by calling our helpline team on 08081 311 333 - just ask for ‘life coaching’. Or, find out more about life coaching and read our FAQs here: https://ben.org.uk/how-we-help/for-me/life-coaching/