‘Tis the season for setting New Year’s resolutions!
For many of us, the new year is like starting a new chapter in the book of life. Now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is declining, perhaps you are finding yourself envisioning the new year and wanting to set goals, but you don’t quite know where to start. Try starting the new year by considering how 2022 ended. To look forward, we often need to look backwards—right? Take some time to reflect on 2022. What were you proud of this previous year? What did you learn or accomplish? What did you find joy in? What were some healthy habits you engaged in? Now, ask yourself how might you carry those positive experiences into 2023.
As you ask yourself these questions, you are probably noticing a vision or some goals for 2023 coming to mind. So, what now? Try creating a vision board! Did you know that people with physically written visions and goals are 50% more likely to accomplish them than those that keep them in their head? Vision boards are an amazing tool to help you identify, visualize, and achieve the goals you have for yourself. Visualization is one of the most powerful mind exercises you can do. Check out this Vision Board and Goal Brainstorming Handout to get started.
Now that you have dreamed up your vision for the 2023 chapter, take a moment to pick one vision and break it down into a specific goal with actionable steps. Planning for things to do, rather than planning for things to be, is the key! Here are some sample questions you can ask yourself:
- What is my goal?
- Where will it take place?
- When will you practice this goal? How often or how much?
- Who is involved in my goal? Perhaps share your goal with a friend, colleague, partner, etc. Sharing your goals increases your likeliness of following through with it—you will have a cheerleader or accountability buddy along the way.
- Reflect and ask yourself, Why do I want to achieve this goal?
Finally, consider how you will know and/or how you will reward yourself when you meet your goal. According to research, people who cultivate an attitude of celebration and gratitude have more energy with less stress and anxiety. They are also more likely to help others, exercise more frequently, sleep better, have improved physical health, and make greater progress toward achieving goals. Celebrations provide us the opportunity to take breaks, rest, reset, and then set even bigger and bolder targets. Celebrations also create space for us to reflect, and they empower us to write our next “chapter” more intentionally, year in and year out.