Today, I want to talk about continued personal growth in New Year’s Resolutions. But first, I wanted to thank you, my friend!
I recently made a post on my Facebook page dedicated to all of the 2020 mamas out there and I was absolutely amazed at the response that it received. You can see it by clicking here. One woman called these mamas warriors, and truly I couldn’t have said it better myself! There were so many comments, photos, and personal stories shared. I spent days just soaking up the outpouring of strength and beauty from all of these warrior mamas. I tried to write back to every single person who had a public post. This is what I love to see, connection, and support. Thank you all for filling my cup!
Please find me on Instagram or Facebook to continue sharing your personal stories. That vulnerability is creating a connection that makes this platform so beautiful. I’m not just saying it to say it when I tell you that I love hearing from you, it really makes my day.
Now that I’ve poured my love and appreciation into you, let’s get on with the article!
Letting Go, Letting Grow
As we let go of the old in 2020, it’s important to take inventory of your life now. What parts of your life do you want to carry forward into this new year? Think about those habits, relationships, or behaviors that you’d like to leave behind. Hanging onto all of this is a lot like leaving dead leaves on a plant. Those leaves are taking away precious energy that should be spent on growth. If there are still dead leaves lingering in your life, check out my last post on Letting go of 2020 to hear more about shedding them. Think of it like this: By letting go, you are letting grow.
Once you know what you don’t want, it’s easier to focus on what you do want. I asked you to consider a few things at the end of my last post. What do you want to happen this year? And in what ways do you see yourself growing? Think about what kind of life you want to create for yourself in the new year, what kind of person you want to become. Get creative, the possibilities are only limited by your own ability to believe in yourself.
New Year’s Resolutions
Whenever we ring in the New Year, all you ever hear about is setting New Year’s Resolutions. These goals tend to be pretty large and are usually very specific. We expect to go from zero on December 31st to 100 on January 1st, a drastic change overnight. If we are all completely honest, these resolutions tend to fade away with time or don’t even happen because it becomes too overwhelming.
Well, I’m here to introduce you to a new concept for your New Year resolutions- continued personal growth, setting goals throughout the year instead of just once a year. Now, hear me out, I’m not trying to ruin the tradition of new year’s resolutions. No one said you had to pick a single goal for the entire year. Really, a resolution is just a promise that you make to better yourself or your life. So, why does this need to be done just once a year? Honestly, we could all benefit from reflecting on our lives, habits, and choices far more than once a year! This keeps you accountable.
Life is Unpredictable
Also, let’s be real, I hardly know what my life will look like in 3 weeks, let alone 6 months from now. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you cannot predict what the following months will look like. Things are changing weekly. If you had asked people last December what 2020 was going to look like, do you think anyone could have predicted a pandemic? Highly unlikely. So, how can you possibly know what goals you will need to focus on in the next year? You won’t know until you are there.
I believe that new Year’s resolutions should be a promise of continued personal growth and not just a single goal for the entire year. This allows your resolutions to be flexible as your life evolves throughout the year. Start reflecting on the ways that you want to grow. Envision the life that you want, these dreams that you are chasing, and the visions that have not yet come to fruition. Start breaking them down into actionable steps. This is the road map to your success. Make a promise to show up and commit to yourself throughout the year. You are worth it.
A Year of Growth
With a year full of continued growth, you can set multiple goals along the way. Have a new focus every month. One month you may be more concerned with taking care of yourself and want to dive into self-care. The next month’s theme might be boundaries – learning how to set and enforce them in your personal life. Monthly goals allow you to be continually working on your personal development and adapting as your life evolves.
As each new month approaches, reflect back on the previous one. Look at your present moment and consider where you’d like to shift your focus to. What would you like to cultivate in your life? Are there areas that you are slacking in that could use a little extra attention? Figure out what it would take to get you there.
If you are reflecting back on your month and finding yourself feeling your goal is not quite complete, it’s ok to keep the same focus! A month is not always a realistic timeframe for every goal. Either keep on the same track you are on now or think about new ways to reach that goal!
Set Your Goal
So, what is your goal? It might be leaning into vulnerability or finally building up the courage to move to another city. Maybe you want to be debt-free by next year or get a new job by the summer. It doesn’t matter how big or small the goal is, that is entirely up to you.
Once you know what your focus is, it’s time to take a closer look at it. You’ll need to know what steps to take in order to reach that goal. By not taking the time to look at each individual step along the way, you are hurting your chances at success. The overall goal can seem overwhelming and unattainable, keeping you from making any move at all.
Break it Down
Breaking your goal into smaller steps makes it much more manageable. Having these small goals will also give you a sense of accomplishment each time you complete one. Celebrate along the way! Feeling capable of achieving the small goals will only build your confidence as you are working towards the larger ones. So, what’s the best way to implement these changes into your life?
Grow Your Goals:
Let’s break it down into 5 steps. I’ll give you a plant-y visual along the way because that’s what I’m all about!
Find your seed
Find whatever it is that you want to grow in your life. Focus on just this present moment, and pick a seed for just this month that will help you achieve your goals.
Ask yourself what you need to do to make these goals happen. What is holding you back? And how are you holding yourself back? Knowing these potential roadblocks before you start will make it much easier during your growth process.
Plant that seed in your life
Look at where you have space for this seed. Place it in each week of the month to break up your larger monthly goal into smaller weekly steps. Slowly, these weekly focus points will bring you to your overall goal.
Take action. Do it. You can spend all day planning and plotting but doing it is where the magic really happens.
Grow your goals!
As each week comes to an end, reflect back on what has been working for you or where you have succeeded. Celebrate those little wins! Consider whether or not you are ready to move on to your next week’s step or if you need to adjust slightly based on where you are at currently.
Be gentle with yourself during these adjustments, not every plant grows at the same speed. That’s just life! Beating yourself up for it will only take energy away from where it really needs to go – your goals. Reflect and refocus if needed, but just keep moving forward. Even the smallest of progress is progress.
Hold Yourself Accountable
If you use a paper planner, write down your new resolution at the start of each new month. Set a time each week to remind yourself of this resolution and include it with that week’s step forward. This will help you to stay focused on your goal. I find that physically writing my plans and goals down works better for me.
However, if you prefer to keep your life on your phone or laptop, you can set calendar events and reminders to help you with these resolutions. Just make a calendar event with your focus for each month and week. Then, set a reminder weekly to check in on those goals. Do this at the start of each week. That way, you’ll really set the tone for the week ahead. Try to schedule these reminders for times when you are generally available to reflect, such as first thing in the morning or right before bed.
As you are planning, try to be as flexible as possible. Life will change, that is inevitable. We should be changing, growing, and adapting along with it. So only plan one month at a time. You may find that 3 months from now, you’d rather put your focus elsewhere. It’s natural for your priorities to shift in life.
This style of New Year’s resolution is designed to fit your life. It’s meant to meet you where you are right now and honor your future needs by leaving space for them. This is a practice of turning inwards and truly listening to yourself. A practice in meeting your needs as they evolve. And a practice in allowing those needs to evolve.
Keep Moving Forward
As those needs evolve, remember your “why”. Remember why you are doing this. Was there a feeling you wished to cultivate? Is there a specific goal you are hoping to achieve? Be intentionally moving towards that each day.
Are you wanting to cultivate confidence? Start your day out with positive affirmations. Do you want to be able to run a 5k by the summer? Join Couch to 5k and start your first exercise. Keep moving forward.
Once you’ve accomplished a goal, big or small, make sure to take that moment to celebrate. Each small step is a huge win. Taking those steps is not easy. It’s much easier to procrastinate and spend your energy somewhere less challenging. But you didn’t do that, you overcame it.
Be proud of yourself. Treat yo’self. Get those shoes you’ve been eying or order your favorite delivery meal. For those aiming to be debt-free, treating yo’self does not have to cost you. It could be as simple as doing a coconut oil hair mask or going to a local park for a day. Whatever you choose, make sure you find a way to celebrate you!
What resolution are you starting with? Tell me in the comments below!