Why I’m making New Years Goals, not Resolutions

This year, I am not making resolutions. I am setting goals. Why? When I think of resolutions that are popular, I think of things like exercise more, eat healthy, save money, get organized, etc. Then I think of how often someone actually accomplishes those goals, and keeps up with them. They last maybe a week, a month? Not very long. You hear plenty of these resolutions, and then you hear plenty of people saying they have already forgotten what they had planed to do.

So whats the point to that? There isn’t one.

Instead of setting yourself up for failure, start your year out by setting yourself up for success. How?

Write goals, with steps that you can accomplish. That way you can build up to your final goal over the year.

Now if you can go cold turkey and just wake up January first and hit the gym everyday for the rest of your life, that’s awesome. Good for you! But for those of us who need a plan and need to build up to the final goal, here are some way that I like to plan out a goal.

This year, I want to keep the house clean. I am great at making messes and then not picking them up. Before I know it, I can’t do anything in the space and I want to scream, ignore it, and pretend it doesn’t exist. So my first goal for the new year (which I have already tried to start) is to keep the house organized and clean. Here are my steps for really planning out my goal.

1. What is your long term goal?

Keep the house clean and organized.

2. Now you get a little more specific. Ask yourself questions about your goal. What ways could you get around the goal and not have to do it? How will you reach the goal? Will you need help? Will you just need motivation?

How often will I clean?
When will I clean? Once a week, everyday, once a month?
What will need to be cleaned?
How do I clean it?

Do I need any new tools to clean with? Duster, vacuum, mop, etc.
Do I need help keeping it clean?
If its clean, will I have more people over?

3. Now turn each of those questions into smaller, attainable goal statements. My example will be the kitchen.

I will clean the Kitchen everyday, as needed.
I will put dirty dishes in the dishwasher after I am done with them. If dishwasher is full, I will unload and then place dishes inside.
After I cook a meal, I will clean the dishes I used to cook.
Each day, I will wipe down counters and stove top, as needed.
Once a week I will wash the floor with mop. Or as needed for spills.
etc.

4. The next step is to put a time frame with each of your smaller goals. That way, you won’t have to do each of these things on January 1st. These dates are necessarily the dates I would use for this goal or any of my other goals, but it gives you an idea of what to do. Pick the dates that make sense to you, give yourself enough time to feel successful.

Jan 1 – I will clean the kitchen
Jan 31 – By this date I will be putting all dirty dishes in dishwasher after use.
Feb 28 – I will be washing all dishes after I cook by this date.
Mar 31 – I will be wiping down all counters as needed.
Apr 30 – I will be washing floor with mop each week.

5. The last step is to make sure you are accountable for your goals. After all the work of coming up with your goals, you want to actually be able to achieve them. So tell people about your goals. Put them on your fridge, email it to friends, put it on your blog, or your email signature. Then through out the year, friends and family can check in on you and see how you’re doing with your goals.

If others know of your goals, you will be more likely to follow through because you never know when someone will check in with you! But if you do skip a few days, or stop trying, no big deal, someone will ask you about it and be able to help you along. All you have to do is pick up where you left off and move on. No harm done, you’ll be happy that you told people!

What are your tips for goals? Do you have any great goals you need to be held accountable for 2014?

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