As the end of the year quickly approaches, an old feeling that we all know very well awakens. It’s the sensation that we didn’t do enough, we didn’t achieve enough and we didn’t lose those pounds this year either. The 31st December comes hand in hand with some old friend of ours: the well-intended New Year’s Resolutions!

Now the problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that that’s all they are: idealistic changes that you consider implementing only at the beginning of the year. However, by the time February has come we usually have forgotten about them. After all, it’s way too easy make fake (tachar esto) good promises in the heat of the Christmas spirit, when you’re on holidays and feel powerful enough! By the end of January reality imoses itself and it’s practically impossible to escape from its hands.

Nevertheless, reaching your objectives (whichever they are) is more achievable that you could imagine! In fact, I would say that the main problem, the reason why losing those extra pounds or finding time to read more looks so hard is because of a lack of strategy. You need to look at your New Year’s Resolutions as if you had a business and they were your business goals.

Here are some tips that will help you get on with your New Year’s Resolutions this 2020 (and everything you want to achieve going forward!).

1. Vague dreams vs Real goals

Experts in Coaching make a difference between “vague dreams” and “real goals”. This may sound a little mean, but the truth is, just because you say you really want to read more this year doesn’t mean you really want it. There is a difference between wishing and wanting, or at least there is from my point of view, that of a non native English speaker. To me, wishing sounds like you hope it happens at some point, but like Pinocchio wished upon a star; wanting implies that you need it so badly that you would anything to get it (whatever it is we are talking about here). So how do you feel? Are your resolutions “vague dreams” or real goals?

2. Are your New Year’s Resolutions SMARTER?

In Coaching there is a “mantra”: your goals need to be SMARTER. What does this stand for?

Specific: do you know EXACTLY what you want to achieve?

Measurable: how will you know when you are reaching yout goal?

Achivable: is it realistically possible to obtain?

Relevant: why is this goal important for you?

Time-bound: how long would it (realistically) take you to get there?

Eco friendly: is it ethical? Is it as good for you as it could be for others?

Rewarding: how will you feel or what will you get once you have achieved your goal?

If you’re serious about your New Year’s Resolutions, you should give this a thought. It will help you A LOT with the following steps. Also, don’t worry if you don’t have an answer to all of the questions, it’s more about realising what you already know about them and start taking action.

3. What do you need to achieve your goals?

When trying to make changes in our lifestyle, we sometimes find in our way an early barrier. One that, if we are not taking ourselves very seriously, could torpedo even your first intentions. It might sound silly, but being in the need of something that we think it’s important to achieve our goals it’s actually a big deal.

Imagine that you want to lose 5 pounds by summer. You have the measurable goal (5 pounds) and the time frame (six months, from January to June); BUT you feel like you should join a gym to keep yourself motivated – otherwise you don’t trust you will be able to commit to a workout routine. What if you knew this but you never joined the gym?

Maybe you want to try a new sport, say Muay Thai, but there isn’t any gym near you offering Muay Thai lessons. Or you would like to start painting, but you don’t have space to keep your sketches.

Think about what you would need, or, in other words, what could stop you from dedicating your time and efforts to something that you really, really want in your life. And now that you know what it is, ask yourself: what could you do to get rid of this barriers?

4. Keep a motivational item close

I think one of the easiest ways of failing at achieving your New Year’s goals is forgetting about them. Yeah, OK; it seems obvious now, but haven’t you kinda forgotten about them too in the past? Or maybe not about an specific resolution but about why it was so important to you in the first place?

Keeping motivational items close to you or at plain sight will help you keep your goals in mind. For example, for those 5 pounds we were talking about before, you could hang in plain sight a beautiful dress in your desire size; or, if you want to eat healthy, keep healthy, delicious recipes taped to the door of your fridge.

In any case, remember that an item that has a real value for you (may this be emotional, like the dress, or informational, like the recipes) will always create a stronger response than a simple “Hang in there” poster – no matter how cute the kitty in it is. Also, please bear in mind that keeping images of super skinny models on the door of the fridge won’t help you stay motivated, according to this studio.

5. Enjoy the journey

If you are one who enjoy challenges, it can become pretty easy getting obsessed with your goals and forget that the important part is the journey. Sure, there will be ups and downs all along the way, but you will learn from them.

Yes, you decide to take on a New Year’s Resolution because you want something to change in your life. But it’s going to take a while to achieve it, so why not having fun in the meantime?

If you are trying to eat healthier, try new, tasty recipes; if you want to lose those damn 5 pounds in the gym, choose a work out that you will give you a good time; if you are wanting to read a book a month, start with a genre you know you enjoy. This will make your life easier and you will see the results in no time!

Quick Footnote

The title of this post could have been a phrase that is said to exhaustion when January announces its presence: New Year, New Me! However I dislike this sentence as I think it’s quite harmful for us and our plans when trying to reach our New Year’s Resolutions.

This 2019 has brought good and bad things. New people were born, awesome people left us. Amazing discoveries were made, and great catastrophes happened. We all have had bad moments, but I’m sure we all enjoy instants of joy, peace and love.

Whenever I hear New Year, New Me!, I feel like it implies that you, as a whole, are dysfunctional. That you need to change from the point of your big toe to the top of your head. But however bad your year has been, there’s never a reason to change completely.

Shouldn’t you change in some ways to become a better person? Of course! We all should, hence the title of the post. But becoming a better person doesn’t require from you to become ANOTHER person, a different one.

These words are just to remind you, that you are valuable and you deserve to be in this world. You should aim for a better version of yourself ALWAYS, but don’t turn your head to who you are now and don’t let anybody tell you that you are worthless. Remember that your time is too precious to be wasted in trying to be someone who you are not. And that change, if it doesn’t come from a wish from within yourself, isn’t last longing.

Have a wonderful end of the year and I’ll see you in 2020!

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