“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”
I came across this quote in a November episode of The High Low podcast and, while I hate to sound like a sponsored food blogger preaching how product x “totally changed their life”, I definitely think I had a moment. It was one of those sentences you hear that causes you sit up straight and elicit a low “hmmmmm”. If I had a wood-panelled annex to retreat to, I would have scurried off for an afternoon of pondering. As it turns out, I only have this blog instead – so sit down, share a glass of whiskey with me and listen to my ramblings. I promise they will be related to setting your 2018 New Year’s resolutions.
I didn’t set any proper goals for 2017. I am a serial over-committer, and at any given time, I have several things scrawled on my ASAP list with an addition dozen on my UPCOMING pile and a 2 half-filled cups of cold tea perched somewhere, neglected, around the house. I live in a permanent state of exhaustion, and it’s exactly where I was last year too. I’d vowed to change, but didn’t set myself up for success – so as December draws to a close, I’m taking a more systematic approach to writing my New Year’s resolutions.
Answer These 6 Questions To Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick.
1. What Were Your New Year’s Resolutions For 2017? Which One’s Worked – And Which One’s Didn’t?
Go get your journal you started last year. The one you bought for the purpose of pulling a Bridget-Jones-style transformation, diligently filled in for 5 days and then disregarded for the remaining 360. Did you achieve them? Why/why not? Last year, my resolutions were as follows: 1) be honest with myself, 2) spend more creating and learning, 3) surprise myself and take risks. Reading them back, I can see that I went wrong in how deliberately ambiguous they were; I mean a high school debate team could spend hours back-and-forthing whether or not I succeeded. This is a problem we’ll discuss down at #5.
Get the recipes here, courtesy of Goodlife Health Club Murrary Street.
2. What 3 Things Do I Really Like About My Life Right Now?
VERY important question here, because beating yourself up for your shortcomings serves no-one but your worst enemy (which, in my case, is the yappy little dog down the road whom I am certain will one day escape and gnaw off my foot). What is going joyously brilliant for you right now? It can be as big as your career, or as small as finishing a book for the first time in 3 years. Build on these wins; turn them from sandcastles to Dubai skyscrapers. Not overnight, obviously. You’ve got to write the blueprints first.
Plucking an example from my own experience, 3 things I like about my life right now are:
– Acceptance of uncertainty: I have always been a planner, but have finally (thankfully) reached a point in my life where not knowing the answer is OK. Age will do that to you. Or maybe it was moving half-way across the world without a plan.
– Keeping a journal: Definitely believe this act is attributed to the prettiness of my Kikki. K journal and how much I enjoy having it sit on my desk.
A5 Life Journal Inspiration ($26.95); Goals Journal ($34.95); B5 Feature Journal Sweet 2018 ($24.95). All available Kikki. K MYER.
The natural successor to question numero #2. Now’s the time to dive in and search for what’s actually causing stress and unhappiness in your life. I mean, really explore it. Take it apart and understand it’s nuances. Where did it come from? Which areas of your life is it impacting? What would your life look like without it? Once you know where change is needed you can set the right goals and gather the necessary tools to succeed. My tackles for the New Year will be: 1) stop buying bad quality clothes, 2) create direction in my career and 3) become my biggest fan/ stop shooting myself in the foot. Self-deprecatingly limping through life is not a good look.
Get Lean, Stay Lean ($35); The Capsule Wardrobe ($29.99); The Great Aussie Bloke Slim Down ($24.99). All available at MYER.
4. How Will I Stick To These Resolutions?
Enlist in the power of community and ask people for support. Share your goals with a friend, spouse, neighbour or personal trainer for someone to “answer to”. In doing so, you’ll externalise your goal and make it seem more real and motivating. It also gives you an excellent excuse to meet up with your designated New Year’s resolution guide for brunch on the regular. Alternatively, take advantage of the virtual world and download an app to keep you on track. Some handy one’s include:
– My Quit Coach: (iOS) creates a personalised plan for you to quit smoking
Join at Goodlife Health Club Murrary Street and receive support from a qualified personal trainer.
5. How Am I Going To Measure My Success?
New Year’s resolutions are often phrased as big announcements – such as, I will write a novel, I will lose 20kg, I will build a signature style – and it’s probably why a lot of us fail. Instead of instigating a sweeping reform, you’ll be more successful if you break the task into bite size pieces, all with their own parameters, time-frame and due date. I will lose 20kg might be broken into:
Jan: Join Goodlife Health Club gym, establish fitness plan with personal trainer.
Feb: Continue to commit to fitness plan. Will have lost 2kg by end of the month.
March: Add an extra class into fitness plan. Lose addition 2.5kg by end of the month.
Will you build a signature style in 2017? Feat. MYER stocked labels Steele, Cue and Wolf Kanat.
6. Reflect On Them Often.
Once you’ve written out your goals and resolutions, put them somewhere hard to ignore like your fridge door, near your light switch, on your work desk or even train your barista to quiz you on them each time you get a coffee (just don’t forget to give them 5 stars for customer service). reflection is important to see how your resolutions are making your life better and positively affecting your day-to-day. Do it often, smiling and with David Bowie blasting in the background. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!
Good Luck With Your Resolution-ing!
My parting message is this: despite the name, New Year’s Resolutions should be a running document that is added to, revised, considered and amended throughout the year. Learning and personal growth don’t follow a linear 12 month calendar, but rather pop into your life as they please. Keep this in mind and you’ll be a-okay.
May the upcoming year bring you energy, acceptance, resilience and really glowy skin!
Where Do You Think You’re Going?
Need a little bit of writing to keep you company as your wolf down your lunch/ sip your latte / wait for the post-office line to dwindle? Flick through these bite-sized musings.