Happy New Year! Well, sort of…
For the last few years, I have chosen to set my new year’s goals and resolutions the weekend after the Fourth of July. It sounds crazy, but I find it works best for me.
I would do it in January, but life feels too busy to stop and see what I want to improve and work on.
Why I Set Goals in July
In July, life seems to slow down. My mind can rest and I can breathe freely again (see the blog The Value of Rest, I walk you through my favorite ways to relax, and find new inspiration). I spend time outside, read books, and have fresh inspiration and motivation for how I want to approach this next year.
At the half way point of the year, I can pause and analyze what I liked in the beginning months and what went well. I can also, decide what I want to change or improve in the upcoming months and finish strong.
How to Analyze Your Life
Rebecca Lyons in her book Rhythms of Renewal works through a self-inventory exercise. In this exercise, you ask yourself 3 questions and dwell in each of them for a few minutes. Here are the questions:
- What’s good?
- What’s confusing?
- What’s missing?
After processing these questions and looking over the past few months, I can begin to see what I would like to change and what I would like to continue doing.
Setting Goals You Will Actually Achieve
I don’t like to set a lot of goals or a goal that is too ambitious. Rather, I try and set goals that I can actually achieve.
When I set the goal, I try and realistically plan for how to accomplish it. I ask myself questions like…
- What do I need to do now to set myself up for success to reach this goal?
- Is it practical?
- How can I tweak this goal, so that it will actually work for me?
Become Specific in Planning Your Goals
So, for example, last year my goal was to work-out consistently. Instead of saying, I will try and work out more often, I became really specific on how I would achieve this goal.
I started by deciding that I need a workout program to follow, that way I would not need to constantly search for work-outs and I would have them right there and ready for me. I looked into a bunch and chose to follow Anna Victoria’s Fit Body.
Secondly, I really did not want to go to the gym and I knew I would never work-out if I did, so I decide I would do my work-outs from home.
And finally, I wanted to make it a habit. I gave it a specific time and made it part of my everyday routine. That way, I never had to make time for it or simply hope I would get to it. If I did not prioritize it, it would never happen. I decided I would do it first thing in the morning, before anything else began.
By taking these steps, I was able to stick with my goal of working out for an entire year and continue it into this new year.
Okay, my last tip for setting goals… Give yourself grace.
It is okay to miss a few days or to take a break. You don’t need perfection; you are looking for progress.
This year a few of my goals are to prioritize quite prayer time with God daily, continue working out (and add running into the mix), read more frequently. They are simple and I already do all of them, but I would like to improve and strengthen these areas of my life.
I am looking forward to the second half of the year! What are your goals and resolutions? I would love to cheer you on as we finish this year strong. Leave a comment below with your goals and let’s connect on Instagram!