You hold the power to build the life that you want to live.
In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which way she ought to go. The cat responds by saying, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Each new year is an opportunity to reflect on where you are and where you want to be, as well as the steps you are taking to get there. Looking at your life, ask what is working well? What is not working? What would you like to change?
Create Goals to Bring About Change
Once you know a change is needed you are able to create goals and make plans to bring about that change. Here are a few things to keep in mind throughout the goal-making process:
- Be specific and set a timeline. The more specific your goals are, the more likely you are to attain them. For example, generally saying you want to lose weight does not give you as much motivation as setting the goal to lose 10 pounds by your next birthday.
- Measure your goals. Tracking and assessing your progress will not only make you accountable, it will help you know how you are doing. There are several free apps that can aid you as you work toward reaching your goals. Some examples include: StickK, Strides Habit Tracker, and Way of Life. Experiment and see what works best for you.
- Keep in mind that a larger or more long-term goal will most likely take several steps or phases to complete. Set shorter, more reachable goals along the way to stay motivated and help you get there. When you reach one goal, set another.
- Going in without a plan will not help you reach your goals. Even setting a specific goal may result in failure without planning what it will take. Using the example above, if you want to lose 10 pounds by your next birthday, you may develop a plan to exercise four or five days a week, as well as create weekly meal plans with healthier options.
- Realize that failure is part of the process, and it may take several attempts to get where you want to be. If you fail, identify what factors contributed to the failure and determine a new plan to overcome those obstacles.
Finally, be excited about the journey, not just the payout. Recognizing your progress and celebrating even small successes can give you a greater sense of self-worth as you realize that you DO have the power to change.