The start of a new year often brings a chorus of “New Year, New You” mantras, emphasizing the importance of setting intentional goals and personal transformation. While it’s great to have goals, we also often hear that people can hit mid-January feeling worse. Perhaps they’ve missed their goal line or struggled to add those good habits to their daily routine. So, here are three actionable tips to help you easily stick with your goals and get back on track if you find yourself slipping.
Set a Theme for the Year – Use Three Words to Guide Your Path
When it comes to setting goals for the New Year, establishing a theme for the year can provide a powerful framework. The idea is to encapsulate your core values into three words that will serve as guiding principles throughout the year. In short, when you know your theme and your three words for the year, you naturally become more focused and intentional with your decisions.
For instance, if your theme revolves around “health, growth, and connection,” each decision you make can be evaluated regarding how it supports these values. This intentional approach helps in decision-making, allowing you to be more proactive than reactive regarding alignment with your goals.
Acting on Your Plan – A Roadmap to Success
Once you’ve set your intentions, the next step is to take decisive action on your plan. Begin by clarifying the “what” and “why” of your goals. This process might reveal that some objectives are not as essential as initially thought or, conversely, that certain goals deserve greater attention because it is important to you.
Then, organize your plan by answering the “when,” “where,” and “who” questions. Prioritize tasks and allocate time on your calendar. This step turns your goals into actionable steps. By breaking down your plan into manageable tasks, you make it easier to stay on track. Pro tip: utilize tools at your disposal, whether it’s a planner, task management app, or collaboration platform.
Remember to factor rest into your plan. Recharging is crucial for sustained effort. Set aside time for self-care and ensure a healthy work-life balance. This will help prevent burnout and ensure you can consistently work toward those goals.
Evaluate Often – The Key to Long-Term Success
The third tip focuses on continuous evaluation of your progress. Avoid being too strict with yourself and remember that adjustments can be made at any time, not just at the beginning of the year. This approach grants you the permission to reset and adapt more easily. I’ve found that permission to hit the reset button as needed is key to maintaining motivation throughout the journey. Just knowing you can be helpful!
One way I like to do this is to use time tracking to gain insights into how you spend your time. Identify activities that drain your time and energy to assess whether they align with your goals. Also, conduct regular retrospectives on your time, energy, processes, and interactions with others. This reflective practice provides valuable insights into how you are spending your time and helps you make informed decisions moving forward.
In conclusion, the tradition of New Year’s goal-setting endures because it offers a fresh start and a chance for personal growth. By setting a theme for the year, taking intentional action on your plan, and evaluating your progress regularly, you can turn the “New Year, New You” rhetoric into a tangible roadmap for lasting success. Remember, it’s not about all or nothing; it’s about continuous improvement and making choices that align with your values and aspirations.
Cheers to a purposeful and fulfilling year!
Check out the Time Management Tips in 20 podcast series with Sarah Ohanesian and Deborah Corn playing on Podcasts from The Printerverse.
A Chief Marketing Officer turned Productivity Consultant, Speaker & Trainer – Sarah Ohanesian is on a mission to fight burnout and increase happiness at work. She helps people clarify their thoughts, organize their work, and take meaningful action through her programs. Because when you are efficient with what you need to do, you have more time and energy for what you want to do and the people you love. Sarah is a professional speaker, the founder of SO Productive, a productivity training and consulting company, and an Asana Certified Pro.