Small Steps to Transform your Life

“New Year New Me” has got to be one of the most cliché sayings that pop-up everywhere come December and January. Although this phrase has become somewhat of a joke at this point, what if actually possible to tackle goals in every part of your life come out of the year a better version of yourself. I’m talking fitness goals, personal goals, financial goals, career goals and all around improving your quality of life! Sounds like fake news right? Well I’ve been using the following method for the past three years, and every year I have been able to carry out all the goals I’ve set! In every single one of these areas! And the best part, it’s a lot easier than you might think.

Setting goals for the new year is personally one of my self care rituals. It allows me to on where I am in my life and helps me set a course for where I want to go. But I’ve noticed that a lot of people struggle with making goals for the new year, either because they never see the plan through or because other in life eat away at their time . A lot of the times this happens because the goals we set are not realistic. In we set ourselves up for disappointment when this drastic lifestyle change or full immersion into a new hobby doesn’t stick past January. Humans are creatures of habit- we would much rather stick to what we know and fall back into old routines. I noticed this in myself and decided to devise a method of setting goals that would be sustainable and keep me motivated to continue with them all year long.

Step #1

For starters- think small, this will better set you up for success. way easier to add onto smaller goals once you’ve achieved them than to cope with the disappointment of not reaching a lofty goal.

Base your goal setting off you’ve accomplished before or start from square one on an entirely new . If you begin on a basis of “This is something I’ve done before that I would like to get back to,” or “I want to improve upon this existing hobby,” you’ve already laid the foundation for reaching your goal by instilling confidence in yourself. If your goal is related to something entirely new, then take baby steps! You’ve never gone down this path before, and there may be challenges you’ve never encountered before. Be patient with the goal and with yourself. Research how others have started their journey towards the same goal and do something similar. Or in other cases it may be best to consult with a professional. Either way sure you pick an easy starting point to set yourself up for success.

Step #2

This goal setting method takes a holistic approach in that it looks to one small goal in each facet of your life. By doing this you also set goals that create small ripple effects throughout your life. By reflecting on different areas we are able to inspire changes that will have a meaningful impact on our lives. I like to categorize my goals into the following; Physical/Spiritual, Personal, Financial and one for fun! By setting small goals in different areas of your life you’ll complete one that comes more to you first. This will give you confidence to tackle the other goals later on in your list. I’ll share with you my personal goals for the new year as I break down each of these categories to help you set your own goals.

The Physical/Spiritual category focuses on your health. Think about what areas you feel need improvement to take better care of yourself. Some examples could be signing up for a new fitness class, taking more time for self care or making an evening walk part of your routine. My goal for this year is to start running 7kms once a week! I based this goal off an old habit that I want to get back into. I used to run through this beautiful area in a 7km loop on Saturday mornings. a great way to start my weekend and it helped improve my mental health as well. reinstating this habit is a realistic goal to set.

The personal goal is a much broader category. Goals here can be reflective of some of your existing hobbies or pass times, there’s a project you’ve been thinking about that you want to start, or if there’s something new you’ve always wanted to try this is where I would put it! My goal for this year is to read a total of 25 novels! Reading is by far my pass time, and I used to clock the majority of my reading time on my commutes to work. Now that I have been working from home I’ve been struggling to make time to read. But when I do I read fast so setting a goal for reading 1 book every two weeks is reasonable for me.

The next category is Financial, which is pretty self-explanatory. Since finances are often linked to what kind of job you have, career goals can often fall under this category as well. My goal for this year is to pay off some outstanding credit card debt. I based this goal off a budget that I had already made- so the getting to the goal is simple, I need to stop spending on my card. the debt I have is small and I did consult a professional before setting this goal for myself to make sure that I would have the means to achieve this goal.

The last category is my — and probably the most important- set a goal for fun! Often times when we set goals we tend to be serious and can get tunnel vision focusing on the finish line. But we all need fun cultivate joy in life that keeps us going. Pick a goal that makes you smile, or even laugh! Whether that’s indulging in a specialty hot beverage more often, or watching cartoons every Sunday morning. Whatever brings happiness into your life, it’s important to focus on this as a goal as well. My goal for this year is actually to buy a new bed! I have been redecorating my bedroom and the last eyesore in my room is my boring metal frame and box spring. My bedroom is my sanctuary, with my bed being the altar; by bringing that last piece of puzzle together I will reap so much joy! I already have it picked out and I can’t wait to get it!

Step #3

The final step to this goal setting method is solidifying it in writing. I like to carve out 20 minutes at the beginning of the year to write down these goals on a nice piece of paper accompanied by doodles and check boxes, then I the whole thing. I also like to leave spaces next to each goal where I can write the date on which I completed that goal. If you’re more of a digitally creative person- do something fun with fonts and and inspirational images. you decide to create this list of goals I implore you to then hang it up somewhere prominent, like over your desk or on your fridge. This helps keep the goals at the front of your mind and also acts as inspirational artwork for your home.

There you have it! You now have the tools to go and set sustainable goals that will have a meaningful impact on your life!

If I have one final piece of advice it’s that, like anything you do in life, do it with kindness towards yourself. Be patient, expect challenges and forgive yourself if don’t unfold how you intended. These goals are stepping stones towards the infinite possibilities that could lay in front of you this year. Take each one with a grain of salt and be open to follow whatever direction you feel pulled towards. Don’t force yourself to complete a goal if you’re not enjoying it or if it’s not leading you in the direction you wanted to go. Although some tenacity is required to complete pretty much anything in life, if the journey to the goal is making you miserable, it’s alright to let go. This doesn’t make you a “quitter” it makes you in tune with yourself and what your needs are.

I hope you find some success with this goal setting method and I wish you all the best for this new chapter ahead!

Originally published at https://vocal.media.

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Emilia Majerus

Interior Designer by day, Writer by night and creative to the core. Passionate about creative writing, poetry and my dog. Instagram/ Twitter @introvertedemy