The end of another year is always a period of reflection for me. Where was I twelve months ago? Where did I expect to be today? With that reflection comes goal setting.
Some people don’t like the idea of setting goals for their future. I am not one of those people. I am always after the next step, and I will be until I get to the point I feel comfortable with my life. Even then, I would probably turn my attention to other things. Put plainly, I am devoted to progress for progress’s sake. Sorry, Dolores!
The importance of the growth mindset
The growth mindset is what allows you to learn from your mistakes and grow as a person. What do you do when life gives you lemons? Do you actively seek to learn from it? Or do you throw your hands up and declare “that’s how things are”? If the latter, then you probably have a fixed mindset. Having a fixed mindset hinders your progress in life. Adopting a growth mindset forces you to look at your problems in a different light. People with a fixed mindset stay fixed. People with a growth mindset? They grow!
How New Year’s Resolutions help you grow
When you make a new year’s resolution, you are striving to be better, or to have a better life. If you actively move towards those goals, then you’ve made an improvement in your life even if you miss. In fact, if you do miss, you can grow further by honestly asking yourself why? Is there anything you would do differently the next time around?
Some people find the whole New Year’s Resolution thing grates on them, and I get it. One of the reasons I hear from people close to me (my partner included) is that people can choose to change at any time of year. And sure, that’s true. Ultimately, the time of year you resolve to change things is up to you. But what better time to think about it than the turn of a new year?
How to stick to New Year’s Resolutions
There are many different methods out there, but my main tips are:
Be specific. Almost all goals can be broken down into more specific goals. If your goal this year is to be kinder to the environment, you can break that down into how. Are you going to switch to renewable energy? By when? Are you going to phase out meat and dairy? Which will you start with? Use more public transport? Which journeys?
Keep track of your goals every month. Having a monthly tracker in my journal helps me to stay on top of my goals, recognising when something isn’t working as well as I thought. It’s a private way to stay accountable. The only person you have to be honest with in your journal is you!
Choose goals that you will notice a benefit from. The best goals are ones that show positive life changes quickly. The faster you get a result, the more likely you’ll keep on doing it. Some goals will be a slower burn – that’s fine. To address that, maybe you could keep a more regular goal journal so that you can look back and see the changes when you need to.
Be honest with yourself. If something’s not working, ask yourself why? Grab your journal and write it out. Then decide what you’re going to do about it.
Be flexible. Maybe you started working towards a goal but something has come up. Would it be a better use of your time to work on something else for a while?
Be social. This one really depends on what you can manage as a person. Not everyone is great at being social, myself included! That said, being as social as you can manage with your goals helps you build a support network of people who share your goals. Whether you join classes or Facebook groups, finding your people will help you build lasting change.