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2018 - Avoiding The New Year's Disillusion

It's the end of year 2017. The ‘reset’ button is getting closer and it's the time when the vast majority of us start to begin planning and setting our goals and resolutions for the New Year.

And although setting goals is a great practice, the truth is that the vast majority of us (me, included) trip ourselves up with our own excitement over the dramatic changes we have planned for the upcoming year.

It's typical of an "instant gratification" society – we expect the reward without consideration of the amount of work or time it takes to hone the skills required in making significant personal change. So, instead, we get ahead of ourselves; take shortcuts, avoid the work, and end up bewildered and baffled when our "wish" doesn't some true...

So, how might we quit building castles in the sky and begin rolling out some genuine improvement? By first being straightforward with ourselves about where we are, what our current abilities provide, and defining the little steps that will lead us to little victories that will compound into huge triumphs in time.

It's not just about wanting and wishing – it's tied in with purpose and finding the 'right' goals. Why is this point so very important? Because 'when your toes are pointed in the right direction, all you need to do is step forward and keep moving... forward'.

Here; let me… Map. This. Out:

1. Set it to paper and write down what you'd really like to accomplish in the New Year and -- Note: here's the important part in determining if it's a worthy goal; write down your why... Why is it an important goal for you to accomplish???

2. Compose three steps, that you can take in sequential order toward accomplishing your New Year's goal.

3. Pick two things/techniques you can do to accomplish stage one of the three stages and write those down, too.

4. From those two things/techniques, pick the one that is the easiest for you to do.

5. Do it. That chosen 'thing' becomes your first step toward your goal. Apply this principle to the rest of your remaining steps and thus; you create a road-map for your success.

Here's what I mean:

2018 New Year's Resolution: Lose weight this year [to do this, I write the 3 stages/steps required to make this goal reality by the end of the year]

Three stages: 1. Exercise 2. Eat better 3. Make my own meals more often [of the three; I find working out to be the most interesting, easiest and most likely step I'd be willing to commit to right now]

Two stages to work out:

  • Manage my time

  • Find a form of exercise I like/enjoy

[these might be two of my most difficult obstacles to overcome in making consistent exercise part of my everyday life. Of these two, time management would probably be my biggest challenge. So now, I've got to find a way to better manage my time in order to make this work.]

Featured Step: Managing My Time

New Goal: Time Management

{Ooo… Plot twist!}

Isn't this an entirely different goal, you may ask? - YES! It is and it should be! In fact, the odds are incredibly high that this new and 'different' goal might be one of your greatest obstacles to overcome in the remaining goal steps, too.

However - Now you know where to begin, and you have a more precise guide toward accomplishing your next objective step. So... begin at the beginning, the very smallest step, and gradually work your way forward through each one, expanding your experience and building upon each of your triumphs.

There might be times when you need to make a road-map for each new step toward reaching your goal - that is alright! It really is! And I honestly urge you to do so because the more successful you are at identifying realistic goals and expectations, the more self assured you will become in your abilities.

I'll say it again - begin at the beginning... with the smallest, easiest step! Avoid the trap of 'instant gratification' by not repeating your past attempts at doing too much, too soon, and with no preparation.

Like the example I outlined above; if your goal is time management, perhaps your first week's objective could be buying a planner. Then, on the second week, commit yourself to using the dang thing! then, when you feel you've got a grip on your time management skills, begin investigating ways to fit some exercise into your plan by scheduling physical activities you enjoy.

If the need should arise; make another road map for yourself, but be methodical about it. Give yourself space and time. Gain perspective from temporary setbacks, and always celebrate your victories.

Make the New Year your very best to date by giving yourself every chance at successfully reaching your goal(s). You're gonna do great in twenty, one, eight!

You've this! Keep moving toward a better you!

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