Every treadmill is taken at the gym, planners are flying off the shelves in stores across the country, and your friends are simultaneously posting motivational quotes with shiny expectations of what the year will bring. It’s the first week of 2016, and we all know it’s just a matter of time before the ephemeral excitement of a fresh calendar year will burn out. We have so many New Year resolutions but what’s the secret formula to sticking to them?
The answer is more difficult than you’d expect. I’ll admit that I’m certainly not the shining example of productivity, but I’ve learned a lot about creating measurable goals in 2015. With that knowledge in mind, I popped open a bottle of sparkling One Hope Wine, busted out my new agenda, and wrote down the goals I have for the New Year and how I planned to achieve them. My method? Accountability, consistency and a little celebration (all found in my printable 2016 Goal Planner).
Dream—But Be Realistic
There’s nothing more frustrating than someone telling you that you CAN’T do something. I am not going to be that person. I don’t condone the word “can’t” by any means, but I do believe in setting realistic goals and defining the steps you need to get there. Don’t put your carriage before the horse and get carried away with something too lofty to manage. Let’s use one of my resolutions as an example: I plan to travel more in 2016. If I were being unrealistic and unfair to myself, I’d say I plan to visit every continent in 2016 (an actual longterm life goal). What’s the issue with this resolution? 1) Like most of the world, I have a full-time job where I need to be Monday through Friday. 2) I have limited vacation days and have to plan accordingly. 3) I don’t make nearly enough to pull that off in a year… I have bills, bills, bills (imagine me singing this to the tune of Destiny’s Child… because I am). Instead, my goal is to plan three major trips this year. Once I achieve the three trips, I can decide if I’m ready and willing for more. Easy, right?
Three is a Magic Number
Not only should your goals be realistic, but the amount of goals should be, too. Don’t put a ceiling on your potential, but remember that you are a human being with only so many hours in a day. If you want to be the best at something, you need to make it a full-time focus. This is where the rule of three come in. Out of your long list of goals for the new year, pick three you’d like to focus on first. You can take your time to give these goals your all and see progress unfold. Spreading yourself too thin will give you a reason to set yourself for an overwhelming failure. Once you cross a goal off your list, you can give yourself a metaphorical gold star and plan on your next big achievement.
Define a Measurement System
Make a plan for measuring your goals. If you want to be a better blogger, give yourself a goal of posting X times per month and increasing views by X percent. If you want to grow as a writer, plan to pitch your ideas to X editors per month and be featured in X publications or news sites. If you want a promotion at work, sit down with your supervisor and create an action plan. Don’t let your potential get lost in a gray area.
Create an Action Plan
Resolutions are fun to create, but the don’t magically become real and tangible. You need to put in work to achieve these goals and accept that it’s not always an easy road. In my 2016 Goal Planner, you’ll find an area to fill in the steps you need to make things happen. Think logically and trust your willpower to get things done.
Mark Your Calendar
Set an alert on your phone or use a calendar to mark your checkpoint. This will be the halfway mark between your start date and your deadline. If your goal isn’t coming to fruition at this checkpoint, it’s time to access your action plan and make tweaks as needed.
Employ the Buddy System
There might be days in your journey where procrastination feels like happiness or your resolutions seem to intimidating to tackle. Don’t let apathy or discouragement get the best of you. One of the most important elements of this plan is employing the buddy system. This tried and true method of accountability reaches past the days of elementary school students teaming up on a field trip. Find the friend, mentor or family member you can rely on to remind you of your goals when you start to slip and confide in them. This is a great opportunity to team up with a friend and help each other achieve their goals as well. Report back every month or so with your progress.
Celebrate your success, big or small. Pop a bottle of bubbly like me (because a glittering bottle of ONEHOPE Wine that benefits charity is a no-brainer…duh), treat yourself to a shopping spree, go for a massage, do a happy dance, take a day off—whatever you classify as a celebration. It’s important to reward yourself for your achievements, even if that reward is simple smiling and saying “Heck yes, I deserve this.” By recognizing and celebrating your victories, you’re wholeheartedly making your vision worth the effort.
Eyeing that glittering bottle of ONEHOPE?
I was so excited to be able to partner with ONEHOPE and spread the word about their amazing brand. If there are three things I believe in it’s social good, champagne and sparkle.
The company was started in 2007 with the goal to give back to various causes year-round. Today, ONEHOPE is a lifestyle brand with a world-class vineyard in the heart of Napa and is a leader in social good. The gold and silver glitter bottles pictured to the right each donated 15 meals to a child in need. Does anyone else know how amazing it is to sip a mimosa and know that you’re simultaneously donating to a great cause? *best feeling ever* To date, ONEHOPE has donated over $1.8 million from the sales of its products to ending hunger, improving education, fighting disease, providing healthcare to those in need, improving the environment and so much more. The impact is inspiring and pretty incredible… just the motivation we all need to get a head start on an impactful 2016.
Now it’s time to make things happen. Don’t forget to download my free 2016 Goal Planner to help you get started. Have a resolution you want to share? Comment below!