The new year is a great time for reflection and creating intentions and setting new goals for the upcoming year. Whether you are striving to keep your New Year’s resolutions, change certain habits, learn new things, or simply looking to grow, here’s 5 ways to help you succeed.
Establish routines: We humans are creatures of habit and so creating any kind of change requires that we first create a very specific and realistic plan and then take small steps consistently towards our desired goals. Coming up with a plan and establishing a routine for the day, upcoming week, or month will help you become focused and intentional about how you plan to actualize the desired change(s). For instance, if your goal is to meditate more, you can plan a nightly session after brushing your teeth. Pairing your goal with another activity (brushing) serves as a reminder and having a routine (doing it every night) will help you slowly incorporate meditation in your lifestyle.
Make yourself a priority: You make yourself a priority by practicing self-care and self-compassion. It is crucial to make self-care a regular practice rather than something you do for yourself once in a while. You cannot pour from an empty cup so pay attention to your own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs and regularly engage in self-care practices such as meditation, exercise, hot baths, seeing a therapist, journaling or anything else that helps you recenter and restore. When you take care of yourself, you will feel energized and motivated to stay committed to your goals. Also, be mindfully compassionate towards yourself especially when your harsh inner critic comes out or when you fail at a task. Practice self-compassion by being your own cheer-leader and by offering the same advice to yourself that you would to a friend or family member. Research shows that practicing self-compassion helps people take action and reach their goals, creates emotional resilience and helps bounce back from setbacks.
Set boundaries: Setting boundaries means recognizing your needs and doing what’s best for your growth. It’s learning to say yes or no to people without worrying about disappointing/pleasing them. For instance, it could be saying no to a late night hang out with friends if your goal is waking up early to exercise or saying yes to an invitation to a social gathering when your goal is to meet new people. Start saying no to old patterns and people that no longer support your goals and saying yes to opportunities, people and ideas that align with what you are trying to accomplish.
Find community: Surround yourself with people who you can safely and openly share with and who are supportive and encouraging of the changes you are trying to make. Create a network of people (experts, mentors, family, friends or colleagues) who can hold you accountable, inspire you, offer valuable feedback and provide words of encouragement. When you feel supported by others, you will also realize your potential of helping others towards their growth. In doing so, you will create positive and authentic connections that feel meaningful to you and others within your support network.
Develop a growth mindset: Your mindset, the way you view yourself and the world around you, shapes your perception of what’s attainable and what’s out of your reach. When you cultivate a growth mindset, you recognize your unique abilities and strengths and believe that your intelligence, talent, skill, and success can continuously grow through dedication, commitment, persistence and hard work. With this mindset, you believe that nothing is static and that failed attempts have valuable lessons to offer. So, recognize and celebrate every small win, learn from your setbacks and keep marching forward!
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