Most of us want to start the New Year with great intentions of making changes that will bring a brand new freshness in our lives. If you’re among this group of people, you probably already have a list of things or goals that you’ve set out to begin doing as the clock strikes midnight into New Year’s Day.
I have two questions.
- How many times have you set these goals in the past at precisely the same time of the year?
- Have you been able to follow through your list of goals for more than two weeks or two months?
If you’re like me, the answer is NO!
In the past, I pretty much sucked at sticking to any of the goals I set for the New Year. The problem was believing that waking up on that particular day, the first day of a brand new year had some magical, powerful force which could transform me into a brand new me.
Well, so much for that! It never worked.
Here’s what I’ve learned from my personal experience. Hoping it can spark something in you and experience your own truth.
New Year’s Day is just that: the first day of the New Year.
We can celebrate in whatever way we chose but, it’s unrealistic to set out to change our lives with a LONG list on that one day.
Another thing is that we put way too MANY goals and expectations to accomplish all at once. We expect to see results, achieve our end goals immediately. We don’t see that real transformation requires effort which involves many tiny teeny steps.
It’s great to want to change for the better-be healthier, more active, creative, build stronger loving relationships, etc. Trying to change everything all at once, is just too much and overwhelming. At some point, we find ourselves not being able to keep up with all of them. We feel like we failed. We end up convincing ourselves that our life situations are not that bad. We make justifications, accept our mediocrity and go back to doing the same thing.
I’m not saying it’s impossible. It doesn’t mean you give up. It certainly doesn’t mean you just go out partying for New Year’s Eve, sleep off the hangover and stay put. I’m saying there’s an easier way, a more realistic way towards sticking to your aspirations.
In our society, setting goals has become the ultimate solution to becoming a success and having a more meaningful life.
There’s nothing wrong with setting goals. The problem is when we identify ourselves with outer achievements and appearances. We focus so much on the end goal, on the long list of things that we get distracted from being fully present NOW! We get distracted from being our own true identity and all we can accomplish when we identify ourselves from the inside instead of the outside.
In other words, we need to have a strong foundation before building a house that will not crumble down and fall apart.
If we want change to happen in our lives, it starts from within.
It starts from where you are NOW. Accepting you are where you’re supposed to be NOW. It doesn’t mean you stop aspiring to new things. It means you stop limiting yourself by end goals. You realize that real change happens by enjoying every moment with all the little steps needed to be taken in the present moment.
What if instead of trying to change yourself to become this perfect, ideal version of yourself overnight, you give yourself permission to take small daily steps towards becoming a better version of yourself?
What’s the difference?
You allow yourself to fall back along the way.
You accept that you’re perfect with your imperfections.
You won’t feel like a failure and give up when you slip.
Becoming a better version of yourself happens everyday with small steps and actions.
Sometimes we focus so much on trying to change our core identity, we forget about the strengths we already have. The best set goals are ones that strengthen something you already have but have been dismissing.
For any goal, ask yourself,
“What do YOU want for yourself and YOUR life?”
This will help to avoid focusing on goals you think you ‘should’ be doing that don’t reflect what’s really important to you.
From there, ask yourself, “What small actions do I need to take to get there?” Small actions are easier to accomplish and very important. Be present in the moment by putting your attention on a small action you can take everyday that gets you closer to what matters to you most. After every action, no matter how small, tell yourself, “I’m one step closer than I was yesterday.”
Remember, any small action is sufficient, even if it might not seem that way; it is the secret of success.
Whatever happened this past year, be grateful for all the lessons it offered to becoming a better version of yourself. Begin the New Year with gratitude. Smile at yourself for being who you are. Remember, a smile does go a long way! It will be your first tiny action towards a fresh new beginning!
“A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches and thoughts…” – Swami Sivananda
Wishing you lots of Love, Peace and Joy!
I would love to hear your thoughts and any personal experience in sticking to your goals in the comments.