No matter what is going on in a person’s life it is hard to ignore that during the beginning of the New Year, people want to focus on change and self-improvement. While setting goals for a “new you” has its appeal, many people fail to meet them or give up by February. Read on to learn more about intentions and how looking at the past year can help the new year’s goals.
Most people make a goal when the clock strikes midnight whether it’s specific or broad, voiced or kept silent. The past is a good predictor of the future.
Evaluate Old Goals
Reflecting on previous goals can offer valuable insight as you develop a new list of resolutions. Ask yourself questions such as
- What challenges did I face?
- Did I have control over those challenges?
- What similarities and/or differences do previous goals have with my new ones?
Answering these questions ahead of time can help you avoid repeating old habits.
Anticipate Challenges with a Plan
It is beneficial to create an action plan for how you will reach your goals and respond to stressful and awkward situations that could throw you off track. In short, if X happens, I will do Y. For example, if your goal is not to drink alcohol, have a rehearsed response ready should you be offered an alcoholic drink at a party, such as “No, thank you. But I will take a water.”
Brainstorming scenarios and your desired response prepare you to respond intentionally, rather than reverting to old habits. Remember to make those resolutions realistic no matter how small!