January first has come and gone, leaving a flurry of diet plans, productivity planners, and gym memberships in its wake.
If you didn’t set lofty aspirational resolutions on the first day of 2023 you might be worried that you missed the boat. But you haven’t. We all know that most people’s resolutions crumble by March when fatigue sets in. So perhaps it’s time to skip resolutions and set achievable, long-term goals that let you focus on the things that really matter and find success in the big accomplishments and the little steps.
It doesn’t matter if you start this on January first or March first; these goals aren’t bound by the calendar. They will be there whenever you’re ready. With all that in mine, how can you set goals that will carry you through the year, so you can have a happy, healthy 2023??
Set Goals, Not Resolutions :
First, it’s important to know the difference between a goal and a resolution.
Resolutions are usually big statements about giant improvements people are going to make to their lives. They are going to work out every day. They are going to lose X amount of weight. They are going to get completely organized so their house is never a mess. These might be what you want, but they’re huge, and leave no room for adjustment. We make these resolutions and expect to accomplish them through sheer willpower.
Goals, on the other hand, suggest more of a process. Someone might make a resolution to keep their house clean every week, and they’ll drive themselves crazy until they burn out. Instead, they could set a goal that they want to reduce the mess in the house, and they can try any number of steps to get there.
Goals allow for progress and steps; they provide flexibility and self-compassion ( though you still have to make the active decision to build those into the goal. )
A goal without flexibility and compassion is just a resolution hiding in plain sight.
Make A Plan:
Planning helps you get things done, be more organized, and more focused. Planning also allows you to control your life in a way that supports your needs! The other benefit to making a plan is that it’s super easy to adjust it to your timeframe. If you don’t figure out what you want to accomplish this year until April, you can make a plan that fits the timeline you need. Scheduling everything out sometimes makes people stress, so keep the plan as loose or structured as you need to. Build in flexibility and grace. But having things laid out might help you chart the path you’d like to follow.
Focus On What You Can Control:
To do 2023 well, set your effort towards the things you can control.
If a family member is causing trouble for you, don’t focus on changing them. Set boundaries for yourself and leave them to their own devices. If the company you’re working for is struggling, but you’re doing your job well, don’t take that trouble onto your shoulders. You can’t do anything about it; all you can do is continue working or start looking for a new job. The company’s problems are the company’s problems.
Focusing on what we have control over can make us feel powerful. Instead of fighting things we can’t influence, we can work with the things we can and actually make some progress. This frees up our brains and doesn’t drain our reserves. Focus your effort to work on the things that really matter to you.
Take Care Of Yourself:
Some goals take tons of effort. But even if they’re worth all that effort, remember that you still want to be standing after you achieve them. So in the midst of whatever you’re trying to do, remember to take time for yourself. This is where so many people struggle; they start to
sacrifice their own health and happiness to accomplish a goal that will theoretically give them health and happiness. Remember what we talked about earlier—a goal isn’t just the end-point, it’s the process. So don’t wait for the end point to enjoy things and care for yourself in whatever you can.
January first may be long gone. But that doesn’t mean your chance to make positive changes in your life has passed. You can make changes and set goals at any time of the year. Practice self-compassion and self-care, and understand both the end-point and the process, and you can have a fulfilling and happy year.
If you want help setting or navigating your goals, there’s no shame in reaching out for support.
The therapists at Marble Wellness would be happy to walk alongside you while you figure out what you want out of this year and how to get there. You can reach out to us through our
website, and we will find you the support and understanding you need to have a fantastic 2023.
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