A new year is a reason for life-changing habits, fancy planners, and body and relationship goals.
While healthy habits and making the best of a fresh start can help us feel accomplished, we often fall into the trap of either not taking action or cramming all our action into a tiny window of time—like the last 30 days of 2018.
I recall the year I said I’d be at a certain number on a scale or reach a specific financial goal in my business. I purchased books I wanted to read but they just remained unopened in the Kindle app on my phone.
With little luck in productivity and accomplishing all the things I had set out to do, I later discovered what helped me achieve more was by doing less, ironically.
Here’s to setting more realistic goals for 2019 with a few tips to help us reduce overwhelm and get more fulfillment.
1. Start with less; start with joy.
Start with asking yourself what you want to stop doing first before you set goals for what you want to do next. Without creating a foundation, it’s much harder to move forward. Many times what gets in the way of our goals is when we don’t assess how we feel about our current responsibilities. For instance, instead of buying new clothes for your wardrobe, what should you give away first? Is there a pattern that you recognize in the way you shop? Similar to the decluttering method by Marie Kondo on creating a wardrobe that brings you joy, what’s one thing you can remove from your plate that no longer brings you joy? Then make goals that support the lifestyle you want to create.
2. Substitute and replace.
Sometimes swapping out things is an easier adjustment than starting new and unfamiliar goals. When it comes to eating healthier, what is one item you can switch out in your diet? Rather than pursuing a green juice cleanse, can you exchange pop for kombucha or flavoured carbonated water? I used to love sugary drinks and one day I realized kombucha and carbonated flavoured water gave me the same satisfaction. Small easy to do steps that you do consistently usually produce a higher success rate than big scary goals that keep you from taking action.
3. Do self care by not doing.
To me, self-care is about curating my life. It doesn’t necessarily mean a daily bubble bath or adding on a specific self-care regimen all the time. A lot of the times we have stressors and obligations that have become so integrated with our life that we don’t realize it’s affecting our wellness.
Some examples of self care for me includes replacing mindless Instagram scrolling with a good book, doing creative projects that aren’t client work, and quitting things I signed up for that I’ve been doing out of duty instead of a cheerful heart and replacing that by going to bed an hour or two earlier. What areas in your life do you see potential in curating so you can feel your absolute best?
4. Spend less time on social media.
Have you ever looked at how many hours you’ve spent on a social platform per day? As someone who uses her social media on a regular basis for business, I know how draining it can be. Instead of being productive, social media has robbed me of my time and energy and as a result, I’m spending less time on the important parts of my business. I’m also spending less time with those I could give more of my time to. If your work requires you to be on social media, there are definitely ways to be more effective by carving out hours in a week to plan out your content and posting strategies.
5. Cut ties. Stop spending time with people who steal your joy.
As human beings, we desire relationships and happiness. It’s so easy to be involved with people in our life for a long period of time without realizing that they don’t necessarily make us feel or do our best. We’ve gotten used to being comfortable with how we’ve always been treated that it has become quite difficult to remove ourselves. Do the people in your life support the dreams and goals you have going on for the new year? Are they genuinely interested in your happiness? With big aspirations, you’ll also need to spend time with those who fuel your dreams.
6. Say no to things and activities that you’re not interested in.
You can say no and still win at life. In fact, saying no is a huge part of having more happiness. The best part is, you get to define what happiness looks and feels like to you. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything” ~Warren Buffet. I love this quote because you’re definitely less inclined to do all the things when you say no to most of them.
7. More gratitude less complaining.
A positive attitude can help you reach new heights. With a positive attitude, we put ourselves in a better mood which means our brains have a higher likelihood of finding solutions and answers to our problems and challenges. The year I went on a mission trip to serve in India and came back was when a friend told me I’ve changed. He said I didn’t complain like I used to. A grateful heart goes a long way.
What are some action steps you can take to put your heart in a place of gratitude?
I encourage you to achieve more than the resolutions you’ve set out for yourself in 2019, by pursuing a renewed perspective and purpose in life.