How to Set Yourself Up for Success in 2018
We’re a few weeks into January and it’s the perfect time to think about your year. Now that the excitement around the holidays and New Year resolutions is over, it’s the ideal time to think about what you want out of the year. You, like the rest of us, were likely overwhelmed with articles about making New Year’s resolutions and how to make these resolutions stick. Unfortunately, too often we frame our resolutions around negativity. We only look at the aspects of our lives and selves that we believe aren’t good enough. First of all, you are good enough. Secondly, we want you to rethink your resolutions. We want you to ditch any resolutions that resemble the following: “lose 10 lbs”, “get fit”, “eat better”, “go to the gym”, “do more”, or “be a better person”. Instead we want you to think about the stuff of life that makes you excited. Ask yourself how you can do more of what you love and spend more time with those you love. Knowing your passions and what excites you is the first step in creating resolutions that matter. For example, the SierraSil team derives deep motivation and excitement from the people who tell us how SierraSil has changed their lives. Knowing that we’re making a difference is great launching pad in helping us define what we want out of 2018. Make Your Resolutions Meaningful Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning for snowshoe trip with friends than it is to get up early to go to work? This all comes down to doing things because we want to – not because we feel forced to do so. And this is why so many of us fail at our resolutions. We define resolutions that we believe we should be making rather than the ones we want to do. Sure, there are lots of articles that tell us how obesity rates are rising or that the general population doesn’t exercise enough or that we spend too much time in front of the computer. When we’re bombarded by this constant negative spin, it becomes very easy to get caught-up in the aspects of life that we think are not quite good enough. Remember when we asked you to think about what gets you excited? Now what if you created a resolution or two around these? For example, perhaps you enjoy cooking and want to volunteer more – a good resolution is to find a food bank and volunteer twice a month cooking muffins and granola for the food bank patrons. Or maybe you want to go on a hiking vacation to a national park but you’re struggling with joint discomfort – a good resolution is to learn what you can do to naturally support your joints to alleviate discomfort and then begin an easy walking program – slowly but surely, your joints will feel better and you’ll have built the fitness and strength you need to enjoy your hiking trip. These two examples are framed around positivity and include measurable and meaningful goals. When your resolutions are positioned as doable and meaningful, it’s much easier to stay focused. Define the Motivation Behind Your Resolutions Do you know why you’ve made the resolutions you’ve made? Do you know why you want to make these changes? What will these resolutions do for you? In other words, what is going to motivate you to make the changes needed to succeed at your resolutions? It’s amazing what motivated people can do. We’ve all read articles about people who overcome insurmountable odds to perform amazing feats of athleticism, volunteerism, and professionalism. These people are motivated by passion and knowing that the small sacrifices and changes they have to make are all for a goal they truly believe in. We want you to have this same motivation, you’ll need it when it’s raining out and you don’t feel like going for a run or for when you’d rather skip the monthly community board meeting. But you won’t because you really do want to run your first marathon or you really are committed to seeing a new park in your neighborhood. When you keep the big picture in mind and are excited by what it means for you, it’s so much easier to enjoy the steps along the way. When you wrap your resolutions in this outlook, it puts an end to the all-or-nothing approach. Guaranteed, there will be days when you don’t do what you believe you should do to meet your goal or times when you lose motivation – this is okay – you’re only human. Remember, no one is perfect. Enjoy 2018 Finally, we want you to drop the idea that this year is going to be the “best year ever”. Instead we want you to appreciate every day you have. Endeavor to make today a good day. Do something that gets you closer to your resolution or don’t – it’s okay. You need to remember to give yourself a break. If you don’t want to get up early on Saturday, then don’t, sleep in and do something completely different. Have a movie day or invite some friends over for board games. Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up because you’re not doing what you “should” be doing. There is no “should” in your 2018. Enjoy life. Take it all in. Think about your resolutions and use them as your guide but don’t let them become your taskmaster. 2018 is going to be good. It might even be great. Whatever happens, know that you’re doing it right. We want to hear from you. Visit the SierraSil Facebook community page and tell us about your resolutions. What are your motivations for 2018? What do you want to accomplish?