3 Questions to Help You Plan For 2015

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December 28, 2014
Part of me really, really loves New Year's Resolutions. I'm a lover of fresh starts, rules and making dream-filled goals. Naturally, I love New Year's Resolutions. But as I've been making them, year after year after year, I've noticed something funny. New Year's Resolutions just don't work. Not for me anyways, and I'm guessing, not for a lot of you. Even if you have good intentions, it's hard to set a goal that will be your every-dang-day goal for the next year. We get overambitious. We don't think things out. We make the wrong goals. We set ourselves up to fail. 

But I can't just give up my New Year's planning + dreaming ritual. So I set off to come up with alternatives, ways to prepare myself to succeed in the next year without being unrealistic or locking myself into something that doesn't really put me on the path to where I want to be. And I've come up with a few questions to help you brainstorm. I can't promise these will work; I've never done them. But I'm always up for trying something new, especially if what I'm doing isn't working (amen?!).

To go along with these questions, I've made a quick + simple worksheet to help you work through it. I seriously recommend that you write out your answers and put them in a place where you can see them often.

And also? Don't tell yourself that it only takes 21 days to form a habit and then switch into autopilot. New studies show it takes at least 66 days to form a habit, and it's still ridiculously easy to break it.

What kind of person do you want to become? / Obviously, we can't totally change our personalities and brain wirings, but there's a part within all of us, oftentimes a better part, that can be let out if we make a point of it. Once you know what kind of person you want to be, it's much easier to run your decisions through that idea and know what to do. In 2015, my goal is to be bolder, more confident and more forgiving. These are things that I know are totally already in me--I don't need to change who I am deep down to be those things, ya know? But if I just think about that when I make decisions, I think I'll see some changes.

What habits will get me to where I want to be? / So usually New Year's Resolutions make you think about how cute you'd look if you were a little skinnier or more toned or things like that. Naturally, it's easy to just write down that your goal for 2015 is to get more fit. But if you really want to make positive steps towards your dream, you've got to know what the steps are. Instead of planning to get fit for example, plan to take ten minutes on Sunday afternoon and plan when you will work out that week + then stick to it. Instead of planning to 'get out of debt', choose to replace your morning Starbucks with a cup at home. Make sense?

I've got a couple resources for ideas for good habits here, here, here and here

How can I learn from my mistakes? / A few years ago, I made the goal to read through the entire Bible in the year, a little bit everyday. I was committed, I had a plan, blah blah blah. But sometime in February or March, I was sick and busy and then just forgot and before I knew it, I had gone like a week without doing my readings. But you know what? That's really actually sort of totally okay. I gave up after that + I still to this day (years later!) haven't completed that goal.

That's the wrong response to making mistakes. Instead of giving up, I should have considered why I missed so many days. Did I forget why I wanted that goal in the first place? What I prioritizing my time wrong? Or did I forget to leave margins in my goal? That last one is a big one. We're human and it's hard to have a do-everyday goal if there's no forgiveness for missing a day here or there.

I'd love to hear from you! What are your answers to these questions?! 

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