Write and Record Your Goals
Having a plan and creating a detailed list of goals (both personal and for blogging, work and/or school) month by month really helps in making sure you succeed and even surpass everything on your list. This year, I created a list of personal goals and blogging goals that I want to achieve throughout the year and then broke them down into monthly goals to get a better outlook of what I need to do each month to achieve my annual goal(s). Nothing helps more than writing things down, so whip out that fancy planner that I know you have and get to writing!
Most of us have such busy, day-to-day schedules and staying organized in the process of getting things done is a serious and difficult but important task. There's nothing worse than forgetting to do something on your list or forgetting an important event or day; so making sure you're organized is crucial! A little organization can really go a long way too. Get a calendar, planner, note pad, anything that you can take with you on the go and make sure that you have it on hand. Not only will this assure that you don't forget anything important, but you'll feel more efficient, accomplished and most of all - stress free. There's no better feeling than being in control of every aspect of your life.
Don't Be Overly Ambitious
So many of us create these huge, long and somewhat daunting lists of New Years resolutions. While these are great and it's important to set goals for yourself, being too ambitious in what you can achieve in any amount of time will only cause stress rather than a sense of accomplishment. Let's be honest, it's likely that you aren't going to lose 20 pounds in one month! If you're too harsh in your goal setting, you'll end up feeling really bad about yourself if you don't meet the goal in your set time period. Setting more short term goals will lead to feeling much better about what you've set out to do, and in turn, you'll feel as if you can set even larger goals.
Try New Things
Don't be afraid to expand your horizons! I've been calling 2016 my "year of positive change" and trying things that you wouldn't normally try can be really great for how you feel about yourself and for learning new things, meeting new people and gaining great experiences. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does not like change; but change can be good and stepping out of your comfort zone is important for personal growth.
Create a Better Work Ethic
Staying motivated can be really difficult, and our least-motivated times usually happen in the worst times too. Getting a blog post written, an essay done on time or getting through your work can be really hard if all you want to do is lounge around, shop online and chit-chat with friends (I speak from way too much experience). I can't begin to count how many times I sit down to write a blog post and just lose all motivation! Creating better working habits can really help with getting things done and separating work time from relaxation time. Allot time in every day for you to disconnect for a little bit, whether it's mid-day or at night, your body and mind will thank you for this time!
Become a Healthier You
This is by far one of the main goals that we set for ourselves in the New Year and throughout the year too. We also know that it's much easier said than done to do so! I've found that the key to becoming healthier is to find something that really works for you. For me, tracking what I eat (but not in a total elimination way) and exercising daily but on my own terms has been so helpful and I've really seen results too! This sort of fits in with being motivated; I took a "diet break" for the holidays and to my surprise, some of my habits that I had formed for being healthier stuck - and instead of gaining weight (like I had assumed), I actually still lost .4 pounds in a three week period of eating close to nothing that great for you!
Now that I'm back on track, I can just tell the difference in my body and how I react to food, rest and exercise. I have way more energy now that I'm not eating all of the holiday sweets in sight and am trying to sleep better too. Sleeping well and being able to feel well-rested is so important, too. I wrote a whole post with tips for sleeping better at night that have all really helped me get better nights of sleep!
Give Credit Where it's Due
We work hard to achieve goals and in our everyday lives. Whether you're meeting all of your goals or struggling on some of them, give yourself some credit! We're human; with the hectic, every day lives that we all live some things often have to get pushed to the back burner. Always try and remind yourself that not meeting every monthly goal is okay. This is something I often have to do when I set my blogging goals - I know that I'm not going to always meet my social media goals, or even page view goals - but the important thing to remember is that if you're trying hard, that is what counts the most.
Create a Memory Jar
Something I started doing a few years ago is creating a memory jar. I plan on doing a DIY post on this in the near future, but taking something as simple as a mason jar will do for this. Every time that something exciting, notable or just something you'd like to remember happens, write it down on a small piece of paper with the date; you can be as detailed or as general with these as you'd like. Then, at the very end of the year, empty the jar and read all of your memories. This will not only help you remember how great the year was, but it'll help put things into perspective and help to re-evaluate for the year coming up.
Have Adventures, Travel Often
This is something I cannot stress enough! I'm already planning some trips for the year and traveling is by far the best thing you can do for yourself. It can be expensive, but one of my favorite sayings is, "travel while you're young and able; don't worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money ever will be". While this may sound irresponsible if it isn't in the budget, then there's one answer - start saving! Taking trips with friends or family and getting to experience new places, things and cultures is the most valuable thing you could do. Here are 20 places you should travel to in your 20's and at any age too!
Forgive and Forget
Holding grudges isn't going to get you anywhere. While I'm guilty of this myself, it's must easier to let things go and not harp on the negatives in your lives. Being able to forgive and grow from experiences is a great goal and resolution to set for yourself and it's never too late to start. Letting things go and being able to move past your grudges and negative influences in life will only make you feel better, be more positive and let you have a better outlook on your life and your year.
Setting attainable goals is a must, but challenging yourself is important to grow too. This goes hand in hand with stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things; try learning a new language or attend an event you never thought you would before. Then, add these experiences to your memory jar!
Time is Crucial
None of us are getting any younger - spend time with your family as much as possible! Time with relatives like grandparents and cousins can really make for such a great time and time is precious. Instead of trying to get out of family events, try harder to go to them. Quality time is the best time!
Taking a few minutes out of each and every day to realize all of the blessings you have in your life and what you have to be thankful for will really put each day into perspective. This is something I need to work on and something everybody should try to remember day after day, year after year. These realizations will lead to more opportunities and being much happier - a whole reason to be thankful in itself!