Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of 2018, something Toys R Us and Roseanne’s career couldn’t even do!
2019 brings the promise of a new Aladdin, the Women’s World Cup, and a multitude of epic Trump tweets. But it could be so much more! What if you made 2019 the year you finally achieved some of those goals floating around in your head? Here are some practical tips to help you achieve your 2019 resolutions and make this your most exciting year to date!
1. WRITE THEM DOWN.
Studies show that you are 42% more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down somewhere. That’s a huge difference. Grab a journal and write down your goals somewhere. Or put it on a note in your phone so it follows you around all the time. It’s simple, but it makes the goal a reality and gives you immediate self- accountability.
2. MAKE THEM AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE.
A common mistake people make in failing to reach their goals comes before they even start. They make their goal too broad, where it’s impossible to track or evaluate. Instead of a goal to just “Lose weight this year”, go more specific and write “Lose 25 pounds by May 1.” Instead of “Be more positive”, write down “Create a daily gratitude journal.” The more specific, the stronger the goal. And the more likely it is to actually get done.
3. BREAK THEM INTO SMALLER STEPS.
A lofty goal is only words if you don’t have a plan to get it done. The bigger your goal, the more necessary it is to break it up into bite-sized steps. If one of your goals is to get out of debt, break it up into monthly goals you can budget towards each week. If you want to run a half marathon in 2019, grab a half-marathon training program offline to help you progress towards it with each run.
4. HAVE A WEEKLY CHECK-IN.
This one might be the biggest game changer! Put a weekly 30-minute reflection time at the very end of your week to evaluate and track the progress of your goals. At the least, it’s a weekly reminder of the things you want to achieve. At its best, this check-in time challenges you to think how you can move closer to them next week.
5. MAKE THE FIRST STEP THE EASIEST STEP.
Momentum is critical. The first step is always the hardest step. So make that first step (or first couple steps) super easy to get some momentum under your belt. Once you start to see the progress, you’ll kick it up even more!
If you’re interested in more info on this subject matter, check out Michael Hyatt’s book Your Best Year Ever. It’s a fantastic book that has helped me achieve my goals for this past year. I hope 2019 is an incredibly exciting year for you and your family!
Stephen is the pastor of Grace Church in West Bridgewater, MA. He is also pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry from Gateway Seminary. Stephen lives in Bridgewater, MA with his wife, Katy, and two daughters, Hazel & Holly.