The New Year is an opportunity for fresh starts and self-improvement. If you’re like most people in the world, you have some ideas of what you would like to do better in the coming year. But having some ideas for self-improvement isn’t difficult – it’s turning those ideas into accomplishments that requires hard work, determination, and some planning.
This article will advise service members how to make New Year’s resolutions that are attainable, purposeful, and organized.
Take some time to think
Before the New Year, take some time to think deeply about your current state. Is there any area in your life that could use some improvement? Is there somewhere you would like to be this time next year? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself during this step.
If you’re struggling to think of improvement areas, try going somewhere with less distractions and focus on your past, where you are now, and where you think you’re headed. Another helpful idea with this step is to reach out to some close friends or family members to see if they have any suggestions.
Make your goals
Now that you’re aware of the direction you’d like to go, you’re ready to start building your goals.
Make them realistic
It’s crucial that you make your goals realistic and achievable. We’re not saying you shouldn’t push yourself or dream big, but just be sure your goals are possible.
Make sure they’re within your control
Another good idea when making goals is to focus on matters that are within your control. Don’t let your goals depend on anyone else that may not be as determined as you. They’re your goals, so be sure you alone can make them happen.
Make them flexible
As a service member, there’s a solid chance outside factors are going to affect your goals. Whether its deployment or relocation, your goals will be somewhat flexible. Be mentally prepared for changes that can take place, and adjust your goals as needed.
Weed it out
Make sure you’re not setting too many goals as well. It may be achievable to bench 20 more pounds in the gym, but when you combine that with launching your own business, going back to school, or learning a new language — things get a lot less doable. It’s great to push your limits, but don’t overload yourself because too many achievable goals can quickly become unachievable.
Write them down
To ensure you don’t forget your goals, it’s always best to make a list. The kind of list you choose is completely up to you. If you’re old school, a physical journal or notebook is a great place to document your goals. But if you’re a techie, a simple notes page on your smartphone will also do the trick. Just be sure it’s somewhere it can’t be lost or accidentally deleted.
Organize your goals
Once your list has been created, it’s a good idea to organize and plan a roadmap to achieve your goals. There’s no correct way to do this, but some people recommend breaking down each yearly goal into a smaller goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 60 lbs. by the end of next year, break it down to 5 lbs. a month. Or if your goal is to run four miles, start with making it a mile by March, two miles by June, three miles by September, and then four miles by December.
Share your goals
As a service member, you know how beneficial it is to have a community that wants you to succeed. That’s why it can be a great idea to share your New Year’s Resolutions with friends and family members that want the best for you. Having a supportive community can encourage you to work hard, stay on track, and ultimately accomplish your goals.
That being said, it’s understandable to have resolutions that you would rather keep to yourself. If that’s the case, don’t feel pressure to complete this step.
Start your goals
After you’ve determined, documented, organized, planned, and maybe even shared your goals, you’re ready to start achieving them. To do this, we would recommend starting now. Starting your goals early will help you build routines and prepare yourself to be in the best position when your timeline begins.