You Don’t Need a New Year to Reach for Your Goals

Last updated on March 10, 2024.
Black and white photograph of the beach.
Photo by Marie Cullis.

Happy New Year!

Many of us get caught up in setting New Year’s resolutions that come from good intentions but get lost in the mix of daily life. We get back to work, get the kids back in school, and the extracurricular activities pick back up. For many people, the credit card bills roll in as well, like a hangover from Christmas. Then maybe working additional hours to pay those bills adds to the inability to work toward those resolutions.

I gave up New Year’s resolutions a few years ago. I heard someone say they didn’t set New Year’s resolutions because they didn’t need a certain date to set goals, and I loved the idea so much that I immediately adopted it! If I decide I want or need to do something, I need to do it right away. I don’t want to wait for someday anymore.

“Someday is not a day of the week.” —Joshua Fields Millburn

You don’t need a new year to have a clean slate. Permit yourself to start over now. Allow yourself to start working toward your goals now. Don’t wait until next week, next month, or next year. Let your heart guide you, and live your best life now.

Black and white photograph of a tree branch with a single dead leaf.
Photo by Bea Sz. on Unsplash.

But how do you start?

Your goals should come from your heart.

What do you really want? I’m not asking what you should be doing, because we all know what we “should” be doing, right? Focus less on the things you think you should change and more on the things you love and desire for your life. What can you remove from your life that isn’t adding value?

“Don’t tie your success to the results. When you are hyper-focused on the end of the goal…you discount everything that unfolds along the way. There is great opportunity for growth and joy long before you reach the end. What’s more successful than that?” -Courtney Carver, Be More With Less

Black and white photograph of a snow covered creek.
Photo by Tono Graphy on Unsplash.

Start small.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, says that we need to start with small behaviors and habits to achieve bigger goals. New behaviors create a lifestyle change, and our outcomes come from that – not the goals themselves. Start small! He wrote, “New goals don’t deliver new results. New lifestyles do. And a lifestyle is not an outcome, it is a process. For this reason, all of your energy should go into building better rituals, not chasing better results.”1

“Make it so easy you can’t say no.” -Leo Babauta2

Let Go of Guilt.

I’ve written this in other articles: let go of guilt. Feeling bad that you didn’t accomplish something or haven’t been putting in enough effort toward a goal won’t motivate you. It just keeps you down.

“You’re not gonna feel like doing what you have to do all the time. That’s the truth and it makes you human. Don’t beat yourself up for leaning into the lazy space now and then. Just don’t claim that space as your new identity. You have places to go and goals to crush.” -Mel Robbins3

Black and white photograph of trees growing in a lake.
Photo by Dave on Unsplash.

My non-New Year’s Resolutions

I want to continue to spend as much time with my little boy as I can. He makes me laugh and feel joy and I want to maximize this.

I plan to continue working on my health by creating individual small habits (per James Clear) centered around diet, fitness, and mindfulness.

I want to spend more time writing and I will continue my quest to find alternatives to using disposable items, plastic items, striving for zero waste, and living minimally.

I am continuing to work on building my self-confidence and I’m still learning how to say no. I’ve just downloaded Sarah Knight’s newest publication on audiobook, F*ck No!: How to Stop Saying Yes When You Can’t, You Shouldn’t, or You Just Don’t Want To. I also follow Mel Robbins on social media.

That is by no means an exhaustive list. They’re just the ones that spilled out of my heart without me thinking too hard about it. Listen to your inner voice for those – that’s where the good stuff is.

Thanks for reading, please share and subscribe!

 

Footnotes:

  1. Article, “5 Common Mistakes That Cause New Habits to Fail,” by James Clear, jamesclear.com, accessed March 10, 2024.
  2. Article, “The Four Habits that Form Habits,” by Leo Babauta, zenhabits.net, accessed March 10, 2024.
  3. Article, “Did you quit? Here’s why it’s okay.,” by Mel Robbins, linkedin.com, August 9, 2019.

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