New Year, The Vibrant Way

How to Make Realistic & Attainable Goals in the New Year

When it comes to welcoming a new year, especially one after the chaos of 2020, the inevitable pressure of creating a “better self” tends to consume all of social media as well as our never ending thoughts. However, if there is anything society collectively learned from last year, as well as the community of Vibrant Meals, is that high expectations will almost always set us up for disappointment. In consideration of the way our communities and the world stepped into this decade a year ago and how we closed the beginning of this new era of the “Roaring ‘20s,” we ought to reconsider the way we go about the favored new year's resolutions and goals as we enter 2021.

According to experts in recent research, “while as many as 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions [each year], only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goals.” With that statistic in mind, why do we keep setting ourselves up for failure instead of success? What are some ways that we can combat this unsettling statistic and the obstacles that prohibit us from attaining personal growth? And how can we change the way we have approached the new year in the past to ensure a healthier, easier plan to achieve our goals in the future?

Allow us to help you ensure realistic goals for the new year with simple, yet attainable ways to go about achieving new year’s resolutions in 2021. 

Set smaller, specific goals.

In order to set a goal for yourself in the new year, you start with an area where you wish to seek improvement or growth. More often than not that goal tends to be vague, spanning over numerous areas worthy of growth. If a goal for this year is “lose weight” or “eat better,” the broad and generality characteristics of those goals already sets an environment for failure. Rather, take these broad goals and narrow them down. Instead of “lose weight,” find a simple, approachable first step to attaining that goal, like “exercise once or twice a week in January,” to start and gradually increase once you have achieved that goal. 

With this change, specific time to cross this goal off of the list is allowed, creating a feeling of accomplishment, which sets up for success.

Create simple and gentle reminders.

No matter how great your memory is, everyone tends to forget things from time to time, especially in the realm of new year’s resolutions. Creating a technique in calmly nudging yourself to complete a goal is crucial in pursuing and achieving the self growth you wish to attain in 2021.

With a simple alarm or reminder on your phone or allowing a friend to step alongside you to keep you accountable, goals feel less like a burden and more like encouragement.

Rely on personal motivation instead of societal pressure.

The only person that can truly attain personal growth is you. Social media, friends, family, and general society may have their own opinions of what self growth or a full life means to them, but at the end of the day, it is up to you to find and attain personal growth, self control, and motivation.

Instead of pursuing a goal just because someone else is going after it or you find yourself comparing, ask yourself what you truly want and need to accomplish to go after it. 

Be patient and understanding with yourself.

Remind yourself to be patient stepping into this time of beginnings and change. Remind yourself it is okay to have different goals than your peers or smaller goals than when you stepped into last year. Any type of self growth is a victory, whether that be waking up five minutes earlier than the day before or starting the company you have always dreamt of. 

If there is one message we can leave you with in all of this, it is that goals are a beautiful and healthy thing, but remember to be realistic and gentle with yourself with them, especially after the year we just endured. 

Just as New York Times writer Christina Caron says, “even if you don’t accomplish your goal as quickly as you want to or in the exact way you had planned, it’s still important to celebrate that you’re working toward making a positive change.”

Written by Abigail Frazier

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