By Nicole Cress
A new year is upon us, and it’s that time again. I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in setting goals and intentions. Every year at this time I get out my new Passion Planner and mark all my important dates—and then I start to ask myself how I want to be different in the coming year. I love taking the time to dig deep and ask myself what I really want out of life.
Let’s think bigger picture. Why just ask yourself, “What do I want this year?” when the important question is, “What do I want my life to look like?” Once you have that figured out, you can set down the details of what needs to happen this year in order for you to get the life you’ve always dreamed of.
The reality is, goals take action. They require time, energy, and consistency, and that is where most people fail when it comes to resolutions. It’s much easier to simply give up the minute a challenge is thrown the way—because they don’t have a clear vision of what they really want. This year it’s time to stop settling. The following points will take you through the process of determining what will make you happy this year and listing the actions you must take to get there.
Write down your answers to each of these steps:
1) Start by forming a clear vision of what you’d like your life to be—something that really excites you! A desire so strong that it pulls you out of bed in the morning. You may have to spend some time on this. Think about what your purpose is. What comes naturally that you love doing? How can you shine your light?
2) Determine your why. You need strong reasons that you will help you follow through with your plan. Once you discover your why, you can ditch your excuses and get down to business. Don’t let outside sources dictate what you want or who you are.
3) Keep your goal in front of you! You can’t decide on a vision and then never look at it, so review your vision, and feel it every day. You may want to create a vision board or take a picture that you keep on your phone. Whatever it is, you need to see it daily as a reminder of why you are working so hard and what you are striving for. Again, let me encourage you to think BIG. If you want lasting change, then raise your standards. Don’t forget your dreams.
4) Start before you are ready. Let’s be honest. When are we really 100 percent ready for anything? Make one or two commitments to things that you will do each day that will get you closer to your goal.
5) Develop routines. The secret to success is in your daily habits. The routines that you have now are the ones that reflect where your life is currently. So if you don’t like one area of that life, then it’s time to change the routine. What areas or areas do you want to improve—your career, finances, fitness and health, personal relationships, free time? For each area that you want to improve, go through the above action steps and make a plan. As I said, it’s not enough just to think about each of these points. You must write out your answers, and be specific! What are the new habits and routines that will get you to your goals?
This may be a different approach from what you’ve used before, but that’s the point—to make 2017 different! I highly recommend that you get to writing, planning, and dreaming. Carve out some time over the next few days to write out your goals. Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself. The Passion Planner, which I mentioned above, is an excellent tool for this, but you can use any day planner–type calendar or notebook. As you set down the action steps you are going to take to get yourself closer to where you want to be, know that something great is already on the way.
Happy New Year!
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Nicole Cress is a health and wellness coach and the co-owner (with her husband, Allen Cress) of Maximum Performance Training, where she helps others reach their fitness goals through online coaching. She holds a degree in exercise science from Transylvania University and advocates living a balanced lifestyle, guiding her clients to focus on being whole and well in mind, body, and spirit. A national-level bikini competitor who has been competing since 2010, Nicole is also a Team BeautyFit-sponsored athlete with a mission to help women feel beautiful inside and out.