It’s a new year, and that means it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions! Even if you don’t take the time to sit down and write out resolutions, everyone has some goal or objective they want to accomplish when the new year rolls around. Whether those goals are related to weight, finances, spirituality, or family, we all have, in the back of our minds, the desire to make next year better than the last. Whatever your resolutions may be, Hulk has three suggestions to help you SMASH your expectations for 2015.
1. Focus On Weeks or Months, not Days.
About this time every year popular blogs will be littered with daily charts and plans for accomplishing goals in the new year. Christian sites will post a plethora of daily Bible reading plans, weight loss sites will post daily exercise and eating charts, and financial sites will give you handy dandy budgeting tools to help manage your finances daily. Hulk says to SMASH those daily plans! Why? Daily plans are tedious and depressing. First, if you miss one day you feel like you have failed or you have to catch up. If you miss another, and another, you inevitably end up tossing the whole plan out the window because there’s no way you’ll ever catch up.
Be realistic and set one goal for each month. Having twelve simple goals makes the timeline more manageable and realistic. Instead of trying to read three to four chapters of the Bible every day, why not focus on one Book of the Bible every month? Plan to read it, study it, and get to know it. To help ensure retention, plan to write a little blurb about your reading in a journal on your blog at the end of each month. I know, you all think you have to read the Bible in a year. Guess what, there’s no crown in heaven for reading the Bible in a year. Take your time, read one book a month. If the book is short, read it 4 times, if it’s long, read as much of it as you can.
Do the same thing for any other goal or objective you may have. Set monthly goals for your finances or your weight loss. Plan to lose so much weight, or save so much money, monthly. Figure out how you’re going to do that and execute the plan. Don’t check your progress for a full month. You may not hit your goal, but you’ll definitely see your progress more clearly. If you fail, you hit the reset button in month two, and try again.
2. Setup Monthly Goal Reminders Ahead of Time
There are a lot of ways to track progress and keep yourself on point. You can use calendar apps or setup a progress chart that you check in on from time-to-time. However, I think the best way to encourage yourself, and to keep yourself on point, is to schedule motivating reminders before the year starts to hit your inbox at the beginning of every month using a site like FutureMe.org.
FutureMe.org allows you to write yourself an e-mail that is delivered on a particular date in the future. If you have set monthly goals for yourself, you can schedule an e-mail to be delivered to your inbox on the first of every month to remind you to keep after it. For example, let’s say you decided to study the first twelve books of the Bible in 2015. On February 1st you could have an e-mail sent to you that says,
Hey! It’s February 1st. It’s time to start reading the book of Exodus. You may not have finished Genesis yet, but let’s start fresh today and get to work on Exodus.
If you’re a blogger, this can be a great way to remind yourself to blog your progress. Also, if you’re trying to accomplish a particular task with a group of friends, this is a great way to remind them as well.
3. Celebrate Progress
I have very rarely heard anyone say at the end of a year, “I successfully completed my New Year’s resolutions from last year.” By setting up monthly goals and reminders, you can celebrate your progress monthly and have twelve bite-sized celebrations to share with people at the end of the year. A lot of folks are writing year-end Christmas, or New Year’s letters to keep family and friends up-to-date. If you kept track of, and celebrated, your progress monthly, you’ll have twelve bullet points to share with family and friends for the new year. This can help set up the following year’s goals as well.
Wouldn’t it be great, at the end of 2015, to be able to say, “Last year I set out to accomplish a goal, and I SMASHED it!”
Conclusion: Smash 2015
In order to SMASH 2015 you’re going to have to set realistic and concise goals that you can wrap your arms around. Hulk has some pretty big arms, and even he can’t wrap his arms around 365 daily goals. Instead, set a goal for each month, and then set out to SMASH them. Even if you fail to complete one month’s goals, you’ll get to hit the restart button every month and try again. If you set up monthly reminders ahead of time, you’ll be able to celebrate your successes and keep yourself on point all year long. In the end, you may not complete a single monthly goal in 2015. However, if you hit only half of your monthly goals you’ll be better off at the end of 2015 than if you had given up in mid-February because you were overwhelmed by your 365 daily goals. Join the Hulk, and let’s SMASH 2015 together!