a simply wonderful new year

Isn’t it splendid to think of all of the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive — it’s such an interesting world.

— Lucy Maud Montgomery

When I was younger, my grandma always told me that when she would lay down at night to go to sleep, she would close her eyes and imagine a blank notebook. As she lay there, she would imagine filling the pages with words, doodles, pictures — wherever her mind would take her — and then she would slowly drift to sleep. Every time December 31st rolls around, I think of the new year in the same way.

To me, a new year is a blank notebook waiting to have its pages filled with memories, experiences and lessons learned. A new year is a clean slate with infinite possibilities of how it will be approached, shaped and carried out. It is entirely unknown what a new year will bring; however, each individual’s personal experience has the ability to be enhanced by making resolutions and goals.

Every New Year’s Eve, I look back on the year and reflect on all of the things that happened. All of my experiences, whether good or bad, shaped my year and brought me to where I am today. As I reflect on the previous year and look forward to the next, I think about everything I hope to accomplish. Whether it be to read one book a week, live a healthier lifestyle or travel more, I work to set realistic goals and expectations for myself.

No matter how much determination you have to accomplish your resolutions in the new year, sometimes it feels as if it is all much easier said than done. While sticking to your resolutions can always be difficult, there are some ways you can keep yourself accountable and work on achieving all of your goals. Here are my tips for staying on track and maintaining your goals in 2019:

Do it for yourself

The number one way to be successful with your resolutions is doing it because you want to. The minute you try to make changes in your own life because of others or for others, it becomes more of a chore than something you want to do, and it makes it much harder to implement those changes. Evaluate the goals that are important to you and focus on those. At the end of the day, you only have to answer to yourself!

Be specific about what you hope to accomplish

New goals are always inspiring, but they can also become overwhelming when they are too broad. Take a different approach to setting resolutions by being more specific about what you hope to accomplish. Not only does that make your goals feel more attainable and manageable, but it also leaves room for improvement or modifications to your goals.

Plan ahead

Talking about your goals for the new year is great, but writing them down will help hold you accountable. Try keeping track in a notebook, on your phone or on your computer, and update your progress toward your goals throughout the year. It will help you stay focused on what you want to accomplish, and it will also be fun to look over at the end of the year to remind yourself how much you can do when you set your mind to something.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

— Theodore Roosevelt

Establishing goals can be tricky. Sometimes we set unattainable standards for ourselves, and it can be heartbreaking when we do not reach those goals. Do not be so hard on yourself if your year does not go the same way you planned it in January. There are an infinite number of factors you are not able to account for yet that will also influence how your year turns out. If you fall off track with your goals or they suddenly become unattainable, take a few steps back, re-evaluate what you have been doing, and modify how you approach these goals. Remember, at the end of the day, you are doing this for yourself, so continue to work toward your new goals at your own pace!

Whether you have a list of what you hope to accomplish this year or have yet to think about it, I do hope that 2019 brings you all happiness, health, love and success! Happy New Year!

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