By Robyn Dutton
Each new year brings new opportunity to make it slightly better than the last, slightly more successful and slightly more memorable. We vow this one will be different, one where we are a better employee, more loyal friend, bigger risk taker, world traveler and wealthier or healthier version of ourselves. We are seeking positive changes in ourselves and the world, and for that, I think we ought to ditch the word resolution, and call these action-oriented goals. Resolutions are so often forgotten because the action step is non-existent. Millennials have been challenged by others who say they can’t commit to anything, so here’s your chance to take action and prove them wrong.
First thing’s first, make your goal a SMART goal, meaning it needs to follow the 5 criteria in the acronym. The goal must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Write these goals down to solidify them and put them in a box or planner where you can look back on them. To get started on these goals, make a list of what you like and don’t like about your current life. An easy way to figure this out is to notice what gives you energy and what depletes you. Do more of what energizes you, and less of what drains you and you’ll be on the right path. When you set these goals, hold yourself accountable by joining up with friends and letting them know about your plans. If it’s a yoga class every day for a month you’re aiming for, grab a friend who can meet you there to make it more enjoyable. Just make sure you don’t have friends who are as lazy as you, then it’s a double negative. Kidding…sort of.
As for what exactly you should aspire to, that’s personal and can be different for everyone. At the top of most millennial’s lists are: eating healthier, losing weight, saving more, spending less…you get the drift. Want to lose weight? Workout and eat less. Want to save money? Create a budget and stick to it. These are basic desires that just need a little hard work and an appropriate plan to go with them. I’d like to add a couple more 2017 goal items to these if you’re ok with it. For one, spend more time outside. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends a whopping 87% of their life indoors and only 7% of their entire life outdoors. Fresh air is good for you, so get outside to have a coffee, go for a walk, anything that will up this low number. Secondly, write thank you notes…to the universe and yourself. According to Forbes, the act of expressing gratitude can increase your physical and psychological health, self-esteem and help you sleep better. I’d call that a 4 for 1 special. Lastly, read. Even if you only read 1 book every few months, you will reap humongous benefits. Reward yourself after each milestone to ensure you stay motivated and on the path to success.
If you break your promise, start over the next day. Every day (not every January) is an opportunity to be a better version of yourself. Start now, and don’t stop. Cheers to a healthier and happier 2017.
Day 1 of 365. Let’s go.