New year, new you
...at least that's how we always start. Then junk food creeps back into our diets, the gym seems further and further away, and that purse just is too cute...
It doesn't have to be that way.
Just because "everyone" wants to eat right, exercise more, and be more realistic with their budget doesn't mean you need those resolutions. Creating lasting positive change requires complete commitment to your goals. Find what will make you happy for 2016.
Don't confuse goals with dreams.
Dreams are, by nature, unachievable. It leads you to wish, rather than plan. Wishing and dreaming may inspire your goals, but shouldn't replace them.You'll always be wishing and dreaming for a life--or body, or wealth--that isn't yours. I'm not saying not to; achieving anything requires optimism it can be done. That optimism, however, should stay firmly rooted in what you can do.
As the quote says above: a goal serves as the vehicle to turn your dreams into plans. Build them based on what you've learned. Make your goals specific and actionable enough that you feel you can take real steps towards them. For instance, instead of "eating right," try, "eat vegetables in at least 7 meals per week." That way, you're no longer denying yourself what you really want (that piece of cake) but thinking about the positive change you'll make (adding vegetables).
Frame your goals not by what you won't do, but what you will.
Staying positive helps you cement your goals into actions. Focus on what you'll learn, build, and create. Thinking about a lofty goal all at once, like a summit, can make it seem too daunting to continue. Moving step by step with the positive change--this rock, that footing--turns the impossible into reality. Regardless of setbacks, there will always be a way forward by framing your goals this way.
That way when you look at your resolutions you won't feel a pang of guilt about your transgressions; instead, you can hone in on your actions you'll take to achieve your goal.
Sharing your goals holds you accountable.
Whether that's through social media or on a phone call to your folks, let someone who you care about know what you want to do. They will be your cheerleaders for the year.
Who knows what a connection can spark, if they know what you are looking for?