Your Resolution Reality Check!

goal setting tips Jan 18, 2023
Woman making a list of New Years resolutions in a notebook

Whether you set New Year's resolutions or not, really knowing yourself and what contributes to your long-term happiness is - in my humble opinion - especially important during the menopause transition. When symptoms start, you can buoy up your overall quality of life by doing more of the things that help you feel grounded, connected, and happy.

I actually really love the process of reflecting on the previous year and dreaming up possibilities for the new one. Most years I’ll take myself out for a solo lunch or dinner and record my thoughts in a notebook that I’ll later break down and refine. But translating those hopes and dreams into actionable, do-able steps takes skill. And most of us go about the process all wrong, which unfortunately means we set ourselves up to fail right from the start!

So here’s a little advice from a habit-change expert to set you up for success:

New year, same you.

Nothing has magically changed now that it’s 2023. You don’t suddenly have more time, brain space, capacity, motivation, and discipline. All the ways that you self-sabotage have not suddenly disappeared (this is not a dig btw - we all do it). Your wild, unpredictable, messy life is still all of those things and will continue to be all of those things. And awareness of this fact is the key to your success because it allows you to revise your goals accordingly, instead of abandoning them.

Here’s what that looks like:

Look at your list of hopes and dreams for the new year and circle the most important one. Why? Because - REALITY CHECK - as a woman in mid-life heaven knows you don’t have the extra capacity to work on several goals at once. But with careful, strategic planning you can successfully follow through with one goal.

Then, take time to think through the following questions. This is the part where I recommend taking yourself out for a solo meal at one of your favorite restaurants. There is power in taking pen to paper, so be sure to record your answers.

• Why is this goal important to you?

• Where and when will you make your goal happen?

• How will you remember to keep doing the thing after the excitement has worn off?

• How can you layer in accountability?

• How will you measure progress?

• How long do you plan to work on this goal? How will you know when you’ve achieved it?

• What has kept you from achieving this goal (or a similar type of goal) in the past?

• What are specific ways you can troubleshoot each of the roadblocks you listed above?

Then, schedule a check in with yourself 3-4 weeks in the future, and get to work! After working toward your goal for several weeks, you’ll likely have some tweaking to do to make working toward your goal more sustainable.

Now repeat after me (seriously, this is important): some is better than none, some is better than none, some is better than none.

Most people skip the check-in-and-revise step (let’s be honest, most people skip all these steps!), but having that check in after working toward your goal is the difference between continuing to make forward progress, and abandoning your goal altogether because it wasn’t manageable.

The beauty of sticking with a revised version of your goal, is that with time it’ll just be part of your daily or weekly routine and won’t take up much brain space anymore. And when that happens, you can build on that habit to slowly work your way up to your original goal. I like to review my goals monthly, which gives me the chance to reflect and revise regularly.

Sending you so much love, regardless of whether you’re a goal setter or not. You’re a rock star either way.

xo, Rebecca


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