Can you believe it’s almost 2018?! I love the fresh start of a new year, and I believe the key to a great start is preparation. It’s hard not to let the new year sneak up on us after the holidays, but if we start visualizing what we want to become and create this coming year right now, we’re much more likely to take advantage of this motivating time of year and make good changes!

The first thing I like to do when I set goals is to simply visualize what I’m trying to become. Do I want to be a more organized person? A more thoughtful person? A better friend? A more disciplined person? A healthier person?

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I like to imagine myself in this same position, but one year from now. So much can happen in one year’s time!

Here are a couple more tips I have found to be helpful in setting goals or resolutions for the coming year:

  1. Don’t set too many!

I like to stick to just a few categories and set one goal in each. I usually have a goal for the following: spiritual, physical, and mental health. For example, my spiritual goal for last year was to do a 30-minute devotional/scripture study every, and I’m happy to say I actually accomplished that goal most of the time! It was definitely hard at first, and my mind still wanders occasionally, but I am a better scripture studier than I was last year, and I can attribute that to setting a new year’s resolution. I also set a goal for the “mental” category to read three books a month, and most months I did that as well. I definitely wasn’t perfect, but I improved, and that’s what’s most important! 

  1. Pick one overarching theme or motto for the year.

I find that having a main focus for the year helps me centralize my goals and thoughts. It can be a phrase like “seize today” or “slow down” or a single word like “simplify” or “grit,” and these words and mottos can make great motivating visuals as well. You could get a bar bracelet or necklace made with your theme for the new year, or frame it and put it on your wall or up on the bathroom mirror.

  1. Have an accountability partner.

The biggest key to achieving goals is accountability! Check in with yourself regularly, preferably on a daily basis as you pray or get ready for bed. Ask yourself, “Did I become closer to the person I’m trying to be today?” If the answer is no, try again tomorrow! Every moment of every day can be a clean slate. We don’t need to wait for a new week, season, or year. It’s also extremely helpful to have a friend, sibling, parent, or spouse who you can check in with regularly and talk about your goals. Every Sunday evening, my husband and I talk about how the past week went and what our goals are for the coming week, and it has really helped to keep me motivated and on track!

Hopefully these tips helped get you thinking about what you want out of this coming year! Also, remember that you don’t have to wait until January 1st to start; in fact, studies show that if you really want your resolutions to stick, start them two weeks before the New Year. This will also give you time to tweak them!

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