5 Steps to Setting the Right Resolutions for 2017

Choosing the right resolutions is the first step toward accomplishing your goals next year.

The meme’s about 2016 are flying through social media. It’s been a rough year and you can’t tell me that everything that’s happened on the world scene hasn’t trickled down into our daily lives.

Which is why planning for the next twelve months is so important. While may not be able to control what happens on a global level in 2017, we can control what happens in our own lives—and that can have a ripple effect. Making sure you are at your personal best will ensure your ability to make a bigger impact on the lives of those around you and your community.

Besides, you just owe yourself a good life. And it’s totally within your reach.

If you’ve been reflecting on your failures and achievements this past year, or if you’re contemplating making some real health changes in 2017, then you’re in the right place. All change begins in the mind. You may have an unsettling feeling that’s telling you to exercise more or a burning desire to create healthier meals for you and your family. Either way, change is knocking at your door and you need a game plan.

When I was in college, I played tennis. A lot. I remember learning about the mythical sweet spot on my racquet, that tender place of perfection where every ball was hit with the glory of John McEnroe. The first time it actually happened to me, I remember the vibration between my hand and my racquet when the ball found its home. It’s like a light bulb went off in my head and I wanted that feeling, that connection between ball, racquet, and my hand every single time.

From that point forward, I sought the elusive sweet spot. When it happened, it was glorious; when it didn’t I was in a hurry for the next volley so I could try again.

This is what our lives are like: a long series of days and circumstances where we search for perfection. For many of us, that idea of perfection comes in the form of fitness, weight loss, and healthy living. If I’m honest, I’d say 75% of my thoughts revolve around trying to be or get healthier, from searching for better recipes to making sure I schedule time for exercise to finding the perfect athletic shoe.

I want to make sure that next year, my search is more productive than ever. To do this (or, at the very least, to “fail better” than I have this recent year), as I made my resolutions I focused on what made me happy and worked this past year, and what is important to me for the future. Instead of a laundry list of musts and must-nots, I’ve committed to better food, creating more space for the people in my inner circle, and eliminating the irrelevant.

I feel good about these goals, and I want to help you create New Year’s resolutions that you feel good about, too. So below is how I arrived at my new goals for 2017—hopefully it can serve as a helpful guide for you!

1. Assess

Now’s the time to get with the inner you and figure out what worked and what failed. Were your goals unrealistic this past year? Do you want to push yourself to the next level in 2017? Have you met the challenge you set for yourself and now it’s time to buckle down and create a sustainable plan for living? Get specific here.

2. Focus

Cut out the extraneous crap and figure out what makes you happy. If you have a massive list of Must-Do’s that are dragging you down, you won’t be able to focus on any of your goals. To help you focus, take note of your emotions wrapped around each activity. Are they positive or negative? Hate going to the gym? Do you really need to volunteer for every committee? Are you finding ways to skip a fitness class? Cut out the resolutions that you know will make you miserable – these ones are bound to be unsuccessful anyway.

3. Combine 

Do you find yourself saying I wish I had more time or Once things slow down, a lot? Once you’ve compiled your list of goals and identified what isn’t meeting some inner need, then begin the process of eliminating the things that don’t work for you. If you’re having a hard time balancing it all out—family, friends, work, obligations—think about ways to combine them. Take the kids for a bike ride. Go hiking with your significant other. Take a burlesque class with your best friend. Build memories around activity. Change the way you work in the office and get a treadmill work station. The possibilities are endless and your mind and spirit will appreciate the extra space.

4. Stretch out Your Feelings

Couldn’t resist the Star Wars thing there… sorry. But there’s something to the idea of expansion—that is, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and questioning the things you always do and the things you instinctively say no to. For some people, expansion may be a process of elimination. It might be a challenge for you to say no. For others, expansion may take the form of new exercise or new eating plans. Either way, consider this a form of mental yoga that will resonate in your physical body.

5. Be Enthusiastic 

Author Bo Bennett said that “Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” You’re already motivated, right? Why else would you be reading this if you weren’t contemplating change? Starting something new is always exciting, so get creative and allow that inspiration to be your vessel to enthusiasm. Seek out the pleasures in life. We’re all faced with certain challenges and tasks that wear us down. In an effort to make our responsibilities more bearable, make everything else spectacular. Decide to create a new fire, a zest for living so encompassing that you can’t help but wake up every morning with a smile on your face. And remember this: enthusiasm is contagious. The more you invest in what lifts you up, the more joy you’ll bring into your life.

Enter into 2017 with a plan that allows for enthusiasm. Make it fun and always remember, healthy living is about creating the best you possible! This is your year! Make it the greatest one yet!

Make it WayBetter

Want to help your goals each year be better and more effective than the last? Start keeping an annual diary where you jot down your goals in January, then asses what worked and what didn’t in December. It will help you improve your goals each year!