As we approach the half-way point in the first month of 2019, a lot of us will be feeling a real mixture of emotions, whether it’s settling ourselves back in the monotony of every other year or facing up to the goals we set ourselves to achieve within the next 12 months.
Goals are important, but it can be difficult to keep the motivation accompanied by ‘new year, new you’ messages. If you’re feeling a little lost or need some reassurance, here are a few considerations while you look back on the first two weeks of your year as well as forward to the rest of 2019.
It’s only 14 days
Whether you’ve had a productive first two weeks, stumbled slightly, or have been knocked down completely, it’s only been 14 days. In the grand scheme of your entire year, this is the tip of the iceberg so congratulate yourself on what you’ve achieved so far and don’t berate yourself if it’s not been the start you were hoping for.
You’ve still got 351 days to achieve your goals!
You’re not alone
Launching into something new at the start of the year can feel intimidating. If you’re feeling anxious about getting started it can be helpful to discuss your reservations and fears with others in a similar position. It doesn’t have to be your usual support group, and you might benefit from reaching out to a new group who have experienced what you’re feeling.
It’s surprising how often other people can give us the support we need and it’s worth taking the chance to reach out if you’re feeling unsure.
Similarly, if you are in a position to provide encouragement and support to others then this is the time to step up to the plate. By being a source of encouragement, you can boost your own self-confidence and create a positive environment for you to assess your own goals and experience.
Take small steps and celebrate them
Even if you achieve something very small every day of the year, you’ve achieved 365 things, or taken 365 steps towards your goal. That’s a big achievement!
You don’t have to achieve something every day, and you don’t have to always be moving towards your goal. If you need a break or take some steps backwards you can still achieve so much by recognising the small steps and celebrating them as they happen. Doing this also keeps your goals and achievements in a positive light, rather than only celebrating when you reach a certain milestone or at predetermined times.
Keep going – forget failure
When the ‘new you’ feelings start to fade, and January is behind you, it can be difficult to keep motivation. You might make a few mistakes, fall behind, or stop working towards your goals completely.
Whatever you do, don’t look at this as failure.
Every step you take is a learning experience and you can return to your goals at any time. If you start looking at your year as a set of failed attempts, you’re missing an opportunity to pick up the reigns again and carry on. Finding the strength to keep going can feel impossible, but it’s much more productive to dust yourself off and keep going than to give up entirely.
Also consider whether your circumstances contributed to you feeling like you were failing.
- Did you have enough time to dedicate to your goals?
- Did you have the support you needed?
- Was your goal a realistic one?
- Did you approach it with a positive mindset or were you waiting for the moment you would fail?
If you can make any changes to remedy these circumstances, then make that your priority before getting back to it.
Your goals are more complex than you might think
If your goal is to develop your leadership skills in 2019 by achieving a CPD course, then you are actually working towards a number of new skills throughout the year.
- You’re developing your understanding of leadership in terms of knowledge which can be used in the workplace as well as in your everyday life
- You’re developing your leadership skills which can be used in the workplace as well as in everyday life, whether it’s organising social events or taking control of a situation when the moment arises
- You’re developing your interpersonal skills
- You’re building your confidence in the workplace either for a role you already have or are working towards
- You’re opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and evaluating the skills, and knowledge you already have, with the potential to develop these even further in the future
- You’re discussing ideas with others, developing relationships, and taking on criticism
All of these developments are just as important as your overall goal and each step you take is building your skills, knowledge, and confidence in the workplace and in your personal life.
Your personal New Year’s Day can be any day you choose
It’s easy to get swept-up in the ‘new year, new you’ mindset in January, but it’s important to remember that your new year can start at any time.
If something happens today that means you can’t achieve your goal, give yourself time to recover and start again when the time is right. That might be 3rd February, mid-June, or next year. It might be never as your goals might change entirely!
Every day is a chance to start again and take a tiny step towards a greater goal. As long as you look at your goals as ongoing and remember that you are developing more than one single outcome, you can continue to make positive developments and changes throughout the year and maybe achieve so much more than you initially thought was possible.