Forget Resolutions: Make Your Changes Today

We’re well past the start of the new year, and I think that’s the perfect time to set new goals for yourself. The holiday craziness is behind us, and we’re settled back into our day to day routines.

Those New Year’s resolutions can often be unrealistic, carry too much weight with them, and by the third week of January most people have blown them off.

If you want to start (or stop) something, do it now.

Pick a date and GO. Don’t give yourself the time to psych yourself out about it. In 2014, I got the idea in my head that I wanted to run a half marathon (despite not being an active runner at the time. Or an active anything for that matter). Within the next 24 hours, I’d made a training plan that I would continually tweak over the next year, bought a new pair of running shoes, and was officially out the door for my first run. And less than a year later, I finished 13.1 miles for the first (and not last!) time in my life.

Your first plan doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to get you started.

A major motivator for me is being able to see the effort that I’m putting in. Checking it off, getting a gold star, logging a workout, being able to see it immediately helps drive me forward. Even though some of my goals are long term, this short term reward pushes me forward in the meantime.

Here are a few of my favorite tools for tracking your goals:

  • The DONE app: There are lots of apps that you can use to track your progress, but this one’s quickly become one of my favorites due to its customizability. Enter your goals, whether you want to start or stop this habit, and how often it needs to happen. When you’ve completed it, you just have to go in and check it off for the day (or a week, or month). This one’s been a big driver for me for one of my more recent goals: to finally stop going to bed with my makeup on and follow an actual skincare routine (a note to my best friend who also happens to be a dermatologist: please don’t yell at me). Every night after my final step, I check it off. And if it’s getting too late and I haven’t done it yet, I get a push alert gently nudging me to go get it done.
  • Bullet Journaling: I’ve never fully jumped into the bujo world, but there’s no doubting it’s right up my alley, and a great way to visualize what you’re driving towards. A quick Pinterest search gives you hundreds of layout ideas, calendars, and checkboxes to perfect your tracking tools.
  • Get a buddy: I love accountability partners. Whether it’s someone who’s on the same journey as you or just someone you’ll see often, having another human to report to can keep you going.

What works for you? How do you keep yourself motivated and accountable?

Caitlin Jacob
Caitlin made her way to Lafayette more than a decade ago, after growing up in North Carolina and then graduating from the University of Georgia. Since then, she married the man who introduced her to Cajun country, and they welcomed their now 5 year old daughter into the world. She spends her days working in marketing, telling stories using her bag of digital tricks. When she’s not working or wrangling her tiny human, she can be found running (slowly), testing new baking recipes (ask about her almond poppyseed bread), or wielding a glue gun for her latest craft project.

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