December 26th—the start of those awkward few days after Christmas and before the New Year. If the calendar year had an empty void, this would be it.
I often feel kind of strange and disorganized during this time. To avoid this slump, I spend these few days reflecting on my goals from the previous 12 months, and set new ones for the upcoming year. Why? Dopamine! Accomplishing goals releases this happy chemical in your brain and I find that it gives me a sense of routine and balance. I’m not the most organized person, but goal tracking is not impossible for chaos-taskers like me. I’ve developed some secrets over the years that I’m excited to share below!
1. Be reasonable.
You’re probably thinking “well duh” but what I mean is that there is no goal too small. Remember, doing a little is always better than doing nothing. So, for example, if your goal is to eat healthier but you aren’t sure if this is a realistic change for you, try instead to set a goal like “educate myself on eating healthier”. You can achieve this from something as small as reading a short (trustworthy) article. You don’t have to commit to a new lifestyle, but one small step can make the others feel much easier.
2. Be selfish.
For example, do you want to eat healthier for your day-to-day lifestyle, or because someone made a rude comment about you during the last family get-together? It’s important to evaluate what is keeping you motivated before you put something on the list. If you are chasing your goals for what might be the wrong reasons for you, it could be wasting your time. Remember: your goal should be about you! Asking for help with your goals is great, but if you set goals that absolutely require someone else’s support or involvement, you may be unintentionally creating your own roadblocks. Try to focus on what you can control, and what will make you happy.
3. Don’t beat yourself up.
For the record, I have never achieved every goal, and that’s okay. The universe throws a lot of curveballs, and frankly, who could take the universe in a fight? Definitely not me. Don’t beat yourself up over what you don’t/can’t accomplish. Use that energy on finding compromises where you can, and figuring out what you can control.
Remember, you aren’t alone! The library wants to support you. We have resources on almost any goal you might have: materials and kits on how to improve your sleep schedule, parenting materials, guides to collecting anything and everything, and more. Want to learn guitar this year? Check out a Fender Squire electric guitar for free. Want to improve your living situation? You can talk to our social worker for free to see your options. Ready to read more books or meet new people this year? Yeah, that too. The possibilities are endless!
Just do your best, keep it realistic, and take it day by day. You might be surprised by what can accomplish in one short year!
All images in this blog post were created by the author, April.