Last New Year’s I was at a loss. Feeling mostly anxious about the year ahead, I had no clue what direction to take my life. While we might all get a fresh start on January 1st, it is not always easy to choose resolutions that will actually help us make our dream life possible. Last June, I began to do some reading and soul-searching that taught me a few things about setting goals I am actually excited to work toward. Here are the top 4 strategies that have guided me into setting concrete goals that are in tune with my true passions. Because at the end of the day, if your heart is not in it, your New Year’s resolutions will not be sustainable.
1. Meditate on your best self, living your best life.
Put on some relaxing music or nature sounds and close your eyes. Visualize yourself at your best, and do it in detail! Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? What are you wearing, looking at, smelling, eating? How do you feel? What do you look like? The answer to all these questions will point you in the right direction. When I first did this meditation by Boho Beautiful–I was surprised by the vision of me at my best. The things I needed to improve in my life became clearer to me after meditating on this vision. Also, the things I thought I really wanted in my life or was ready for were nowhere in sight of this ideal image of my life. Before you set concrete goals, you need to get in touch with what your heart truly wants.
2. Create a vision board.
Once you have a clear vision of your best self living your best life, you are ready to create a vision board. A vision board can be done as a digital or physical picture collage of your dream life. When I did this a few months ago, I made sure I was specific. I spent hours researching Instagram pictures of lake houses, travel couples, food, and beach trips. I only selected the images that were exactly what I want my life to ultimately look like. Do not be cheap with yourself. Even if you cannot imagine ever being able to afford anything like what’s on those pictures, just let yourself indulge in the vision. Put a concrete shape, name, and color to all the things that compose your best self living your best life. Sometimes, in the day to day struggles, we forget the bigger picture. Look at your vision board multiple times a week if not every day.
3. Create a video of your why.
My mentor recommended I record a video telling myself why I am doing what I am doing. Be very specific on your reason and make a simple video on your phone that you can watch back on tough days. After all, your mindset is the foundation of goal-setting. You want to make sure you are building your dreams on solid ground.
4. Choose healthy habits.
Because my work is related to social media, it has become an easy excuse to overindulge in screen time. Sometimes my hand automatically reaches for my phone and on to Instagram as soon as I wake up. Despite all my better judgement, I have become more and more addicted to scrolling, liking, and commenting. Look at your daily life and identify those bad habits that are not promoting success in your life. Create a healthy habit to counteract the less favorable one. I realized that the root of my morning Instagram binge is my need to feel inspired first thing in the morning. I am working on replacing the automatic scrolling time with a meditation to achieve my dreams or reading an inspiring book. Instead of fulfilling an addiction, I am looking to fulfill that need a feeling.
While I cannot set goals for you, I can assure you that your habits will play a vital role in your achievements. These four strategies are a way for you to dive deeper into your heart and figure out what you really want. When you are certain of the life you want to live, and you build up the mindset that nothing can stop you, your New Year’s Resolution won’t just be a one-week deal but a declaration of your future.
“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.” – Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997) Austrian neurologist, Holocaust survivor, and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning.”
Photo: Vanessa Lynn Uzcategui, Katiuska Marquez.