Written by Jasmine R. Castillo
After putting decorations away, the nights start getting a tad bit chillier, time seems to start slowing down and hibernation season is officially beginning with some cozying up to Netflix and chillin’. We’ve already been thinking about resolutions, goals, dreams, how this year will be different and all of the above. You probably have heard about some people going back to an ol’ school retro method involving a handy, dandy planner(click for my fav one) which, I can’t lie, has changed my life in the past year and got me excited for the upcoming one. Now, I’m not trying to sell you a planner, but, if you are in need of organization and laying out your process, a planner definitely provides this. If you’re having doubts on using, needing, wanting a planner, you can use for the following exercise a notebook or your phone’s note + calendar section.
To start, I’ll begin with the end goal in mind and create a list of what I want to achieve for the year. Let’s start to think what kind of narrative do we want to build on this year…
My list has started off with some of the following:
- Lose 10 lbs.
- Get involved in local gov’t
- Get new clients
- Save money
- Travel more
- etc, etc, etc.
But…most resolutions we start off excited about end up falling short, flat or “oh yea, I forgot I said that!!!” They end up on a list of to-do’s that we’ll add on for next year…most likely.
There is a reason why we fall short, and It isn’t too complicated once we recognize it.
I’ll share with you a trick
This has gotten me through 2018 (accomplished everything but one goal out of 5, which is HUGE, and it was conversational Spanish, which I’m still learning!) Now I’m overly excited to break down any goal because of learning this method.
Let’s use one of my goals above “I want to lose 10 lbs.”
Pre-2018 I would just jot down on paper “lose 10 lbs.”… nothing else, no thought process on how this might happen, just the result of losing 10 lbs. and wishing for laws of attraction to kick in.
I would fast a couple of days, cut back on eating fried foods, but I didn’t have a schedule, consistency, or an action plan on how I was going to do It. It was random. So, though I lost a few lbs in the beginning of 2017, it wasn’t my exact goal, and by the beginning of 2018 I had gained the weight right back after the season of holiday indulgence passed. I felt defeated, I shouldn’t have tortured myself in the beginning of the year since it didn’t matter by the end.
So, what am I to do?
I didn’t realize how simple the answer actually was until reading a ton and combining it all into the following bite-size gems of info.
All I had to do was start with ONE tiny habit that will help get me to my goal, making that action my resolution!
So instead of saying/writing down, “I want to lose 10 lbs,” I should write/say, “I will drink a bottle of water before every meal starting when I wake up.” (Footnote: drinking more water assists in weight loss.)
So I actually started on this resolution mid 2018, with the action resulting in a better chance in meeting my goal. Staying consistent with this small goal was a nice win which also helped me to exceed past 10 lbs. Now I’ve added other smaller goals which continue to help me on my health journey.
When you start to see these small wins come in…
Your mindset starts to shift and you build the momentum to push even further. The thing is, our main goals tend to be the actual results we want and not the action steps we need to get there. Also, we don’t always know how to break it up (this requires some research, such as what I did with drinking water before meals). Lastly, we can underestimate the amount of time it will take to accomplish our goals (especially if it’s a BIG one). Which is why you start small, achieve one goal and then move on to the next. You gauge and adjust your deadlines as you go. The more bite-size, the better for you to navigate through the momentum. Set yourself up more for those wins and less for that overwhelm. It’s no wonder why many of us don’t stick with our resolutions. Also, reward yourself with a little something-something each time you win a goal. Most times we look at the Final BIG Goal as the Prize, but we can give ourselves smaller prizes each time. Can be rewarding yourself with sugar free ice-cream for following through on your diet, or a gift to yourself for earning more money, or going out for a local experience after looking into potential travel packages within your budget.
Just one shift…
Your thinking can make a mountain of a difference, not just in terms of your 2019 resolutions, but in your life! It may seem pretty simple + obvious, yet so many people continue writing the same resolutions down and expecting different results when they haven’t tried anything different to achieve them.
I would love for you to try this for yourself. Write down 3-5 resolutions that you’d really like to hit for the year. Then write one action next to it. You can even give it a deadline. Remember to focus on an action, not just the result.
Use my refined resolutions below as an example. Note, don’t overwhelm yourself with a ton of action items all at once. Instead you knock out one, then another and then the next! Soon enough you’ll be able to write down a list of action items in the order you’ll want to achieve and with deadlines. But first, let’s keep it simple.
You want to build up your momentum to win. Making it simple helps you that much more in achieving your goals. If you think a full bottle of water is too much for you to stick with, try making it a rule to drink a cup of water before every meal, for now.
- Lose 10 lbs. – drink a bottle of water before every meal starting today
- Get involved in local gov’t – attend the end of month town hall meeting
- Get new clients – create a contact list of potential clients by tomorrow
- Save money – sign up for acorns to take out $5 daily next paycheck
- Travel more – research travel package deals by next month
Tiny shifts in behavior are all you need to win big over the course of a year. Just keep reminding yourself “what narrative am I creating for 2019 and what behaviors do I need to execute for these shifts to happen?”
Going even further…
(images provided Clever Fox Planner)
Now we take our 3-5 major goals that we want to achieve by the end of 2019 and we work backwards to figure out what steps we need to do in the months leading up to the goal to get where we want to be. By taking these steps you’ll be mapping out your plan. You’ll be breaking It up by month, by week and then by day. Don’t worry, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, unsure, take some guesses and make adjustments along the way as you learn, grow and adjust your plans. This can take a few days, maybe a week to work on. That’s ok. This is all a work-in-progress throughout the year, so you can achieve and adjust as much as you need to work on your plans. I usually do quarterly check-ins with myself.
You goals can be learning the basics of a language, meal prepping for a healthier lifestyle, incorporating your idea into a company…. Anything. Make sure to be specific and intentional. The more specific, the more you’ll be able to break It down into bite size tasks and know what ya gotta do. If you say “I’m going to start a business” that is waaaaaaaay too vague. It should be more like “I’m going to incorporate my jewelry line into a LLC by summer of 2019.” From that point on you will put together what you need, such as a brand name, talk with a lawyer, design a logo, trademark and Intellectual Property, business email, bank account, products, schedule a photoshoot, design a website, social media accounts, marketing campaigns, trade shows, etc. These are just some of those smaller goals I mentioned earlier that aide in the bigger picture, aka major goal. Depending on what your goal is and how far along you are, you may need to do some research, find mentors and attend workshops.
(images provided Clever Fox Planner)
This is when you start at the end and move backwards, and breaking it up into monthly, then weekly, and then into daily goals. Once you have your goals broken up just keep in mind this is a guesstimate, since It may take longer for some tasks, while with others you may finish sooner. Remember, breaking it up is to give yourself a time frame to work with and gauge on how to achieve your goals within a 12-month timeframe. You can adjust along the way. Make It fun, use various pens, colors, and keep it vibrant and interesting so it becomes part of your creative flow.
This year, make it officially your year of resolutions by making it count in 2019!
Jasmine approaches each project with a familial sense and her own philosophy, “When you’re a part of my team, it makes me part of yours so we’re in this together. This has been the catalyst behind her work with the goal of creating, refining, toning and shaping uncommon stories not found in mainstream media whether producing content to live events or curating an art show. This is OUR story to tell.
If you’re in need of some additional inspo + resources feel free to follow on social media @ProducerJazz on Instagram and LinkedIn Jasmine R. Castillo