Happy New You: Healthier and Holier in 2015 {+ Free Printables}

It’s the time of year when everyone is making resolutions for the coming year, attempting to convey – between mouthfuls of crisps, cakes, and soft drinks, and cascades of gossip-y banter – how very determined they are to definitely lose 50 pounds, exercise every day, and do a host of other good and productive deeds over the next 365 days.

New Year’s resolutions often get a bad rep – and for good reason. Most people who make New Year’s resolutions don’t last more than two weeks when it comes to sticking to them. The one who said she would lose 50 pounds eats well for a week or two until her birthday, a pot luck, or a work event comes along, and the one who said she would never lose her temper again flies off the handle after her husband does something the least bit irksome.

It doesn’t have to be this way, but sometimes we set ourselves up for failure.

The reason for the lack of stickability to these ever-so-sincerely-made resolutions is that they aren’t really resolutions – they are more like New Year’s Eve wishes. Vague and directionless dreams that are given little thought, are made in an earnest moment of guilt and quickly fade. When the hype dies down and the guilt goes away there is nothing left to give the dream momentum and allow it to come to fruition. The dreams lack substance.

Personally I think making New Year’s resolutions is a great idea. There is really no better time to reflect upon our blessings and possibilities and opportunities for change than at the turn of the New Year. Actually, there is never a better time than the present – and since at this time of year everyone is contemplative and ready for change, I’m certainly not opposed to it being January 1st that spurs everyone into action.

All it takes to make our resolutions worthwhile and fruitful is a little time and planning. With a bit of reflection and realistic forward planning set in ink – reinforced and revisited on a daily basis – one can see their dreams become reality.

So what steps can we take to turn dreams into goals and give them substance and stickability?

I’m not a very organized person, but I want to be. I know that organization and planning is key to effective and lasting change in any area – be it physical, spiritual, or intellectual. While thinking of a way to turn around my lack of organization, I remembered something from my customer service days. I worked in a clothing store in Australia called Sportsgirl. Every morning the manager would take 10 minutes to organize the day with a focus sheet. She’d write down tasks for the day on this sheet in order of importance, as well as things for the team to focus on and monthly goal.

I reflected upon this daily ritual of my former supervisor and realized that if that worked to make an entire team focused, efficient, and organized for a day, it could certainly make the day of one person focused, efficient, and organized. That is where I got the idea for this Daily Planner I have made for myself to use – the same one I’m going to share with you!

I have 9 areas of focus myself this year – my writing is terrible on these examples (I drew on them in PDF notes), but hopefully you get the picture! I wrote mine in a separate book before making these for you… cause I love you guys so much.

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How to Set Goals That Stick {with Free Printables}

1. Determine what it is that really makes you feel happy, successful, and at peace with God and yourself. Use Goal Planner, Page 1 to implement this step. Reflect upon what really has caused you to be satisfied and feel amazing in the past year. What moments have made you feel accomplished? Write them down. From these will come your goals.

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2. Write down a general goal, then narrow it down to a more specific, actionable goal. Use the Goal Planner, Pages 2-4 to implement this step. Your general goal will be something like those holiday wishes – “I wanna lose weight,” “I wanna get fit,” or, “I want to study and pray more.” They’re nice well-meant thoughts – but they aren’t going anywhere. Narrow it down to something that you can achieve in one year. “I want to lose weight” has to turn into a number, or an action – like a healthy eating and exercise plan. “I want to get fit” has to turn into a strength or endurance goal – like lifting a certain weight or running a certain distance. “I want to study more” has to turn into a plan to study a certain book of the Bible, or learn a certain number of memory verses. You get the picture.

3. Write down 3-5 actionable steps for every goal. Continue to use Goal Planner, Pages 2-4 for this step. Once you have narrowed down your goals, you must have a plan of action broken down into small, sensible, bite-sized pieces. This is where “I want to lose weight,” that turned into “I am going to lose 30 pounds this year,” gets paired with the plans to “join a healthy eating group,” “plan meals for the week every week,” “hire a trainer for one workout a week,” and “join a yoga class.”

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4. Use 15 minutes every morning to focus yourself and plan your day. Use the Daily Planner for this step. Make sure you direction your days towards what you want to achieve. A year’s too big to grasp when it comes to change. You must think hour by hour, and day by day, or you’ll become overwhelmed. Pray at this time for strength to use your time wisely.
Meditation: write a Bible verse to focus on for the day that relates to your goals. Meditate on this verse through the day or even the week – memorize it if you can.
Affirmation: give yourself some encouragement. You can do this. You are capable. This is where you practice some positive thinking and self love. Practicing this is crucial to being able to deal with past failures and go on to be more productive.
Quote of the day: write down something you heard that inspired you, motivated you, or made you laugh today. Looking for one happy quote a day will help you to see the beauty and joy in everyday – not just that one quote.

5. Use 15 minutes every night to reflect on your day, what you have learnt, accomplished, and received – and think about what you can do better for tomorrow. Use the Reflections part of the Daily Planner for this step. This is your time to cement your good habits and reaffirm yourself. Be kind and forgiving to yourself. This is also a good opportunity to reflect on blessings and give thanks for what you have been given. After reflection, for help with and forgiveness for your mistakes, ask for more time and opportunity to change, and offer upthanksgivings for your blessings and accomplishments.

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Download Free Printables:

>> Goal Planner

>> Daily Planner

Connect with me and keep up to date with my most recent recipes and ramblings.

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