How do you make a resolution that sticks long enough to really make a change in your life?
1. Start big and work backwards to figure out what you want.
Sometimes we get stuck being “big thinkers” and have lots of ideas about what their future will look like. We might have trouble figuring out what we can do right now to get to that future. If this is you, think of goal setting like an upside down triangle. Start out really big and work your way backwards getting more specific goals as you go until you get to the “point.”
Here’s an example of what my goal chart might have looked like when I was in middle school. I started out really big with my future long term goals. Then I worked backwards until I got to something I can work on right now. The things we do now can have a big impact on the way things in our future.
2. Figure out a plan of action to reach your goal.
Now that I have my goal of “avoiding drama,” I need to figure out how I’m going to do that. I have to come up with a plan of action to reach that/ It will be easier to avoid drama if I know how to do it. My action plan might look something like this:
3. Brainstorm action steps.
Breaking it down even further, action steps help us to figure out exactly what we need to do to reach our goals. Try to be as specific as possible because that will make them easier to follow. Don’t forget, you’re brainstorming; just because you come up with an idea doesn’t mean it’s part of your plan. Maybe an idea pops in your head and you think “I’m not gonna do that!” Write it down anyway because writing it down could help you think of things you will do. Be creative, get wild and crazy! Here are some examples of how to brainstorm based on our example:
- A Web
- A List
- Bullet Points
4. Come Up with a Timeline.
Now that you have your goals and you’ve brainstormed action steps, it’s time to work out the details. Pick out a few action steps you’re going to commit to, come up with a plan for them, and set a date to complete them by. I like to create a timeline for myself. This helps me to remember what I need to do and how often I need to do it to reach my goal. It’s a great tool for staying on track. Here’s an example of what a timeline might look like:
|Task||Due Date/Plan for Completion|
|Talk with my friends about my goal of being involved in less drama||1/30/19: talk with my friends during lunch|
|Let my friends know that it’s really important that I do well in school||2/2/19: talk with my friends during lunch|
|Ask my current friends what their goals are so we can work together to reach them||2/20/19: talk with my friends during lunch|
|Ask my friends if they want to be involved in a study group||Before our next big test|
|Join a club at school doing something I’m interested in||Listen to announcements to find out when it is|
|Write down three good things about myself every day||Ongoing – Daily: Every day when I wake up in the morning|
|Answer one positivity journal prompt each week
Self Love journal prompts
The Future journal prompts
Confidence journal prompts
Gratitude journal prompts
|Ongoing – Weekly: Every week on Thursday night before bed|
|Answer one boundaries journal prompt each week
Boundaries journal prompts
Communication journal prompts
|Ongoing – Weekly:
every week on Tuesday night before bed