We've now entered February, Christmas decorations have been taken down (hopefully!) and the excitement of New Year's seems like a distant memory. We are now in the trenches of working full time again and meeting the demands of day to day life. After such a long holiday, it is hard to get into the full swing of things. If you are like me, I take things slowly and try to hold onto the holidays a bit longer than I should (that is why I still have Santa's lurking in my house in the middle of January, and maybe a Christmas tree still up).
But let's look at the bright side of January, as it just ended, and what it has to offer besides the cold. The month of January was added to the Roman calendar by Numa Pompilius, the legendary second king of Rome, so that the calendar would equal a standard lunar year of 355 days. The month of January was named after the Roman God Janus. Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, also of gates, doors, doorways, endings and time. He is usually depicted as a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past. The Romans dedicated the month of January to Janus.
What kind of goals did you set this year to create new beginnings, to open gates and doorways to exciting possibilities, to transition to a better person, to end a negative in your life and replace it with a positive? January can be a very exciting time as you look to the future and reflect on the past. Now that we are a month into the new year, how are your resolutions going? Have you maintained your goals?
Here are some tips on staying motivated throughout the year to reach your 2018 goals!
Tell your best friend, your spouse, a parent what your goal is. Report to them throughout the year and let them know about your progress. Make some good use out of Facebook and announce your goal there. That will increase motivation or ensure you complete it to save you some embarrassment. By telling others about your goal, you will feel more accountable.
You will also receive the support you need by telling family members and friends. If your family knows your goal is to pass the PE this year, they will be understanding when you need to take time away to study. If you have setbacks, they will be there to encourage you and cheer you on to keep going. If you reach your milestones, they will be there to applaud you. Making yourself accountable to your family and friends is one of the best ways to reach your goals.
Another idea is to join a group. If you want to read more books, join a book club. If you want to lose weight, join an exercise class or be part of an “eating healthier challenge” at work with coworkers.
Make your goal a part of your regular routine. If your goal is to read more with your kids, make it a habit to read at the same time each day. If your goal is to study for the PE Exam, let your family know, for example, that on Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, you need that time to study. You could also say that every night after dinner, I will be studying for an hour. Write it down on the family calendar or have an alert go off on your phone. Making it consistent and making sure it is part of the plan for the week or the day will keep you focused on your goal.
Planning also means setting dates for milestones and creating deadlines. Register for the PE Exam a few months in advance. This deadline will be in the back of your mind urging you to study as it creeps closer. Then, make a plan to study certain topics on certain days. In our course, The Ultimate Civil PE Review Course, we lay it out for you. That includes the best study tips, resources you need, a study schedule, support, lectures, practice problems, exams, and more. We highly recommend checking it out if you are in the need for a PE review course. If that interests you then check it out below:
MAKE IT SMALLER
Passing the PE Exam, running a marathon, or being a more patient parent can seem like overwhelming goals or maybe even impossible right now. Make it smaller by accomplishing smaller goals to reach your bigger goals. Make a goal to run 5 miles comfortably, instead of thinking about those long, strenuous 26 miles. Once you can run 5 miles, then move onto 8 miles. Pretty soon, you will be crossing that finish line and looking back on how all those small runs led to your big finish.
If your goal is to change a behavior, break it down and figure out your triggers. For example, when tackling the goal of being a more patient parent, figure out what triggers you to be impatient. “I am impatient with my kids when we are getting into the car to go somewhere.” That is a good place to start. First, write down a plan to master this part of the day instead of looking at the entire day. Write down some steps that will help you be more prepared for getting out the house and write down what you will do when you start to feel stressed. “I will sing, ‘If You're Happy and You Know It’ as I am loading the kids into the car or I will take 10 deep breaths as I am putting my toddler’s socks and shoes on.” Once you have mastered being a patient parent getting out the door, then move to bedtime. Good luck with that! :) Just kidding, it can be done and you can do it!
Before you know it, you will look back on all those small victories and will see how they lead to a complete change in your life for the better. You will be a different person.
It will never be perfect. That is life. If you have kids, your life is all about flexibility and trying to maneuver through the changes that can happen at any moment. If your job is really demanding for a week or two, and you can’t get to those planned out goals, it’s okay. Don’t give up. Just chalk it up to a stressful week, and get ready for the week ahead. Read over your goals again, and get back on the horse and keep riding. You can still accomplish those goals even if every day or even week wasn't perfect.
It is better to make goals than to not. January is the time to join the world in making those exciting New Year’s Resolutions. Let us help you this year in achieving your goal of crushing the PE Exam!
“Unfortunately, only about 8 percent of us who set goals achieve them. But the good news is that research shows people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to change their behavior than those who never commit.”
So follow through with those goals. Write them down and make it happen.
Let's do this!