SMART New Year Resolutions for the Self Loving Feminist

So long 20gayteen! Hello 20… hmm. Well, as Hayley Kiyoko said, 20gayteen never ends - “it’s the spirit within.” As for viral hashtags, well, I’ll leave the queen to that.

2019 is coming whether we like it or not and if you’re the resolution type like me, then you’ve already got some goals in mind for the upcoming year. For those of you who haven’t gotten around to scribbling hopeful lists in your journals yet, have no fear! Together we will come up with some fabulous resolutions that you’re sure to keep!

Content Matters

Now, if you saw my post on Facebook recently, you already know this, but let me make myself incredibly clear: you will not find me making any weight loss goals. Gone are the years where I idolized some “perfect” number that would bring me eternal happiness. This is not to say I’m anti-fitness goals - because you better believe I’m hoping to improve on my mile run time! However, we’re talking about resolutions that will actually serve YOU. Not society.

At the end of the day, you’re the one who’s going to have to act on your list so it’s up to you but in the spirit of telling you what you should do, I’d like to share a couple of my personal Dos and Don’ts.

DO set goals that will make you harder, better, faster, stronger Daft Punk style.

DON’T beat yourself up if you fall short of your goals. Progress is progress.

DO challenge yourself to try new things and grow as a person.

DON’T sacrifice your personal comfort unless it serves you.

DO follow up on your list periodically to check how you’re doing.

DON’T give up if you fall off the wagon - setbacks happen!

DO find a community of people striving for the same things as you - these things are always more fun with a cheering section!

DON’T let naysayers get you down. Fuck those people.

DO set goals to improve your health! You deserve it!

DON’T set goals to appease others - we should only work at the things that bring us personal happiness.

DO share your resolutions with me!! I’d love to hear them!!!

So now that we cleared up what type of goals you should set, we gotta talk about SMART goals. After all, words are great and all but they mean nothing if we don’t follow through. It’s a fabulous acronym, that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound. I’ll break it down for you real quick.

Specific

Vague goals like “be happier”, “leave my apartment more” or “try new things” are very admirable but just too broad to really define. How will you know if you’re “happy”? What constitutes as a new “thing”? Food? Music? Clothing? You gotta nail down the specifics!

We’ll take one of my resolutions as an example - meditate every day for at least ten minutes. That’s hella specific! What’s the activity? Meditation. How often am I doing it? Every day. How long? At least ten minutes. This is totally actionable and leaves no room for interpretation. This is something you could incorporate if you have some vague goals right now like “be less anxious” or “have more energy”, because meditation does both of those things! Moving on, though.

Measurable

Numbers are a necessary evil in our world. It’s wonderful to want to “leave your apartment more” but how much is enough? If you want to “start working out”, how many times a week are you going to do this? Putting some tangible numbers on these goals will help you know when you’ve hit your goal. So if you want to start hitting the gym, instead of just “start working out”, try “work out for thirty minutes twice a week” instead. This will keep you accountable and also make you feel great when you nail your twice a week goal! When it comes to working out though, this is where we tend to really need to consult our next item on the SMART goals list.

Attainable

The road to hell is paved with the best intentions, right? In my dream world, a lofty resolution might be “get a million Likes on Facebook”. Emphasis on dream world because unless I get a shoutout from Ariana Grande or something, it just ain’t gonna happen. And as much as I’m starting to really like this dream world in which Ari notices my hustle and gives me props (I have so many questions), I have to try and think of a goal I that lives within the realm of possibility.

What can you attain this year? If you’re thinking about saving money, then set a goal you know you can achieve with your budget. Don’t try to force yourself to pinch every penny and never have any fun ever again. This aspect is a bit similar to the next one, which is…

Realistic

Attainable and realistic go pretty hand-in-hand but it’s the rule so nice you say it twice. Going back to our workout analogy, it’d be pretty unrealistic for me to say “do 100 pushups five days a week” considering I’m literally incapable of doing a single push up. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe a nice realistic resolution for me would be something like “become able to do a single, proper pushup”. Thanks, guys. I’m adding it to the list.

Whatever you want to achieve, it’s fabulous to think about what could be some day but when it comes to what you can do in a year, remember to keep your feet on the ground. That leaves only one component for our SMART goals.

Time-Bound

This is probably one of the most important aspects of goal setting in my opinion. New Year resolutions are nice in that they come with a predetermined deadline: the next new year. However, when you’re making lists of what you’d like to achieve outside of the context of resolutions, do keep this in mind. If you’re like me and you have a half finished novel just sitting in your hard drive, your resolution might sound something like “complete novel by May 21st, 2019.”

I know personally I’m a woman who functions best with deadlines. For most of us though if we have no date by which to finish something, we tend to put it off and never do it. Why would we do something boring like write a novel when Stardew Valley multiplayer just came out?

Good Luck!

So now that you’ve figured out how to construct a SMART resolution, it’s time to really ponder what it is you’d like to accomplish. Keep the Dos and Don’ts in mind and as always, if you have any questions feel free to hit me up. And if you made a resolution list last year, dig it out, dust it off and look it over. You might find some good inspiration in there, or maybe just a laugh. Either way, it’s a good idea to occasionally take stock of what we’ve done and think about what we’d like to do. Then we can go back to living in the present c: