As we enter a new year, I find myself in that familiar space of reflection and resolution. The energy of a new year symbolizes not just moving forward in time but moving forward in our journeys. We can use everything we’ve learned from the previous year as a guide for the upcoming one.
Everyone seems to be talking about New Year’s goals right now, but what happens when the excitement of the new year begins to go down? According to a 2016 study, only 9-12% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions for the entire year.
Where’s the disconnect between the eagerness to start a new goal and following through to the end? In my experience, it’s all about intentionality… and to be intentional, there needs to be purpose. There is no intentionality without purpose.
What is the why behind your goal? What are you truly trying to accomplish?
In a 2023 Forbes Health/OnePoll survey, the most common New Year’s Resolutions included:
- Improved mental health
- Improved fitness
- Lose weight
- Improved diet
- Improved finances
If any of these are on your list of goals for this year, what is the purpose for each?
Setting goals and keeping them isn’t as easy as saying, “I want to improve my fitness, so I can look better.” It needs to be something more meaningful because that’s how you create habits, and habits are the basis of achieving your goals.
Instead, you could write out, “I want to improve my fitness because I want to improve my confidence and feel my best on a daily basis.”
Once you have your “why” or purpose, you need to create the intentions. Intentions are the specific steps you’re going to take to make your goals happen.
I think where many people get tripped up when it comes to fulfilling their goals is not having a clear plan. It isn’t enough to just say your goals, but how are you going to achieve them?
If your goal is to improve your fitness, then what are you physically going to do to accomplish that? It starts with ridding yourself of any temptations that may be lying around your house or meal-prepping, so you’re not tempted to buy something when you’re in a pinch.
These are all tricks I’ve implemented in my own life and things I’ve learned on and off the court. Every play is intentional and a deliberate step towards a collective goal.
It’s important to start small. When we bite off more than we can chew, we’re setting ourselves up to fail. When we can create a bit of momentum for ourselves by achieving small wins, then we’re more inclined to keep going.
There are a few things I’ve implemented into my life that have now become rituals and baselines for every single goal I aim to achieve.
3 of my Non-Negotiables
Having a solid foundation helps me keep balanced amongst a never-ending to-do list. There will always be things to do, but there are 3 things I do every single week that set me up for success.
Physical activity – release for body and mind
The many years on the court have ingrained in me the importance of physical activity. Aside from staying fit, exercising is the cornerstone of overall well-being. It’s a practice that keeps me sharp and alert–ready to tackle my day.
If you’re looking to incorporate more movement into your daily life, then you can start with a walk or light jog. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to start small and not overextend when adding new habits and goals into your life.
Prayer or Meditation – inner clarity
I start every morning with prayer–this can look different for everyone, but exercising daily gratitude or starting your day with meditation allows you a moment to step back and be intentional about your day ahead.
Not only has this practice guided my intentions, values, and aspirations, but it’s also given me strength when life gets a little rocky.
Reading – enriching and nourishing
Reading is a habit I have made a constant in my life, and it’s one of my favorite ways to unwind or learn something new. Reading is one the best ways to grow and broaden perspectives, which in turn helps me get closer to my goals.
These 3 rituals are small decisions I make on a daily basis to move forward in a positive way. I believe in creating simple rituals and sticking to them because in order to show up our best, we need to treat ourselves with the dignity and respect we deserve.
I encourage you to move forward this year with a strong purpose and intentions to reach your goals.