“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” – Buddha
Throughout time, celebrating a new year has been a time of renewal, creating future plans, and engaging hope for change. Individuals focus on their own resolutions, goals, or plans for the new year. Families create a house plan or list of goals. Businesses look at the past year and create their vision for the new year. Looking forward is part of human nature. Optimism and resilience lead most people to look forward and determine ways to improve their future path.
Despite the best laid plans, there are times when things do not go according to plan. Lives are constantly changing and goals that we set at the beginning of the year may seem impossible to attain as the year progresses. Things such as health and aging or outside factors like a pandemic can quickly erase the great plans set for the year. Do not feel like a failure because things shifted! Failure and success are an everyday part of every person’s life. Often, people say that they have learned more from failure than they did from success. The important part is that we are always learning and adjusting.
When setting goals keep these ideas in mind to help achieve them:
- Don’t set a large list of goals on January 1st. Having a list staring at you of all the things you feel you must change can be overwhelming and when we are overwhelmed, we tend to find other tasks to complete instead of those on a big list. Picking one goal that you have researched and know that you’re ready to work on will last longer than setting a list of multiple goals that you cannot complete all at once.
- Research and create small steps that lead up to the larger goal. Many times, we are not quite ready to jump into the work on the goal we’ve chosen. By committing to creating a plan to reach a goal we make bite-sized tasks that can be completed. This success encourages us to continue to the next step of success and then onto the bigger goal. Map out the plan and you can achieve small steps leading to your bigger goal.
- Take care of your own needs. To help you move through the steps to achieve your goal, it is very important to take care of your own needs. If you are a parent who is taking care of children and aging parents, set aside time to take care of your own needs. By resting and taking this time, you will be able to consider the steps to reach your goal and center your mind around your goal.
By creating an intentional plan for the new year, your stress will be reduced. You’ll have steps to take to accomplish a goal, you’ll take care of yourself, and you will be less overwhelmed. If you need help making a plan of care for older adults in your family or you need them to participate in a thoughtful engagement while you are taking care of your needs, please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to assist!