It seems crazy to me that we’re already in February! I feel like January always goes by slow, but this year it seems to have come and gone in a flash.

By now you might’ve even abandoned your New Year’s Resolutions. Hey, no judgment. It happens. Or you may think that your goals are too far away for you to reach. Either way, perhaps I can help!

I will be the first to admit that I’m my own worst critic. I want to be good at things right away and tend to get really hard on myself when I’m not. As a result, I have a very hard time trying new things because of my fear of failure.

But I know that trying new things is a part of growth. I’ll never grow if I don’t try new things. It is a process of me being willing to accept criticism from others and myself that will make me a better person in the end.

So I’m trying something new this year. Once a month, I’m going to spend some time looking at my goals and determine progress ajd what steps I need to take to fix them if necessary.

This is where my harsh criticism of myself comes into play. I know that I will be honest with myself as I work to improve.

For example, a few of my goals deal with money and my financial situation. I sat down on Sunday and gave myself a pretty strict budget to follow. I still have room for spending, but I need to be able to live within my means. It’s a great idea for me to establish these habits now so that I (hopefully) won’t have to worry about finances in the future. My budget still allows me to spend money and do things I enjoy, but it also makes sure my bills and expenses are paid and covered before anything else.

In addition, I am working on my health and fitness this year. I’m not really focused on a specific weight that I want to achieve, but rather I am looking to establish and maintain healthy habits. So that means that when things aren’t changing when it comes to my body (whether it’s weight or measurements), I need to be able to make changes to help myself.

As always, I don’t know your situation. Maybe you’re hard on yourself too. Maybe you get frustrated when things don’t work out the way you expect. Maybe you aren’t honest with yourself. But regardless, I have a list of questions I’m learning to ask myself to help identify both the problem and the solution. And I think it’s important that I share them with you. Ask yourself these questions to help yourself, but be honest. I don’t know what you need. But I do know that it’s important to identify the issue. So here’s my self-evaluation:

  1. What is my goal?– Identify what you’re actively working towards
  2. Where am I currently at?– Every race has a starting point. This is just a checkpoint to demonstrate
  3. How do I feel about where I’m at right now?– Are you content? Angry? Stressed? Frustrated? Motivated? Name and pin down the emotions that you’re feeling.
  4. Why do I feel that way?– In addition to identifying your feelings, it’s important to understand your reasoning behind your feelings. Are you frustrated with your goal because you want to be further along? Are you worried of what people will think?
  5. Can I accept this?– This is a yes or no question. Can you accept the situation you’re in? If the answer is yes, then you don’t really need to continue. But if your answer is no, then…
  6. What changes can I make?– Each situation is different. For weight loss, one of the tips was “exercise more,” but I’m already working out 6-7 times a week. That probably won’t help too much. But changing other things might.
  7. How do I plan to implement these changes?– Maybe it’s planning a different budget and getting the supplies you need. Maybe it’s narrowing things down you don’t really need. Make a plan and stick to it.
  8. What are you hoping to accomplish with these changes?– Consider this another step toward your overall goal. Give yourself a result that is attainable but currently out of reach. For example, if you want to save $100 a week, this step could be save $10 a week. Then you can bump it up.
  9. How will things look in x amount of time?– I go on a month-by-month basis when checking progress. Your amount of time might be less, equal, or more. But give yourself an amount of time to move forward.
  10. Can I do this?– This isn’t meant to be a confidence booster where the answer is “Yes I can!” This is a legitimate question. Consider everything else going on in your life. School, job, relationship, bills, etc. Sometimes even when you want to make changes, your situation doesn’t allow it. Take that into account.

This is the self-evaluation I’m using. Again, I’m honest with myself and can answer these questions. I recommend finding a quiet place where you can be alone. Growth, progress, and achieving goals are about taking steps forward. It doesn’t matter how big a step. Progress is progress.

Hopefully this helps you keep your New Year’s Resolutions. Or hopefully it helps you recognize your own goals. I don’t pretend to have everything figured out and I’m working on this myself. But I’m looking to accomplish my goals this year, and this self-evaluation is a tool to help me take those steps.

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