The new year is here, and if you are anything like us, you might be wondering why you haven't started on those New Year’s resolutions yet. Whether it is reading more books, or going to the gym, starting new projects can be hard for all of us. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. Here is a list of some helpful tips to help you have a good start to 2023. 

1. Be realistic. Don’t set goals you can’t achieve. While it might sound like a great goal to try and read 300 books this year, in reality that would mean reading an entire book almost everyday. Instead set a goal you know you can reach. Think about how long it will take and how much time in your day or week you can spend on it. 

2. Break it down. Projects and long term goals aren't something you can do in one day or even in one task. They often involve multiple tasks and a consistent steady effort on your part. This can make it very daunting to start a project. Instead, break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Starting a quick task is more appealing to our brains than starting a whole project. 

3. Write it out. Grab a pencil and paper and write down your goals, the steps you need to take, and why you set this goal in the first place. Be sure to keep that paper somewhere visible as a reminder. Studies have shown a connection between writing and memory. We are more likely to remember something if we write it down. A lot of times we fail to achieve our goals or finish a project because if it’s out of sight it’s out of mind. Keeping it fresh in your mind will help motivate you to keep going. 

4. Set a timer. Even when we break projects into tasks, we still sometimes struggle to start working on them. This is because, just knowing it will take us a lot of time to complete, makes our brains less willing to start on it. Try setting a timer. Instead of working until you finish a task, plan to work for a set amount of time. It can be easier for us to find the motivation to do work on something when we know exactly how long we will be working on it for. 

5. Find an accountability partner. No one likes doing things alone. Especially things we find challenging. Whether you are striving for the same goals or working on different projects, having someone to check in with helps keep us on track. Just knowing that someone else will be asking about your progress can get us to stop procrastinating. 

No matter what you are working on, starting new things can be hard. Next time you have a big project or goal to tackle, try these tips out. You may find yourself completing more goals this year than you would have even though possible.

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