Choosing Your New Year’s Resolutions

At this time of year, you may be considering whether you’re going to make a New Year’s resolution. Maybe you’ve made them in the past and lost interest over time. Or perhaps you buckled down and followed through. Either way, you’re now facing the beginning of another new year.

Even if you’re less-than-thrilled with your follow-through in prior years, the new year brings amazing opportunities to challenge yourself in all kinds of ways.

Try these ideas to help you set up your resolutions so you’ll be successful during the coming year:

  1. Select an area of your life that’s important to you. One of the keys to choosing your New Year’s resolutions is selecting a goal that truly matters. Ideally, you can find something you want more than anything. This will help keep you dedicated.
  2. Be specific. The whole idea of making a New Year’s resolution can seem over-simplified. You’ll hear people say, “My New Year’s resolution is to get in to shape” or “I want to work less.”
    • What do statements like, “I want to spend more time with my family this coming year” really mean? Here’s how to be more specific:
      • For the resolution to get into shape, why not state it in more detail? Consider committing to specifics, such as, “I want to lose 2 inches from my waist and 3 inches from my hips.”
      • Another example of being more exacting might be “I want to increase visual muscle definition in my abdominals and my upper arms.”
  3. Make your resolution measurable. How will you measure your results?
    • For example, spending more time with your family may manifest as, “I plan to work 4 hours less per week in the coming year,” or “I won’t work on Saturdays, starting January 1st.”
  4. Structure your resolution using mini-goals. Consider cutting your overall goal into smaller, separate goals. Select the first mini-goal to accomplish in the process and designate it as your New Year’s resolution for the first 3 months.
    • Consider this example: You want to lose 30 pounds. You’ve struggled to drop the weight in the past. But you want to get serious now.
    • Here’s one way to cut this into mini-goals: Lose 10 pounds in the first 3 months of the year, lose another 10 pounds in the second quarter of the year and drop the final 10 pounds the third quarter of the year. The fourth quarter of the year, plan to focus on maintaining your weight loss.
  5. Be realistic. It might not be possible for you to accomplish everything you want in just one year. But you probably can be well on your way to your goal by the end of the year if your New Year’s resolution is within reasonable standards.

When selecting your New Year’s resolutions, focus on what matters to you. Be specific and make your resolutions measurable. Use mini-goals and be realistic in establishing whatever resolutions you select.

By addressing your resolution as a process rather than just a goal, you’re much more likely to succeed. And when you achieve one goal, you’re more apt to set resolutions and accomplish them in the years that follow. Start this year to make each year your best one ever!

Catching up on New Year’s Resolutions: A Surefire Plan for Winning

New Year’s resolutions… Who really keeps them? The answer to that question could be you even if, like most people, you’ve already abandoned them. Rather than fretting over what you have or haven’t done so far this year, you can still accomplish those New Year’s resolutions – even if you’re starting over a bit later in the year.

Try these action tips to help you achieve the resolutions you made at the start of the New Year:

1. Make it known. Tell someone close to you about your New Year’s resolution. You’ll be held accountable for your success or lack thereof. By doing so, you’ll feel a bigger commitment to actually complete the goal than if you were to simply keep the goal a secret.

  • Now there are two incentives to meet your goal: The first is to enjoy the fruits of your labor and say that you’ve completed your goal. The second is to ward off the embarrassment of having to explain why you didn’t complete the goal.

2. Enlist a friend. Find a friend with a similar goal and work toward reaching your goals together while offering each other moral support.

  • Weight loss is an especially suitable goal to enlist the help and support of a buddy. Other fine goals a friend could strive for along with you include home improvement projects, monetary goals, and family goals.
  • Choose a friend that will hold you accountable for reaching your goals. An unmotivated friend that will simply say “It’s okay, try again next year” isn’t the right person for the job.

3. Break it down. Break your goals down into bite-sized chunks. For example, if your goal is to land 20 new clients by the end of the year, break the goal down into nine months if it’s now March, for example.

  • Landing 20 new clients in nine months equates to just over two clients per month (2.2 clients).
  • Even if you’ve fallen a bit short of the goal, you’ll still have increased your number of clients. Essentially, you’ve succeeded because you’re in a better position than you were last year.
  • Any goal seems more attainable when broken down into manageable milestones.

4. Have a plan. Setting a New Year’s resolution without creating a plan for reaching it is a recipe for disaster. For your greatest success, create a plan detailing the exact actions you must take in order to achieve your resolution.

  • Know exactly what you want to do. Saying, “I want to lose weight” isn’t going to cut it. It leaves a lot of wiggle room. But saying “I want to lose 20-lbs by December 1st” is a much better plan.
  • Create a detailed plan that entails exactly how you’ll get to your goal. Detail the daily actions that will help you edge towards reaching your resolution. In addition, create an alternate plan in case your initial plan falls short, thus helping you set yourself up for success – one way or the other!

Is your New Year’s resolution important to you? Are you committed to it? If you take your New Year’s resolution seriously, create reasonable goals, and follow these tips, you can achieve it! It will require a consistent effort on your behalf and some hard work, but it’ll all be worth it when you accomplish that resolution.

When your goal begins to seem out of reach, to regain your motivation, envision what your life will be like after you reach your resolution. Your life will be better, you’ll be happier, and you’ll have a sense of pride knowing that you’ve worked hard to accomplish your New Year’s resolutions.

5 Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

If you have a habit of setting resolutions at the beginning of the year and then abandoning them a few days later, now is your chance to try something different. Imagine how the course of your life could change for the better if you followed through on your resolutions until you achieved your goals!

Change Your Thinking

It’s very possible to overcome your habit of giving up on New Year’s resolutions with a few basic tips. Above all else, avoid regarding your resolutions as something to aspire to and then forgetting them when they no longer seem pertinent or interesting. New Year’s resolutions can be extremely enriching and self-improving if you find a way to maintain them throughout the year.

Here are some tips for keeping your resolutions:

1.      Make a commitment. You must be willing to make a strong commitment to change in order for your resolutions to be successful. Believe that you can, and will, accomplish what you set out to do. If you give yourself unwavering support, then you’ll bolster that belief and achieve what you seek.

  • Choose New Year’s resolutions that you genuinely want to achieve. Make positive resolutions and focus on the positive aspects of achieving them.
  • Tell everyone you know about your resolutions. When everyone knows what you’re setting out to achieve, they can help hold you accountable.
  • Plan ahead rather than choosing your resolutions at the very last moment. The longer you spend planning and preparing for your resolution goals, the better the results will be.

2.      Have realistic expectations. Continued motivation is the key to achieving your goals. If you set the bar too high, then you also set yourself up for failure, which can be profoundly de-motivating for you.

  • Aim realistically, rather than too high. Give yourself a challenge, but not so much of a challenge that you end up setting yourself up for inevitable failure.
  • If you plan on setting similar resolutions as last year, consider first and foremost why last year’s resolutions failed. If your resolutions didn’t work last time, then determine why in order to avoid a repeat performance.

3.      Write down your goals. When you put your resolutions into writing, you make them real. You put your commitment down on paper. Put your goals where you can see them, in written form, so you won’t forget what you’re setting out to achieve this year.

4.      Plan out your goals. Articulating what you intend to achieve this year is a big part of setting resolutions, but planning how to achieve them is a completely different story. Write down a plan for each resolution that you want to achieve rather than simply hoping for the best.

5.      Give your goals flexibility. Not everything is going to work out exactly the way you planned, so be flexible in the goals that you set. Avoid allowing rigid resolutions to throw you off track if something doesn’t go quite how you planned it. Try to predict what challenges you may face, and create a contingency plan for those challenges just in case.

Bottom Line

You can keep your New Year’s resolutions if you do a little bit of planning and preparing ahead of time. Just like any goal setting process, the key is to be realistic about your goals and the challenges you may face in trying to achieve them. The more realistic and flexible you are, the more likely you’ll be to achieve your goals.