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Last Updated on December 23, 2020
Making grandiose New Year’s resolutions seems like a great idea on January first, but by the time that February or March rolls around, you’ve lost steam and your motivation for your resolution dies. If you want this to be the year that you actually achieve some of your New Year’s goals, here are eight tips to help you out.
1. Reflect on Why You Failed in the Past
I know this isn’t a fun place to start when it comes to setting new resolutions, but the best way to succeed is to figure out why you failed in the past. As the saying goes, the true definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Some reasons your past resolutions may have failed could be a lack of time, motivation, or other resources. How can you stop those problems from popping up in your new resolutions?
2. Be Realistic
After you think about what brought your past resolutions to a halt, you can start to think about how your new goals can fit into your plans for the year. If you want to achieve a fitness-based goal but know that you’ll be traveling a lot without time to work out and meal plan consistently, you should figure out a way to make that work.
If you need to make a goal smaller, it’s not a failing, it’s a way to make sure that you succeed. If you try to set a crazy and unrealistic goal, it can be easy to lose motivation when you realize you’ll never achieve it.
3. Break It Down
If you’ve come up with a resolution that’s going to be a challenge that you can still realistically complete, the next step is to figure out what smaller thing you need to do to achieve that goal.
For example, if your goal is to buy a car before the year ends, you can think of the steps between where you’re starting and the moment that you get the keys in your hand. You can start by figuring out your budget. 60% of today’s car buying process happens online, and that’s mainly in the form of research, so you can use the multitude of online resources to figure out what kind of car you want and what that will cost. After that, you could start thinking of how you’re going to save the money for your downpayment, then start to research local dealers that are reputable. By breaking your resolution into a series of small goals, you can know you’re moving closer to your goal and not become discouraged just because you don’t have your car yet halfway through the year.
4. Keep the List Small
If you try to have too many resolutions, it becomes hard to focus on the most important one. If you have more than a few larger resolutions, you’re likely trying to stretch yourself too thin (unless the goals overlap — like saving more money and buying a home, which you would need to save money to achieve). You can have a few main resolutions that each have a few steps, like buying a car above, and you can still feel better about achieving your goals when you see yourself taking concrete steps towards them.
5. Have a Plan For When Things Go Wrong
Inevitably, no matter how much planning goes into your resolutions, something unexpected will happen and jeopardize your resolution. Murphy’s law says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, so it’s important to have a plan for when that happens, even if you don’t have a plan for each specific issue you will encounter.
6. Track Progress
Since you’ve set resolutions that are able to be broken down into smaller goals, it will be easier to track your progress. If your original goal was to get more fit, but you changed it to working out at least three days a week, then you can easily track your workouts and see how consistent you’re being.
If your resolution is to start a small business and join the approximately 400 million entrepreneurs worldwide, you can track your progress through metrics like the number of orders you get, website views, and followers on social media. There are many ways to track success as a business depending on what your business’ goals are.
7. Stay Consistent
The real key to making changes in your life is to stay consistent and build habits out of your goals. It tastes about 66 days, or just over two months, to form a new daily habit, so it’s important to really get yourself to work at something for those first two months extra hard to ensure it becomes a habit.
If your resolution is to learn a new language, for example, you could commit to doing ten or more minutes a day on a language app right when you wake up. If you are consistent, not only will you retain the information better, but you will be more likely to make it a sustainable habit that you’ll keep. Even if you’re only doing ten minutes every day, by the end of the year, that’s 3,650 minutes of learning the foreign language of your choosing.
8. Form a Support System
If you have friends that are also setting New Year’s resolutions for themselves, no matter how different your goals are, you can all hold each other accountable. Obviously, this is easiest when you have similar goals, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help keep your friend motivated even when they have a very different goal from yourself.
You can motivate yourselves by giving yourself rewards for sticking to your resolutions. For example, if you all love wine, you can plan a trip to California’s wine country. Considering the fact that California is the fourth-largest wine production area in the world, after France, Spain, and Italy, you will have a multitude of wineries to choose from for tours or other fun activities. Telling yourselves you’ll only go if you are consistent in moving towards your goals is an extremely motivating way to keep yourself going.
No matter what your goal is for the New Year, you can achieve them by being realistic, breaking them down, and staying consistent as you go after what you want.
What are your resolutions? What held you back from achieving your resolutions last year? Have you ever succeeded in a resolution before? Let us know in the comments! – calendar event that reminds you monthly to check-in