It’s the start of a brand new year. A time of change, a chance for a new start, and a chance to change the things about your life you don’t like. The start of a new year is a great time to think about your life, your habits and the things you might want to change. And to set goals you want to achieve during the coming year. As we all know, this is known as making a New Year’s Resolution. But how many New Year’s Resolutions end up being successful? The numbers are not inspiring. Studies show that only 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. So, how do you become one of that 8%? Check out these tips on how to accomplish your resolutions!
Making Resolutions that Succeed
1. Start Small
It’s tempting when you set out to improve your life to try tackling everything at once. But if you decide to improve your diet, run a marathon, write a book, and climb K2 all in one year when none of that was previously on your radar you are setting yourself up to fail.
When you’re choosing your New Year’s resolutions, pick one or two areas of your life where you want to improve. Then choose specific goals you want to accomplish. Make the goals small and something you know you can achieve. There is nothing more motivating than success!
2. Create a Plan
It’s helpful to use the framework of SMART goals when you make a New Year’s Resolution. Smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
To break it down a little more, take these steps when making a plan to keep your New Year’s Resolution:
The best resolutions are clearly defined. If your resolution is to be healthier, what does that mean to you? Will you be starting an exercise program? What kind? How often? Are you changing your diet? In what ways? In order to succeed you need to clearly define the steps to success. And to have a picture of what success looks like to you.
Set Mini Goals
Break down your resolution into small measurable steps. To go back to the example of becoming healthier, what are some ways you can measure your progress and success? You could set a specific goal of losing five pounds. Or eating three servings of fruit per day. Or lowering your cholesterol. If you can track or measure your progress, you are more likely to stick to your resolution. Consider using a journal or an app to track progress.
To set yourself up for success, make your New Year’s resolutions attainable. Something you can realistically achieve and fit into your life. If your resolution is to run a marathon but you haven’t run a step since high school track, start with something smaller. Build up to your big dream goal with smaller, more immediately achievable goals along the way.
Give Yourself a Deadline
The obvious timeline for a New Year’s resolution is a year, but depending on your resolution, that may or may not be a reasonable deadline. But you do want to have an endpoint in mind for most resolutions. Keep it reasonable, allowing yourself enough time to make life changes and develop new healthy habits, but not so open-ended that you end up forgetting the whole thing by Valentine’s Day.
3. Reward Yourself
Planned rewards can be a great way to stay motivated when it comes to a New Year’s Resolution. Take a look at those mini-goals you set towards achieving your resolution. Then plan out ways to treat yourself for every small success along the way to keep your resolution.
4. Line Up Support
If you want to stick to your New Year’s Resolution you need to line up support. Ask a friend to help you be accountable. Or just tell your friends and family what you’re planning. Give people the chance to offer support and cheer you on as you make changes in your life.
5. Try, Try Again
No matter how dedicated you are to keeping your New Year’s resolution, chances are you’ll have a few hiccups along the way. It’s important not to let slip-ups and setbacks derail you from achieving your bigger goals.
Don’t give up on your goals because of temporary setbacks. When things go wrong, re-evaluate, problem solve, and set yourself back on the path to succeeding with your New Year’s resolutions.