According to Forbes, 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Of course, you can probably name most of these failed resolutions: lose weight, save money, travel. These are bad starting points, but they aren’t going to lead to much success. Instead, why not read on and learn how to set New Year’s resolutions you’ll actually achieve?
Have you heard of SMART goals? Specificity is key, and it’s especially important when it comes to sticking to your New Year’s resolutions. To start, think of those broader, more common resolutions. Want to lose weight? How much do you want to lose? What steps will you take to lose it? Preparing your answers to these questions in advance will make the process all the easier.
I’m all for overall self-improvement, but setting 579 goals for yourself for the New Year is going to do more harm than good. Instead, prioritise. What improvements are most important to you? Maybe quitting smoking is of a higher priority than learning to play the guitar.
I may be a tiny bit biased due to my own love of planning, but I’m a firm believer in the phrase “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Remember those specific goals we discussed earlier? This is your chance to expand upon them. Returning to our weight loss example, will you be meal planning? Find some healthy recipes to get you started! Starting a new workout regimen? Order those DVDs you’ve been eyeing up in that infomercial.
Better yet, plan to follow up with yourself, too! Set a reminder on your phone or write in your bullet journal to check your progress a month from now. Be reasonable! Don’t think you’re going to be at your goal weight or have a year’s wages saved after a few weeks.
There’s no motivation like knowing you’ve got a reward waiting for you for achieving your goals and sticking to your resolutions. Now, depending on your resolution, reaching it may be reward enough. Still on that weight loss example? Perhaps you can buy a new dress in a smaller size after hitting a milestone.
Tell someone your goal! Even if you just have one trusted friend to confide in, the accountability will help you far more than keeping it a secret. And choose wisely—if your confidant is going to let it slide every time you miss a milestone or slip up for weeks on end, they may not be the best choice.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
At the end of the day, 1 January is no different from any other day of the year. If you like the idea of a new start with the new year, then, by all means, utilise it to set your New Year’s resolutions. If not, there’s no reason you need to set your resolutions on this day. Whatever you decide, there’s no reason to put pressure on yourself; the world is not going to end if you don’t reach these goals. Just remember—you’re doing this for you, not for some societal idea.