Setting Actionable New Year’s Resolutions
The start of a new year is full of opportunity. It offers possibility for change, renewal, and self-improvement. New Year’s resolutions are born of this inspirational season, but more often than not, people fail to follow through with the goals they set when the ball drops.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tips to set your new years goals and achieve them.
- Be Specific
Saying you want to “lose weight” or “save money” isn’t going to hold you accountable. A goals like those leave much room for ambiguity, and ambiguity means you’ll have trouble defining whether you’ve succeeded or not. Set a goal like “Lose 10 lbs by next December,” or “Have $1,000 in my savings account by the end of this summer.” More specificity helps you to understand what you need to be doing to achieve your goals, and helps you identify how hard you’ll have to work and when.
- Break it Down
Breaking your goal down into smaller, more actionable items will help you ensure that you are actively making your way to achieving your long-term goals. Consider this step as answering, “How will I achieve this goal?” For example, if you want to lose weight in the New Year, break down this goal and have a smaller subset of goals that may include, “Go to the gym three times a week,” and “Cut out sweets.” If you are consistent with these smaller goals, you are far more likely to achieve the overall goal.
- Celebrate Small Wins
The reason why we often fail at New Year’s goals is that they often take a lot of time, patience and work to achieve. To make the process more enjoyable, celebrate the road to your success. Every time you make a decision that brings you closer to achieving your goal, give yourself a pat on the back. Log it in your journal, or document it. Every action that brings you closer to self-improvement is worth celebration.
- Be Realistic
You don’t have to achieve everything in a single year! Bill Gates once said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year, and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” If you have a goal that you can see yourself achieving in two or more years, set the deadline for two years. Don’t rush the process! Rushing into a goal you’re not ready for can set you up for failure and disappointment.
Overall, try to ensure that your New Year’s goals are SMART. That is to say, the goals are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound. With the guidance of these tips, you will be on your way to achieving a healthier, happier you for many years to come.
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