How To Make New Year’s Resolutions that Work for You

Although the first month of the decade has nearly passed, it’s never too late to plan to make improvements in your life. Many people pessimistically view New Years Resolutions as pointless, since the New Year doesn’t really change anything but the date. I, on the other hand, believe that the idea of entering a new year motivates people to at least start thinking about new habits and changes they would like to implement in their lives. Just because the year has already begun and you haven’t started working on your goals yet doesn’t mean that you should simply give up on your goals. It might mean that you have to refine your goals in order to make them more attainable for you. Here are some tips to help you make reasonable goals and changes you believe will help you live your best life. Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

  1. 1. Reflect

    The first step to goal setting is reflecting. This is because the only way to figure out what you want to improve in your life is by first analyzing the different aspects of your life. To make this easier, its best to separate these goals into social/personal, academic, career, as well as physical and mental wellness. These are very general and basic categories, but they can differ from person to person. Regardless of the areas you decide to focus on, the most important thing is that they are the areas that are the most important to you, as these are likely to be the source of the highest priority goals.

  2. 2. Recognize

    As you reflect, you should begin the second step which is to recognize the areas of your life that you believe need to improve. One way you can keep track of this is by making a list of these areas in a journal or notebook. Once you have made your list, make another list that is ordered by the level of priority you have assigned to them. The higher priority goals should be closer to the top of the list, while the lesser ones should be at the bottom. You should pick no more than five goals to focus on at once.

  3. 3. React

    Once you have completed these steps, make sure to create a plan of action to make the changes you want to see in your life. One effective model of goal setting is the SMART model (which I learned about in my Personal Health and Fitness class this semester). This model focuses on the feasibility of your goals and forces you to question not only whether or not the goal is something you should be focusing on, but also if you are approaching the goal in a productive manner.

  4. 4. Be Realistic

    To make a resolution stick, you have to make sure you’re being realistic. If you’re a night owl (like me), you can’t simply decide you’re immediately going to give up your 2:00 am bedtime and start going to bed at 8:00 pm and waking up at 6:00 am. It’s simply unrealistic. You have to start small and gradually make your way towards your final goal. This is the most sustainable way to reach your goal because it will allow you to slowly get used to your new, desired way of life by leading you to develop healthier habits.

By following these 4 R’s (Reflect, Recognize, React, and Be Realistic, you should be able to take the necessary steps to live a healthier and happier life. Don’t give up on self-improvement simply because you feel the “New Year’s Resolution deadline” has passed. There’s always time if your willing to motivate yourself to take your life to the next level. Although it won’t always be easy, the best things in life require hard work and effort. You can do it!