How To Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions

The end of the decade is slowly coming to a close. 2020 has a nice ring to it, so what better time than to begin some resolutions! Whether you’ve made resolutions in the past or you’re having your first go, here are some tips on how you can achieve any goal throughout the year!

  1. 1. Be Honest With Yourself

    I’m sure we have all heard the saying, “New year, new me”. This is a great place to start but honestly, the clock striking midnight isn’t going to magically make improvements to your life (although I wish it were that easy). This year, be sure to take matters into your own hands. It’s so easy to hop on the bandwagon of needing to have a goal set out by the time that January starts but the truth is, you can set one out whenever you feel ambitious. First off, think of a goal you personally want to achieve for your own benefit, not because everyone around you is doing it. For starters, think of something that has health benefits, that will make you happy and give you everlasting fulfillment. Also, remember to be realistic. Ask yourself if your goal is actually achievable and if it’s something you’ll be committed to working on beyond the month of January, not just to get by the new year hype.

     

  2. 2. Make A Schedule

    Once you’ve decided upon a goal, think about how you can integrate it into your daily routine. Prioritizing is crucial and only do as much as you can handle. Treat it like anything else that’s important or mandatory in your life, such as a class or a scheduled work shift. Be sure to jot it on your calendar, not only as a reminder, but to visually see the layout of your plans. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym, find a slot within your schedule that’s convenient for you and keep it consistent. Maybe you find Monday evenings for an hour works for you. Start with once a week, and when you find yourself becoming more comfortable and invested, slowly increase the intensity of the workouts you want to do and the frequency. There is nothing more satisfying than crossing a task off your to-do list.

     

  3. 3. Don’t Expect Massive Results Right Away

    Whether you are trying to quit a bad habit or start a new activity, you’re not going to be a pro at it right away. Our inability to see noticeable results makes us feel discouraged, making us believe our goal is simply  impossible and we should just quit. Like anything, you must walk before you can run. Often enough, we get caught up in the false-hope syndrome. We get so excited thinking about the goal we have set out for ourselves and are eager to challenge it, until we realize putting it into action is quite difficult so we give up. So what do you do when you lose that initial motivation? First off, remind yourself as to why you chose to set that goal in the first place. Acknowledge that it is indeed a work in progress and take breaks in between if you must, then get back at it! Be sure to boost up your confidence and celebrate small victories along the way. Maybe your  goal is to run a 10k marathon, but right now you can only do up to four. Still that is four more you can do now that you couldn’t do at the beginning! My guitar teacher once told me, “If there’s something you can do today that you couldn't do yesterday, you should be proud of yourself”.

  4. 4. Tell Someone About Your Goal

    Telling someone about your goal has multiple advantages. Fundamentally, it keeps you in the right mindset as you repeatedly say your goal outloud to yourself and others. Furthermore, a friend or family will be able to keep you in check. They’ll want to know all the details about how the progress is going. This gives you a chance to reflect on your progression and be honest with yourself and someone else. That person can give you feedback and positive reinforcement, which is just the key to keep you motivated. Maybe you’ll come across someone who has a similar goal. If that’s the case, definitely team up! Find a gym buddy or an instructor. Although you are accountable for taking those steps towards your goal, having a support system around you is encouraging! 

  5. 5. Revise Your Plan If Necessary

    Okay, I’m going to use a sports analogy here, and even if you’re not a fan of sports, bear with me. Think of a football team per se. Aside from having the skills, football is a strategic sport, and so is your goal.  There’s team practices and meetings and a well prepared team doesn’t go into a match without a game plan. But what happens when you come across that tough opponent and the game plan just doesn’t seem to work? Does the team walk off the field 15 minutes into the game even if they’re trailing behind? Most certainly not. If you look closely, behind the bench you can see the coach scribbling on his white board, making adjustments to formations, the plays they’re going to run and so on. Think of this opponent as a roadblock or obstacle and you are both the coach and the player. What I’m saying is, don’t scrap away your entire goal because you’ve hit a roadblock. The key is to reflect on your process throughout the process. Think about strategies that have been working for you and which ones that aren’t. What works for someone else may not work for you, so continue to experiment. Think about what specifically is preventing you from being where you want to be and how you should alter your plans to get there. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board. Where there is a will, there is a way.

To conclude, I’d like to mention the S. M. A. R. T acronym introduced in 1981 by George T. Doran in his article “There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives". It most certainly doesn’t go out of date and can apply to any goal.

 

Specific: Your resolution should be specific and clear. What are you trying to accomplish and why?

Measurable: You determine the criteria used to measure your progress. Maybe it’s a particular number you’re trying to reach for, or a particular state. Think about quantity and quality, and keep track of your gains throughout the entire process.

Achievable: This doesn’t mean you can’t set big goals, but establish little ones along the way to get there. Make it possible!

Relevant: Is this a goal that matters to you and are you doing it out of good intentions? 

Time-bound: Give yourself a reasonable time frame. Knowing when you have to accomplish a particular step towards your goal keeps you on track.

 

Best of luck!