What to Do When New Year’s Resolutions Aren’t for You

In the days leading up to January 1st, there’s no doubt you’ve probably been bombarded with phrases such as “new year new me,” or anything containing the words “New Year’s resolution.” It isn't uncommon for the masses to use the first day of the year as cue to reset their clock and start fresh. It also probably isn’t surprising to learn that the majority of New Year's resolutions fail. While that may be due to a variety of factors, it isn’t a far stretch to say that maybe the nature of the “New Year’s resolution” is designed to fail. We make them a day or two in advance, have a vague idea of what we want to accomplish this year, but with no real plan of action. We might start really strong, but that motivation and excitement quickly tapers off, and we’re left wondering at the end of the year what went wrong. Here are some tips for setting realistic goals with a strong foundation!

 

Write your goal(s) down

Writing your goals down will help you to keep whatever you’re shooting for at the front of your mind. If you can, write it boldly, cut it out and paste it somewhere you visit often. Whether that be on a wall in your room, your locker or on your laptop, having that goal constantly in your face will give you something tangible to shoot for.

 

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Be as specific as possible

When you have a vague goal, there will never be a clear ending in sight. It’s one thing to want to “lose weight” or “get healthy” in the new year, but what does that mean for you, and how do you know when you’ve gotten there? With this kind of vague goal setting, it’s really easy to get discouraged since you never really know when you have actually achieved your goal. So instead of wanting to “lose weight” this year, try instead to say, “I would like to lose (X amount) of pounds by going to SoulCycle three times a week.”

 

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Start with one goal

It’s really easy to be incredibly ambitious at the start of the new year and overwhelm yourself with a bunch of goals you want to achieve. While being ambitious and motivated is a great thing, this is most often the perfect recipe for failure. Start with something small, take baby steps and add to your list of goals as you go. This way you can devote your attention to just one thing at a time, increasing your likelihood of success.

 

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Set goals you can quickly achieve

While it is important to set long term goals, it’s also just as important to have short term achievements. Having something so far out of reach will only make it easier to procrastinate, so having a couple of little goals will help to keep you on track and make the larger long-term goal more manageable.

 

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Don’t let your goals consume you

Having a goal in mind that you can work towards is great, but having a healthy mindset surrounding your goals is imperative. Set aside dedicated time to work on your goals, but remember that it is important to not allow that to be all you think about. This can result in working towards your goals to now feel like a chore, or even worse, cause you to feel bad for not spending every waking minute trying to accomplish whatever your goals are. Occasionally remind yourself that everyone has their own pace, and that the goal-conquering journey will look different for everyone.  

 

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The beginning of the year may bring with it lots of pressure to have big goals and take them on full force, but as long as you remember these helpful hints to actually create realistic goals for yourself, you might find conquering them a lot easier!