Have you been thinking about setting a New Year’s resolution for yourself?
Are you wondering where you should begin when it comes to setting and eventually reaching your goal?
Like many things in life, successfully keeping a New Year’s resolution doesn’t just happen by chance.
A New Year’s resolution requires continual focus, determination, and above all, patience.
The good news is that you don’t have to make sweeping or drastic changes to make sure your resolution starts off on the right foot.
In this practical post, you’ll find ten tips to help you keep your New Year’s resolution.
These tips may seem deceptively simple, but they sure pack a punch when it comes to setting up the structures and boundaries you need in order to reach your goal.
Ready to get started? Let’s begin!
Set a SMART goal.
You need to have a clear idea as to the results you want to achieve in the new year…and beyond.
Here’s an example for you, simply saying, “I’m going to be more neat this year,” is an entirely vague statement.
Being more neat is really subjective: how much more neat are you going to be?
Are you going to be neat at home? Are you going to be neat in your bedroom? Are you going to be neat in the kitchen?
There’s not too much information which you can use to help you reach your goals.
Instead of speaking in broad terms, try setting a SMART goal, or one that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive.
For example, the decluttering statement above might turn into something such as, “I will declutter my bedroom and living room by March 1st and I will do this by taking 15 minutes daily to go through my belongings and getting rid of items I no longer need or use.”
See how easy that was?
When setting your goals, be sure to flesh out all the juicy details. You can learn more about setting SMART goals in my goal-setting guide by clicking here.
The more detailed you can be about your goal, the better.
Put it in your calendar.
While you may have resolved to work out at the gym four days a week or plan your weekly dinner menu on Sunday, have you actually set aside time in your calendar to do so?
One of the easiest ways to ensure you’ll actually have time to work on your goals is to make sure you schedule time to work on your goal into your calendar.
No more looking for time in your schedule or negotiation when you’ll actually get around to tackling your resolution…your work time will already be in your calendar waiting for you!
Freshen up your resolution.
Lose weight. Eat healthier. Be more organized. Save money.
Who says resolutions have to be boring, lifeless, and dull? Try adding a new dimension to your resolution by making it more appealing or interesting for yourself.
Freshening up your resolution can give you a whole new lease on your goals and the journey to reach to your goals.
Here’s a quick example for your. Let’s say you want to eat more fruit and vegetables in the New Year.
Instead of doing the usual approach of simply eating more fruits and vegetables that you already eat, why not try at least three new types of produce per week?
You’ll shake up your habits, and who knows, you might find something you really enjoy.
Maybe there’s a new produce market you want to check out in your hometown or a new healthy recipe that involves your latest favorite vegetable.
Start where you are.
The very best spot to start something, anything, is where you are…right now.
You don’t have to wait for perfect or near perfect conditions in order to begin. Just start!
Don’t worry about where you should be, could be or might be. Just begin by taking a small step toward your goal.
Looking to drink more water everyday? Go ahead and pour yourself a tall glass of water in the kitchen.
Thinking about using a paper planner instead of a digital calendar? Go online and start looking at different planner options.
You’ve got to start to start somewhere, so you might as well start exactly where you are so you can get things done.
Write down your resolution.
Turn your resolution into something you can see and touch by writing it down!
The sheer act of writing down your resolution will force you to pay attention to what you’ve planned for yourself.
You could jot your resolution down on a piece of paper, a notecard, a poster board, or in your planner or calendar.
As long as it’s written down on paper, you’re good to go.
Place the resolution someplace you’ll see each and every day, such as on a bedroom or hallway mirror, above a light switch, or behind the front door to your house or apartment.
Focus on building new habits.
One of the most difficult things about making your resolutions work is building new habits.
Oftentimes, it’s not necessarily the resolution itself that is the problem: it’s the correction of old habits, and the building of new ones.
If your resolution seems a bit too large for you to tackle, focus on building habits related to the resolution.
You’ll still make progress and will have something to look back on with fond memories of success!
For instance, if you’ve resolved to work out at the gym or outdoors on a regular basis in the morning before work or school, but feel that waking up early is too much of a shake-up for you, you could also make a point to go to bed earlier. This way, you’ll be able to wake up earlier, so you can more easily get dressed and head off to the gym.
Building new habits to support your goal will help you in the long run.
Don’t tell yourself it’s a resolution.
If you cringe at the thought of calling your goal a New Year’s resolution, then don’t. It’s as simple as that!
Reframing your resolution can get you looking at your goals in a whole new light.
Instead of focusing on your resolution, you could tell yourself you’re trying out something new, bettering yourself as a person, or are having new adventures in the new year.
This way, you won’t get hung up on the terminology and can spend your time focusing on improving whatever it is you want to improve, whether it’s your productivity levels, health, relationships, or diet.
Check-in with yourself each day.
A resolution will have more staying power if you’re more focused and committed to it.
Set aside a few minutes each day to review your goal and give yourself a bit of a pep talk.
Try doing this in front of a mirror so you can look yourself in the eye and state your intentions.
Are you committed to reaching your goal? What did you do yesterday that brought you one step closer to your goal?
Likewise, what are you going to do today that will bring you closer towards your goal?
Choose your own resolution.
Quit smoking. Save for retirement. Be more understanding. We’ve all heard of these common resolutions, but why not take things one step further?
Get creative when it comes to constructing your own resolution. Choose something that’s important to you and put your own added spin on it.
Custom-creating your resolution will make it that much more personal, fun, and interesting!
Get creative and see what you can come up with.
Let’s say you want to be less stressed during the week. You could resolve to take 30 minutes after work to watch your favorite comedy TV show while doing some light stretches.
See how easy that was?
What types of custom-resolutions could you create for yourself?
Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the horse.
Things will sometimes go awry, even with the best of intentions. Don’t throw all your hard work in the gutter just because something didn’t go 100% to plan.
Were you on target with your healthy diet but ended up eating two large pieces of chocolate cake on Saturday? Should you throw in the towel and call your new diet quits? Of course not!
While you can’t change the past, you can learn from your experiences.
Let the past live in the past, dust yourself off, and get back on that horse right away.
Begin your resolution anew and whatever you do, keep on going until you’ve reached your goal!
How about you? What’s your New Year’s Resolution? What steps are you going to take today to ensure your success? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!