Do you like setting New Year’s Resolutions? Are they always the same or different? Do you accomplish it or leave it sitting around until the next December? I have never been one to make resolutions, but I always keep a list of goals and a to-do list to achieve them.
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I love to think about what new habits will help me create a better life by this time next year. I love thinking about what I’d like to accomplish and how I’d like to grow in the next 12 months.
Setting Your Goals
These questions always help me brainstorm what I’d like to accomplish in a year from now. I suggest taking out pen and paper for 15 minutes, and really just having a brainstorm of possible goals.
When I’m setting new goals, I like to ask myself:
- What do I want to do?
- Who do I want to see?
- Where would I like to go?
- What can I share with others?
- Who do I want to be?
I aim to set goals using the following categories:
- What financial goal would I like to hit?
- How will I grow in personal development?
- What material items would be nice to have?
- How will I spend time with my family?
- What lifestyle changes do I need to make?
- How does my social circle and life look 12 months from now?
After brainstorming, look through your goals.
Setting goals in specific categories help me stay balanced in my life. If I have 10 work goals and 2 family goals – something is wrong. Same goes for the other way around.
I like to have 1-2 goals per category to work on. This gives you a balanced approach to success because if you neglect a piece, the rest suffers. For example, you could be the mom of the year today, but if you neglect your health you won’t be able to keep up forever.
It’s okay to plan ahead.
Some of your goals might take longer than 12 months. That’s totally okay! I sort mine by 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years+.
Only 10% of people will write out their goals, and then only 2% of those create a plan to achieve them.
Be the 2%!
If you’re more of a visual person – you might also like our guide to creating a dream board.
5 Tricks to Fail-Proof Goals or New Year’s Resolutions
1. Pick One Thing First
While you may have a list of 10 to 12 goals, choose to focus on the one that will help the rest of your goals.
For example, if one goal is to lose 50lbs that goal will also help you keep up with your kids for your family goals. Another example would be, if you want to save $1000 for a trip, you need to start saving a little now and often instead of aiming to do it in big chunks.
By choosing one thing, you will be able to focus completely on how to succeed and limit the overwhelming feelings of “how can I do all of this?”
If you achieve your New Year’s Resolution before December–GREAT! There is no reason you can’t create a new goal for yourself mid-year!
2. Make Sure It’s a SMART Goal
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive.
By creating a goal that is SMART you will see what your resolution is in a clear, concise way.
For example, “I want to lose 20 pounds by June by working out and dieting 6 days a week.” is a lot more descriptive than “I want to lose weight.”
You may also like: 6 Tips to Achieve Your Healthy Goals During the Holidays
3. Your goal should also be meaningful to you.
Don’t choose something society, your spouse, kids, or parents would like you to do. Choose a goal based on what you want because it will help to keep you motivated towards reaching it.
It also has to be something in your control.
You can’t have a goal of your kids making straight A’s or your spouse getting promoted because those decisions are ultimately up to someone else.
4. Write it Down
Just like an important date or note, your goal should be written down and kept somewhere you can see it easily.
Some fitness trainers even encourage you to write your goal on a business card and have it laminated to carry with you everywhere.
Also, try writing your goal as if you have already accomplished it.
For example, “It’s June and I am down 20 pounds and am the healthiest I’ve ever been.” This will help remind you what you are working towards!
5. Think About What It Takes to Accomplish
You know how packed the gym is on January 1st, but by April it’s back to the same ol’ regulars? It’s because most people do not plan ahead and make an effort to stick with something year round.
- Will you need anything to reach your goal (a workout program, equipment, meal plans, nicotine patches, etc)?
- What do you need to know before starting?
For example, if you want to lose weight do you know how many calories you need to be eating to lose 1 pound a week? How will people’s reactions to your success affect you?
You may also like: 7 Simple Tricks to Stay Motivated and Accomplish Any Goal
7 Tips to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions & Goals
1. Anticipate Problems
What could possibly cause you to slip? Is it a friend that shares the bad habit you are trying to quit? Is it a weekend party with lots of good food? Money for a gym membership? Seasonal factors? etc.
A long-term study by the University of Washington found that only 40 percent of people who stick to their first New Year’s resolution did it on the first try.
The rest had to try multiple times; 17 percent finally reached their goal after more than six attempts.
It’s okay to fail or get off track, just jump back on board! Also, consider the 90/10 rule & breathe.
Think out each thing that could affect your New Year’s resolution and create a way to overcome it.
2. Break it Down in Small Steps
You want to break your goal into small, bite-size pieces to help you succeed. By taking it 1 week at a time, you can celebrate your progress and stay motivated.
For example, if my New Year’s Resolution is to lose 20 lbs by June, I could choose to crash diet May 20th- June 1st and possibly lose all of the weight. However, it would be unhealthy, unrealistic, and would not last.
Therefore, my weekly goal may be: “I will track my calories and workout each day in order to lose 1 lb a week.”
You may also like: Simple Ways to Improve Your Health in Under 5 Minutes
3. Create a Plan
Now that you have all of the pieces above brainstormed, consolidate your thoughts into one plan to help stay accountable to yourself.
Sticking with our example of losing weight, my plan could be to prepare my food on the weekend, use MyFitnessPal, and stick to my home workouts. When an obstacle appears, I would slow down and think about the consequences of my choice towards my weekly goal.
4. Tell Someone
By telling someone, your New Year’s resolution is out there. While I admit this could be scary, it is essential.
Choose someone that you do not want to let down.
Don’t have anyone? My mom and I have a closed, safe group on Facebook to talk about your health and fitness goals. We all share recipes, tips, progress, and our ups and downs.
5. Create a Trigger
Sometimes our minds just get away from us, but a trigger helps pull your mind back to your New Year’s Resolution. Pick something you will see or hear on a daily basis to remind you of your goal.
For example, every time I see the number 3, I will think about reaching my goal. You could even incorporate your trigger into your cell phone background.
6. Visualize Your Success
To get started:
What will your life be like once you reach your goal? How will you feel? Will your clothes fit different? Will you not worry about money anymore? Will you have saved a ton from not buying cigarettes?
7. Reward Yourself
Offering yourself a reward for your hard work is a great way to stay motivated and keep positive energy flowing! Just remember, your reward should not go against your goal.
For example, if I’m trying to lose 20 lbs, I shouldn’t eat a huge bowl of ice cream for losing a pound that week. Instead, I may buy myself a nail polish or take the afternoon off to read a book.
Studies have proven that people that set a reward for their goal are 3x more likely to reach it! (Read more)
Also, keep in mind that you can use this resource at any time this year.
Whenever you find yourself wanting to set a new goal, these tips will help you align it to fit your life.
You can have success any time of the year, and we are always here to help. In addition, this guide will continue to help you set and reach your goals for years!
We have to warn you – it’s going to take a little time to perfect your goal, and effort to make your goal reality…. but it’ll be worth it. Visualize yourself living out your dream for this year!!
Pretty cool, right?
Get ready to see amazing things happen! With these tips and your awesomeness, you can accomplish anything!!