10 steps for making new year’s resolutions

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONSAs a new year approaches, it’s natural to think about the year ahead and how it might be appropriate to make some resolutions with the aim of being improved versions of ourselves.

Perhaps we feel it’s time to reinvent ourselves. Maybe we recognise that we’d be better off if we could get rid of some bad habits or possibly develop a few good habits. Lose a little weight, perhaps? Then again, maybe we think it’s time to start our own business with the goal of becoming financially independent.

Whatever it is we have in mind, the new year is a new beginning, so we often see it as a vehicle for change. We think it will provide us with the motivation to make changes in our lives. However, rarely does it work out that way, successfully. Certainly not for most people, in my experience.

All too frequently we promise ourselves that we’ll do this or that but, as January progresses, we forget we’ve even made a new year’s resolution. And that doesn’t really help us at all, does it?

So, if you’re thinking about making some new year’s resolutions, dear reader, make sure you don’t set yourself up for failure.

Successful change is achieved in small steps, not giant leaps.

If you’re going to make some resolutions, make sure they’re achievable. Make resolutions that are hard to keep, and they won’t be kept. Simple!

Here are 10 steps for making new year resolutions you can successfully stick to for the long term: –

Steps for making New Year’s resolutions:

1. Time for reflection:

The first step is to spend some time thinking about where you are in life and where you’d like to be.

What have you accomplished so far, and what would you like to accomplish in the future?

Where have you struggled and why? Perhaps your skillset needs improving or maybe you have some really bad habits which you should eliminate.

Spending some time on reflection should help you identify areas of your life that you want to focus on improving in the new year.

However, let me stress once again, think in terms of small steps rather than giant leaps.

2. Be specific:

If goals are to be achievable, then they need to be specific.

Rather than say, I want to lose weight. It’s much better to say, my goal is to lose 16 pounds by the 1st of March.

With that goal, you’ll know you must lose two pounds every week if you’re to achieve your target. Then you can start focusing on related issues like diet, calorie count, exercise and so on.

3. Focus on a few goals:

You’re not going to achieve 20 goals in the new year. Most of them will get lost very quickly.

Decide on one, two or possibly three things you’d like to achieve and then prioritise them.

4. Write down your goals:

You’ll have a much greater chance of success if you commit your goals to paper.

Psychologically it will have an impact on you if you write them down. It will seem like a true commitment, and it will drive your unconscious mind to think about what needs to be done.

5. Share your goals with someone:

Making New Years ResolutionsSharing your goals with a friend, this again will reinforce your psychological commitment to those goals.

This will help you stay motivated, and it means that you make yourself accountable as you’re working towards achieving your goals.

Let’s face it, no one wants friends or family members to know that we failed. So, if they know you’re committed to a goal, you’ll have no choice but to make sure that you achieve it.

6. Planning:

For each of your goals, you must plan accordingly.

Break each goal down into its constituent parts and come up with a plan as to how you will achieve them.

Really, this just means breaking your goals down into smaller, actionable steps, and then creating a timeline for completing each step.

7. Anticipate problems:

Reaching goals is never easy. There will always be problems along the way. That’s just life.

So, make a list of the potential problems that might occur at certain times of the day, in given situations or with certain people, as you work towards achieving your goals.

Once you’ve identified the potential problems, you can then work out ways that will help you deal with them as and when they occur. In short, be prepared.

8. Set dates:

This is all about being specific again and it fits into the planning process.

When will you get started?

When will you achieve your goal? By what date, specifically?

Be realistic but challenge yourself too.

9. Regular review:

Right, you’ve set goals, you’ve got a plan in place, and you’ve set dates for starting and completion.

The next step is to set regular intervals to review progress.

This might be weekly, monthly and/or quarterly. Whatever seems appropriate, depending on the goal.

As you review progress, you’ll be able to identify whether small adjustments need to be made to your plan to achieve your goal on time. 

Obviously, you’ll need to be flexible and willing to adjust your goals and plan as required.

10. Reward success:

To achieve your goal, you’ll need to be very disciplined, of course, but it also helps if there’s a potential reward at the end of the process.

So, promise yourself a suitable reward if you achieve your goal.

Success deserves to be rewarded.

Concluding remarks:

We’ve all made resolutions over the years that have come to nothing.

It’s easy to say what we plan to do, it’s much harder to do it and achieve our end goal.

However, just because you’ve failed with resolutions in the past, doesn’t mean you’re doomed to fail in the future.

Set your resolutions carefully, approach them methodically and don’t give up until you get to where you want to be.

It can be done, and people do. So can you!

Now you know how to make a new year resolution, you’re one step closer to achieving your goal.

Remember, small steps and not giant leaps.

Good luck!

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