How To Make The Best New Year's Resolutions (And Actually Keep Them)
"I want to lose 10lbs, have a six-pack and be a total badass this new year." Sound familiar?
The new year is just around the corner. With a new year comes new goals most likely centered about better health or wellness of sorts. And with new goals comes the daunting task of figuring out what exactly you want from the 365-days ahead of you, and how to accomplish your resolutions.
But, let's face it, sometimes resolutions are accomplished. Most of the times they're tried and failed. Often, they're left behind with the piece of paper that they were written on and forgotten during throughout the year. They become distant memories of wishful thinking.
Resolutions are daunting, but not impossible. We can all make resolutions that are not only realistic and within sight, but also stretch our capabilities and challenge us to achieve more. Every year, I make a resolution with a determination unmatched by anything else but fail to realize what is realistically achievable and make resolutions that are practical. This coming year will be different. Like with work productivity, resolutions need small goals to attain the big picture goal. Here's how to make the best resolutions and actually keep them.
Reflect on that is that you want to accomplish
Here's step one. With any goals — New Year's Resolution or not — reflection plays a vital role. Reflection provides a starting point for formulating your goals. It gives you the anchor you need to create goals that are both ambitious and realistically achievable. It's the key.
Reflecting on the mistakes made last year allow us to make resolutions catered to fixing our weaknesses. It enables us to grow as individuals and realize what we have to strive towards to be better, happier, and more successful individuals. This also allows us to realize what we really want from the next year. Was last years resolution to lose weight but you had no game plan? Did we strive towards something but not find any happiness once we reached our goals? Take a step back from the reality and look at 2015 in abstraction to discover what you really need to resolve.
Be very very specific
Being very specific of what you want to accomplish will help you discover the roadmap of how to get there. If it's to lose weight, think about how you're going to get to your goal? How much exactly? What deadline have you set? What are your action steps to get there? Be very specific of what it is that you want.
Find a Medium to remind you of what you want to accomplish
As much as we believe that we can hold on to coherent thoughts in our mind, sometimes the most effective way to make solid resolutions is to put them down. Whether you decide to type you resolutions, write them down with pen and paper, draw them out, tweet it out, post it on Facebook or Instagram. The key is to have some place to refer to your resolutions throughout the year to keep you accountable.
Keep Visual Reminders
Our memory is hardly reliable. We tend to remember things different each time we try to recall a thought or retrieve a glimpse in the past. If you want to make a resolution that truly sticks, then having a place that you can refer to when trying to remember your resolution can make all the difference in the world. Create a vision board, set calendar reminders, post it on your desk or use and app like Nozbe or Habit List to help you reach your goal.
Set Goals and mini milestones
Resolutions don't necessarily have to run through the 365 days ahead of you. Instead, try breaking your goals up and assigning you own timeline through them. For instance, divide the year into trimesters and resolve to achieve certain tasks by the end of each trimester. If you find tackling a whole list of resolutions through the entire year difficult, this might allow you to achieve more systematically what you want. Also, creating mini daily or weekly goals that work toward your BIG PICTURE goal. This
Figure out the baby steps
There is nothing wrong with having big goals — but any big goals, it's important to have the right baby steps to go along with it. When drawing up big goals and ambitions, think about what the small things you need to do to achieve that goals to the best of your ability.
Is there some specific skill that you need to improve? Do you need any extra resources than what you already have? Think it through.
Sometimes, large vague goals are the most difficult to achieve. Not because the goals were too big to begin with, but because they’re not thought out with a streamlined focus. For each big goal, try to break them down and have mini daily or weekly goals or a list of steps that you should follow in order to reach that goal with a deadline for each. The key is to be consistent this why you hold yourself accountable.
Do that, and making resolutions that stick may become all the more easier.