First and foremost, let’s make some things clear about resolutions. When you make a resolution, you have to remember that it is not just a commitment for January 1; it is for 365 days. Make sure from the beginning it is something that is a long-term goal and a change you want to see. If it is something you have repeatedly tried to do each year, it may be time to reevaluate and come up with a different strategy this year. Otherwise, you will set yourself up to fail.
Don’t be the object of the new year’s resolution jokes. Come into the new year with the mindset that resolutions are achievable if you set yourself up for success. Here are some ways that you can do this.
Make Your Resolutions SMART Goals
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound:
- Specific: Make resolutions clear, concise, and well-defined.
- Measurable: Make sure you have a way to measure your progress and success. Goals should have time frames, dates, amounts, and other quantifiable numbers.
- Attainable/realistic: Your goal should be something that is manageable, and something you believe you can succeed in reaching.
- Time bound: Have a starting point and an end point. Resolutions that will take place over the entire year should be broken down into short-term and longer-term goals.
Choose the Right Resolutions
If you decide to do something, it has to be something that you want to do. Pick something that has meaning behind it for you personally. Oftentimes resolutions come from outside sources and pressures. If the idea originates with you, you’re more likely to commit.
Stick Your Resolutions with Existing Habits
The easier you make the habit, the more likely you are to stick to it. If your resolution is to take a vitamin every day, put the vitamin container next to your toothbrush that you use each morning. Make the new habit part of an existing one.
Give Yourself a Trial Run
Try your resolution for at least 21 days (it takes at least this long to create a habit). Give yourself these days as a trial period. This will give you some room to make mistakes and tweak your goal to make it more realistic.
Measure Your Progress
Many of us get frustrated and give up on resolutions because we have tunnel vision to the end result, which may take all 365 days to achieve. If your resolutions and goals are smart, it should be easy to track the progress you are making, which will help keep you motivated.