Keeping your New Year Resolution

Have you made a resolution this new year?

 

Warning: More than half of all resolutions fail, but this year, they don’t have to be yours. Here’s how to identify the right resolution to improve your life, create a plan on how to reach it, and become part of the small group of people that successfully achieve their goal.

 

Whether you want to lose weight, get organized, or achieve anything else in 2022, it’s all about sticking to your goals! Here are a few tips and tricks to help keep your resolutions this year.

Your goals should be smart — and SMART. That’s an acronym is for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals. It may work for management, but it can also work in setting your resolutions, too.

SMART goals are important to set as they:

  • Help you work with clear intentions, not broad or vague goals
  • Provide a method to gauge your success by setting benchmarks to meet
  • Give sensible objectives that are realistic and achievable
  • Cut out unnecessary or irrelevant work that could take away from what’s important
  • Set a clear beginning and end to adhere to in reaching your goals
  • Specific

    Your resolution should be absolutely clear. Without defining exactly what you’re trying to improve, it’s difficult to outline the steps you need to take to make progress. A specific goal is one that you could share with your family and friends in 10 seconds that would clearly explain what you are trying to improve.

  • Measurable

    This may seem obvious if your goal is a fitness or weight loss related one, but it’s also important if you’re trying to cut back on something, too. It’s crucial that your goal is trackable and numeric. As soon as you attach a number to your goal, you’ll be able to track exactly how far you’ve come since you set the goal and how far you have left until you reach it. Logging progress into a journal or making notes on your phone or in an app designed to help you track behaviors can reinforce the progress, no matter what your resolution may be.

  • Achievable/Attainable

    This doesn’t mean that you can’t have big stretch goals. But trying to take too big a step too fast can leave you frustrated, or affect other areas of your life to the point that your resolution takes over your life — and both you and your friends and family flail.  Don’t let yourself feel so discouraged by a huge goal that you lose motivation. Instead, set yourself up to succeed by creating goals that are realistic.

  • Relevant

    Ask yourself why you’re setting the goal that you are.  Is this a goal that really matters to you, and are you making it for the right reasons? If it’s not, consider how you can change or adjust your initial goal.

  • Time-bound

    The final aspect of the SMART framework is one of the most important: setting a timeline for meeting your goal. Like “attainable,” the timeline toward reaching your goal should be realistic, too. That means giving yourself enough time to do it with lots of smaller intermediate goals set up along the way.  Without a timeline, you won’t be able to determine whether the smaller changes you’re making are keeping you on track toward achieving your ultimate goal.

A few things to remember as you are in the process of making these changes:

Practice patience and forgiveness: Even with the best of intentions and motivations, it is all too common to lose sight of resolutions when life gets hectic and your attention is needed elsewhere. It takes time to make lasting change, but sometimes all you need is an unexpected breakthrough to make your resolution a reality. Through the ups and downs, practice patience and forgiveness with yourself, acknowledging that no one is perfect and that you are on the right path.

 

 Embrace the buddy system: One of the biggest mistakes people make when setting New Year’s resolutions is trying to achieve them alone. Having a buddy alongside you who has similar goals or simply wants to support you can make a huge difference in whether you achieve your resolutions in 2022. If possible, find someone you trust who is reliable and can commit to joining you for healthy meals, exercise, or new hobbies or activities.

 

Reward yourself for achievements: Resolutions shouldn’t be all about hard work and no fun. That’s why it’s important to reward yourself for achievements you make, no matter how big or how small. If you’ve stuck to your resolution of saving $1,000 a month for the past three months, treat yourself by buying something small that you’ve been wanting for a long time. Occasional rewards provide tangible proof that your resolution plan is working well and that you are improving yourself little by little.

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