Every year, at the beginning of the year, people scramble to put together their list of new year’s resolutions, often racking their brain to come up with an inspired and do-able list of things to make them a better/happier person. Oftentimes, though, most people fall off the new year’s resolution bandwagon, abandoning their new hopes and dreams for the year a few days into January. If you’ve done this, don’t feel bad – it’s normal. The easiest way to stick to your resolutions is to make them simple and attainable, and to make a list of goals that you truly want to achieve and that you are committed to.
Here are some tips on how to successfully make new year’s resolutions that you will stick to:
DON’T MAKE A LONG LIST
Choose one or two things that you would like to achieve in the new year. The smaller the list, the easier and less overwhelming it will be to work towards your goals. Your resolutions could be family-based, personal, spiritual, or physical. Maybe you’d like to spend more time with your loved ones. Perhaps you’d like to get into better physical shape. Whatever it is that you’d like to focus on, decide on one or two things, develop an attainable plan on how to achieve them, and measure your progress as you go along. You’ll feel good about yourself as you progress and it will inspire you to make more necessary changes to your lifestyle when the time is right.
SET GOALS THAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE – FOR YOU
Setting goals for the new year should be solely for you and your progress – no one else. You are the captain of your own ship, and the goals that you set should be for yourself, because they are goals that you want to achieve. Subscribing to goals that you don’t really want, or that you think you need, or that other people want to achieve, will only lead to unhappiness and disappointment when you find that you don’t achieve them. Important goals are challenging enough, so why add more obstacles on your path? Whatever you do in life, make sure that it’s right for you.
Once you’ve identified your goal(s), set a plan in motion on how to achieve them. For example, if your new year’s resolution is to get in shape, commit to an actionable plan that will help you to achieve your goal – such as joining a gym, starting a team sport, doing early morning yoga in your living room, and reading up on best fitness practices and foods to eat to aid you on your fitness journey. If you set a plan in motion on how to achieve your goal, you’ll find that it’s less daunting, more attainable, and more enjoyable.
REMEMBER THAT FAILURE IS OKAY
It’s important to remember that when you set your new year’s resolution(s), there may be days where it seems harder to stay on that train, and you feel like giving up. This is completely normal, and it’s times like this that you should give yourself a pep-talk and remind yourself why you set those goals for yourself in the first place. Keep in mind that your goals may change as time goes on, and if you find that your new year’s resolutions no longer serve you, aim to make new ones, no matter what time of the year it is. If you find that you’re consistently slipping up, and your goal is really important to you, commit to identifying what the triggers for failure are (for example, if you’ve resolved to stop smoking but constantly light up when you’re out drinking with friends, make a mental note of your triggers and plan a way around them).
As you get closer and closer to achieving your goals, pat yourself on the back for your progress. You may find that incentivising and rewarding yourself makes the time easier and more enjoyable. Self-appreciation goes a long way.
Whatever your resolutions, keep in mind that there is nothing special about the start of a new year when it comes to goal-setting. You can commit to a set of resolutions at absolutely any time of the year. The vital part is your commitment – and this goes hand in hand with whether you want it badly enough.