New Year’s Resolutions often fail. You’ve probably heard the quip, “The only New Year’s resolution I’ve ever kept is not to make any more resolutions!”
Resolutions often fail because people aren’t smart about the resolutions they make and they try to change too much too quickly.
So, how does one design one’s goals for success instead of frustration? Here are the top nine tips from the experts:
9 Tips to Make New Year’s Resolutions You Can Stick To
- Don’t just make resolutions on the fly with your friends in a couple hours. Set aside a day or maybe even whole weekend in January to reflect and visualize what’s really important to you. Take plenty of time to remember what is truly important to you. Life trainers stress the importance of aligning one’s goals with one’s ideals, and this should be remembered when creating New Year’s Resolutions as well.
- Choose at least one main goal in each of the main areas of your life (family, work, health, recreation, etc.). Having one main goal in each of the important categories of your life helps you maintain a balanced life while still being able to make improvements that will help your be happier overall. If you focus all your goals on one area of your life, you’ll feel frustrated and exhausted when that one area of your life is taking up all your time and become more likely to fail.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals. Some people go all out when making goals and have about 100 goals they want to accomplish each year. They search online for goal ideas and add anything that sounds good to their list. This however means that they’ll have so many goals they will feel overwhelmed and won’t be able to accomplish any of them. Try to stick to a few goals that you can actually work for and that will actually make a difference in your life when you meet them. Pick one main goal from each main category in your life to work for and then maybe a couple smaller goals that you can work on that will also help support your bigger goals.
- Remember that you have all year to accomplish your goals. We often forget that consistent progress over time creates significant changes before you know it. One pound per week equals four or five pounds per month and leads to a fifty- to sixty-pound weight loss in a year! Wow! I think most of us would be happy to lose 60 lbs year. But most of us struggle to stick to our healthy lifestyle goals when we struggle to lose the first ten or 15 in a few weeks or only see one pound coming off per week. Be realistic with your goals and don’t lose site of the big pictures.
- Learn to fail quickly. Plan on making any slip-up an automatic motivational tool to get right back on track. Basically, plan to fail, then plan how you’re going to pick yourself back up after you fail. Most people will not be able to accomplish their goals perfectly. If you give up after your first failure, then you’ll never meet your goals. However, if you plan to fail and then keep going after you fail, you just might.
- Adjust your life to support goal success. That means clean out the fridge, buying the tools you need to succeed, and even avoiding friends or family members for a while who don’t support your goals. If your current friends do not support you in your goals, consider taking a break from them. It’s so easy to lose motivation when you’re hanging out with people who don’t support your new goals. However, once you’ve been able to work on your goals for a few months, you’re less likely to be tempted by friends and family member and can start hanging out with them again.
- Learn to celebrate successes in creative, novel ways. Lots of the time, when something exciting happens people celebrate it with food. However, celebrating with cake, cookies, or chocolate can be self-defeating. Many others like to celebrate big wins with some retail therapy. Try to find new and clever ways to reward yourself that won’t have you sacrificing one goal for the sake of another.
- Stick to your guns: Habits can be adopted in a few weeks, but incorporating these changes into your very identity takes longer.
- Develop an “I can learn from that” attitude. Tell yourself this 100 times a day, after each small success or disappointment.
Follow these nine tips closely, and you just might find how rewarding it is to reach your goals.
What helps you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions? Share with us in the comments below!