It’s the end of the year, so it makes sense that we discuss how to make those New Year’s resolutions come true (for a change!). If you’re serious about keeping those resolutions, then you’ll appreciate this article. I’ve outlined five tips to help make you more successful when making those resolutions.
1. Pick Realistic Goals
One of the biggest problems in keeping a resolution is that we simply aim too high. Resolving to look more like Cindy Crawford is an unrealistic resolution for anyone. Resolving to lose a few pounds or cut back on sweets are more realistic goals. Setting a goal of completely changing your life, your career, your family relations, etc. is too broad. Keep the goals small and simple. You’ll find this tip alone will help you attain your goals.
Educate yourself about realistic goals, too. There are dozens of reliable and informative online sources to help you learn how to reduce your financial debt, lose weight, quit smoking, and improve your relationships, among many other things. If you need more information, now is the time to read-up on the things of interest to you to help you keep your resolution.
2. Define Those Goals
Saying you’ll lose weight, change your job, or go back to school isn’t good enough. You need to write down how specifically you are going to move toward those goals.
Want to lose a few pounds? Develop a weight loss plan which includes sensible eating with a regular exercise plan. Don’t rely on magical solutions or weight loss pills to keep the weight off long-term.
Develop specific, concrete ways to reach your goal, but keep each step along the way small. Deciding to quit your job tomorrow without having even begun a new job search is not realistic. Instead, find one or two job possibilities online, or in your local newspaper’s classified ads section. Tailor your resume for each job possibility, and send one or two out. Keep the quantities small and easily manageable.
Improving your relationship with your family or significant other is a good goal, but you need to figure out how exactly you will do that. Is it by talking more often to them and opening up with what’s going on in your life? Or is it by doing more things with them? You decide, then set up small but specific tasks to accomplish which you believe will help the relationship (such as calling them on the telephone more often, or setting aside more time each week to just talk to them).
3. Set a Schedule
No goal is attainable without deciding when you’re going to make the small changes needed to reach that goal. If you set no schedule for yourself, or — as most people do — set an unrealistic schedule, you are setting yourself up to fail. The schedule should be written down, just like your goal and the steps you will take to reach each goal. Losing a few pounds over a few months is realistic; losing a few pounds in a few days is not. Finding a new job within six months is realistic; finding one by the end of January is not. Improving your relationship with your significant other over the entire year is realistic; trying to do so overnight is impossible.