newyears

2015 is a week away, and a new year comes with new opportunities and new goals. According to USA.gov, the most popular New Year’s Resolutions among Americans include:

  • Losing weight
  • Reducing debt
  • Quitting smoking
  • Volunteering
  • Getting fit
  • Getting education/a better job

Not all resolutions are successful, however, and a majority of New Year’s goals are not met. Here are some pointers:

  • Set realistic goals. Setting goals that are too hard to achieve will be discouraging and you will be unlikely to make any progress at all. Defining your goal is also crucial. How many hours a week will you spend volunteering? What does “fit” mean, exactly? Without realistic definitions, your vague goal will likely never be met.
  • Focus your efforts. It’s unrealistic and overwhelming to make a giant list of everything you want to change in your life. Set one or two goals and direct your efforts on them. Once you accomplish those, you can set new goals. But setting too many goals from the start means you’ll probably spread yourself too thin and get worn out before any goals are accomplished.
  • The “how” is just as important as the “what.” How will you meet your goal? What steps are required? How will you find the time or the money to complete your resolution? What habits need to be set? Determining a reasonable action plan is just as important as deciding on the goal itself.
  • Work towards your goal daily. Putting effort towards your goal daily means that you make your goal a habit, and little by little it can be accomplished. Physical reminders of your resolution can also be helpful. Some gyms and trainers use Reminderbands as fitness motivation or workout reminders. Other people order a custom bracelet with a personalized message on it to keep their goal or mantra for the year in mind.

Do you have other ideas for making and keeping New Year’s resolutions? What are your goals for this upcoming year?