Take a minute to think back on your New Year’s resolutions of years’ past. How many of them did you actually keep? If the ratio of those you kept to those you did not is nothing to brag about, you are among the majority of Americans. Research from the University of Scranton shows that only 8% of people have success in achieving what they set out to on January 1st. (Check out this site for more interesting stats http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/)
Let this be THE year—the year of accomplished goals. Follow these tips below to set yourself up for success! Cheers to a one-of-a-kind year!
Be Honest with Yourself
The majority of New Year’s resolutions have to do with self-improvement; and this is a great thing! I am 100% onboard with becoming addicted to constant and never ending self-improvement! That is my mantra; however; simply spitting out a wish list that you call New Year’s resolutions is not ideal. First evaluate where you currently are in order to effectively figure out how to get to where you want to be. Reflecting upon the previous year will give you a clear and truthful idea of where you want to see yourself one year from now.
Write it Down
Whether you write your resolutions on your phone, post it notes, calendar, computer, journal, or bathroom mirror; Write. It. Down. It may sound insignificant, but this is a must! Documenting your start is part of the process that will help you clearly define your resolutions.
Maybe you wanted to be in the circus when you were a child; maybe you want to be debt free; maybe you want to climb Mount Everest. There are many things that we all “want,” but that does not mean that they should make it onto the New Year’s Resolution List. Although these dreams are inspiring, they may not be realistic goals to achieve in one year. Do not set yourself up for failure. That can lead to discouragement, which can lead to hopelessness, which can quickly put you on a downward spiral. If you have a goal to visit the seven continents, but know that you have not earned that much vacation time at work, buff that down to three out of the seven continents this year. Be realistic.
Have a Plan; Create a Habit
In observing a handful of successful people I have noticed one thing in common: routine. Creating good habits and putting in place a strategy to hit those goals will make them more achievable. Take one day at time so that you are not overwhelmed by unattainable reaches.
Take Calculated Risks
Nothing will change until you change something. It is unrealistic to expect a shift in your life if you do not step out of your box. Let’s stop doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results! I am not suggesting that you quit your day job to pursue a vocal career (even if you sound darn good in the shower) however, taking a risk is an important part of the journey that cannot be ignored.
Chart Your Progress
Reevaluate in one month. Are you still on track? Have circumstances shifted in your life that warrant a shift in your resolution? A change in the plan is okay as long as you have a plan to replace the previous. Always keep the end in mind and remember that it does not matter how you achieve your goals; simply that you do.
Ask for Help
Do not be ashamed to lean on a friend or a family member if you are struggling. Arriving at your ultimate destination is the goal. It does not matter how you got there. There is nothing in the New Year’s Resolution Handbook that says it is only a valid achievement if you get there on your own. A little push in the right direction can speed up the process!
Hold Yourself Accountable
When things get challenging, (and they will) it is easy to give up on yourself if no one is watching. Tell at least one other person what you are striving for. The small action of speaking it aloud can make it seem real to you, and will give you more of a reason not to turn back.
When you achieve a goal, celebrate! No matter how small or how large, it is important to recognize life’s victories. Hats off to you!