Keep your resolutions; 8 essential tips for New Year goal setting

Tam Johnston

New year

Are you like a lot of people who spend time devising New Year resolutions year after year, yet fail to keep them despite good intentions? You are not alone! We’re going to show you the secrets to creating a realistic resolution and how to keep them.

 Resolutions = Goal Setting

It’s that time of year where post-Christmas relaxation is kicking in, and with the opportunity to unwind comes times for reflection of the past year and goal setting for the future. It is the ideal time to use the space, camaraderie and marking out of the New Year to kick-start new changes and rid yourself of old habits.

Interestingly though, a lot of people don’t bother making resolutions and sadly those that do frequently give them up after an average of only nine days! (Which is perhaps the reason why some people don’t bother making them)!

 Other reasons are that resolutions can be made ‘on a wim’ are often far too ambiguous such as “I’m going to be happier”. What is ‘happy’ and how do you know what to do to be happy?! The more resolutions are considered the same as ‘goals’ the higher the degree of success.

So what can you do to ensure you effectively set and maintain your resolutions? We’re about to give you insider tips to create great goals and keep them, reaping the rewards.

8 Essential Tips

1)      Make it SMART!

Find our free guide to creating SMART goals here.

Yes, you may have heard it before so let’s keep it real. Stick with us! We’re not asking you to spend hours writing out your goals and getting them word-perfect, that’s enough to put most people off!! Yet we do know that when you focus clearly on the detail of what you want, make it positive and know how to recognise when you’ve got it, the goal becomes far clearer and attainable. Keep your goal ambiguous and your chances are far less.

So spend some time getting your goal clearly defined.

2)      Consider what is important to you about reaching your goal

If you don’t know why it’s important for you to achieve it, why would you bother?! What is important is what you place value on in life.

Let’s say you are planning to increase your gym sessions to three times a week, in order to lose one stone in 3 months. Sounds alright, doesn’t it? Yet how motivated will you be if you are unsure why it is important to you? However, if you realised that feeling attractive, being fit to keep up with your kids playing football and staying in optimum health for your family is important; that is far more compelling.

So think about what is important to you about achieving your goal. What will it bring you, that means a lot to you.

3)      What will you lose out on, that you still want?

By reaching your goal there are things you are going to leave behind that may work for you in a strange kind of way. For example, by doing exercise three times a week without planning for what you will lose, you may miss out on essential relaxation or time with friends. If these are more important to you than exercise, it will be very tempting to change back to your old routine.

Yet by addressing these and factoring the loses into your routine, you can change how and when you seek exercise so that you can still have these things. It may be you combine exercising with seeing your friends gain relaxation in sauna at the gym afterwards, or exercise before work so you are still free in the evenings.

Acknowledge what you will lose so you can make a judgement call as to how important these are to you. That way you can ditch them or factor them in.

4)      Make it motivating!

It sounds obvious doesn’t it? Yet, how do you do that? Firstly consider what you know has motivated you in the past (and equally be aware of what hasn’t motivated you!).

It may be:

  • Doing it with the support of others. Whether this involves getting your friends to achieve the goal with you or, just getting them on board with your plans.
  • Focusing on how it will be when you get to achieve your goal, what’s the picture you have in mind, how will it feel? How you will congratulate yourself.
  • For some it may be about making a change to what is unbearable in your life at the moment so you can get away from it.

Use whatever works for you. If you need to put a picture of you in your underwear on your fridge door, in order to be motivated to get to the gym, do it. If you want to give up smoking to stay healthy for your kids, get them on board and ask them to remind you daily of why you are doing it.

5)      Make it enjoyablestreamer

Pretty obvious isn’t it? If you find no enjoyment in what you are doing, then it’s going to be much harder to stick to. Either change your resolution/goal,  or find a different way of getting the same result.

Think about how can you have fun doing it.  It’s worth also look beyond the goal itself to find extra enjoyment. Think back to what was important to you about achieving it. What great things does it bring you that are to be enjoyed?

6)      Keep the faith!

Check in with yourself. What do you believe about your ability to reach this goal and stick with it? If you are half heartedly going for it, believing that you always fail, then commiserations, you are talking yourself into that failure.  We are all capable of what we set our mind to, but our mind needs to be set the right way!

Believe you will achieve it and keep that as your focus.

7)      Keep going, even if you slip up

If you make a little backwards step, congratulations on being human! The secret is to acknowledge that for what it was… a little slip up… and then focus back on all the effort and energy you have put into getting this far. Is a slip up worth throwing in the towel for? No! It doesn’t need to be ‘all or nothing/ black or white’. Pick up where you left off and keep going. You can do it!

8)      … and finally, make a resolution to keep your resolutions!

Commit yourself to it and set yourself up so that you are committed in the eyes of others. We often do things for the benefit of others so use that if you need to help you stick with it. Just remember that ultimately your goals and resolutions are for yourself and what you will get out of them. Consider what your rewards are along the way and the prize at the end. Picture yourself achieving your goal and sense how it feels. What are others saying to you? Make it as real as possible and keep that as your focus.

……Now go and get it!

 Cover your points for essential goal success

By spending some time planning for your goal and ensuring all of the above points are considered you are well on the way to keeping your resolutions.You can use these tips anytime for future goal setting. The more practice the more automatically you will set compelling goals that you easily achieve.

Have fun with your new adventures!

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