As you write out your New Year’s resolutions, you know you’re going to complete every single item on this year’s list. Unfortunately, most people tend to write the same things every single year, hoping that this year will be the one. Luckily, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn how to complete people’s most common New Year’s resolutions and make 2022 your year.
What Do You Want to Do This Year?
Before we begin, let’s take a look at the ten most common New Year’s resolutions:
- Lose Weight/Get Fit/Diet
- Quit Smoking/Drinking
- Eliminate Debt
- Get Organized
- Learn a New Language/Skill/Hobby
- Spend Time with Family
- Read More
- Reduce Stress
Most likely, you’re looking to accomplish at least one thing on this list. Take the time to narrow what you want to do into a couple of goals. For example, a lot of people will create ungodly long lists in the hopes of living up to the “New Year, New Me” motto. When they do this, they’re setting themselves up for failure, creating a list of goals they’ll quickly feel overwhelmed by. By selecting 2-3, you’re more likely to accomplish what you want and won’t feel like you’ve “failed” within a few weeks.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
If you work in the business world, you’ve probably heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and occur within a specific timeframe. So, what does this look like in action? Let’s say your goal is to “lose weight.” This is vague and can mean 100 different things to 100 different people. When we set a S.M.A.R.T. weight loss goal, it becomes something like, “I want to lose 50 pounds over the next year by working out three times a week, making healthier eating decisions and aiming to lose 5 pounds a month.”
Make Sure Goals Motivate
Another problem we frequently see with New Year’s resolutions are goals that really don’t motivate. Non-motivational goals fall into two camps: too hard and too easy. If your goal is to travel more, you’re probably not going to hit all seven continents in seven weeks (if you can, seriously, please take us with you). On the flip side, you’re likely not going to find a lot of satisfaction traveling to the same vacation spot you’ve had for seven years. Look for something in-between. So, if your goal is to travel to a foreign country, look to include a couple of different cities/states/countries while you’re there. For example, if you want to go to Spain, why not include a few days in Portugal or France as well? By including a few bonus stops that won’t break the bank, you’ve created a more motivating goal.
Write Your Goals Down
Break Down Goals
Your New Year’s resolutions are likely pretty big goals, and this can quickly overwhelm just about anyone. Instead of putting something monumental and getting lost in the process of completing it, break your goal down into measurable steps. How does this work in action? Let’s say you want to quit smoking, and right now you smoke a pack a day. In the first month, aim to get your smoking down to about 10-15 cigarettes a day by the end of the month. You’re already halfway there! The following month, look to cut your smoking down by a third to a half again. By the end of the year, you’ll have quit smoking entirely, and you’ll have been able to do it by slowly weaning yourself off through small stepping stone goals.
Write Goals Down
Writing down your goals may seem passe, but there are plenty of reasons to bring out the pen and paper, including:
- You’re more likely to remember things you write versus typing them out.
- Your goals will be clearer and more concise.
- You can easily post them anywhere. A lot of people find putting their goals someplace they see every day, whether on their bathroom mirror or on the fridge, keeps them on track and make better decisions every day.
- If you regularly review them, they can become a great motivating tool to see how far you’ve come on your journey.
While it’s perfectly fine to put your goals on your phone, most people find writing them down gives them regular motivation; however, typing them out and making them your lock screen or wallpaper is also perfectly fine as well.
Tell Your Friends Your Resolutions
Your friends likely have a lot of the same goals as you, so now is the perfect time to connect with them. When you tell others your goals, you’re more likely to complete them due to the instant accountability telling someone about the goal establishes. If you find someone who has the same goal, look to partner up with them. For example, if you want to read more, the two (or more) of you can start a book club, meeting once a month to discuss your latest book.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Look, making a major life change is difficult, and you will slip up. Whether it’s a piece of cake on your diet or splurging on something for yourself, you’re going to have hiccups as you work to meet your goal. If an oopsie happens, make sure you:
- Take a breath. There’s nothing stopping you from working towards your goal for the rest of the day.
- Don’t beat yourself up. Far too often, people put themselves through a guilt trip that actually dissuades them from pursuing their goal.
- Reevaluate your goals. Sometimes we set ourselves for failure by making huge goals no one can complete. Look to see if your goals are achievable and make adjustments as needed.
Setting New Year’s resolutions can be fun, and reaching your goals will feel rewarding once you’re done. Take the time to create S.M.A.R.T. resolutions, regularly reevaluate as necessary, enlist a friend and don’t beat yourself up when you have a setback. By following the above tips, you’ll reach your goals in no time.