Have you ever failed to follow through on your new year’s resolution? I know I have. But this year you have an opportunity to do things differently. With the right strategy, you can stick to your new year’s resolution this year. You can make it work and you can be damn proud of it.
It all starts with picking the right new year‘s resolution for you
#1. Pick the right resolution
Picking the right new year’s resolution is crucial. It determines whether you follow through or not. Not following through can be detrimental to your self esteem. You lose faith in your self and it negatively affects your mental emotional well-being.
So, How do you set the right new year’s resolution for you? I have 3 tips to help you with that.
a)Follow your dreams
How did you pick your new year’s resolution last year? Did you base it on what everyone else says you should do or did you pick it because of your own dreams and aspirations? Doing what everybody wants you to do when you are not driven to do it makes the whole process harder. As a result, you don’t stick to your new year’s resolution.
Let’s do something different this year. Start by setting a new year’s resolusion that you want to achieve. You, not your friends, not your family. It has to be you. If the only reason you want to lose weight is because everyone else says you should then don’t pick it as your new year’s resolution. Pick something that you always wanted. If you always wanted to start a blog make that your resolution.
b)Make it a Smart Goal
The word smart is an acronym that will help you remember the qualities that your goal needs to have.
S is for Specific
Do not set a vague goal like I want to earn more money. To make it specific you have to answer the following questions as it relates to your goal.
Who is involved?
What is accomplished?
Let’s apply this, to the earlier example of earning more money.
Who? You will
What is accomplished? Make an extra $10000 this year by writing a blog
Where? Working at home
When? Weekdays 7 pm to 9 pm
Why? I want to quit my 9-5 job
M is for Measurable
If you have made your New year’s resolusion specific enough chances are that you have already got this covered. For the previous example, the measurement for success is earning 10,000 dollars extra within a year’s time. When you define your goals this way it is easy to figure out if you have achieved your goal or not.
If you didn’t make the measurement criteria clear at the beginning, then there is a chance that you feel like a failure even after you achieve the goal. This is because you forget where you were when you made the resolution. You feel like you could have earned more. As a result, you do not feel successful enough.
A is for Achievable
Setting an unrealistic goal is a recipe for failure. This criterion is there to make sure you do not do that.
If your business is barely making $20,000 it is not a good resolution to set a goal of earning 1 million dollars.
Also, make sure that you do not depend on another person to realize your goal. If the success of your goal depends on your husband quitting his job that is not within your control.
It is true that you can never be certain of anything. But some things are more achievable than others. Setting a goal that is not achievable and failing to achieve it can damage your self-esteem. So make sure you set a New year’s resolution that you are sure you can achieve.
Rather than setting a resolution to earn a million dollars, it is better to start small and work your way up to it.
R is for Relevant
Is this worthwhile? This is a question that you need to ask yourself under this category. If your new years resolution does not align with your values and long-term objectives it is not relevant. In the best-case scenario, it will be a waste of time. In the worst-case scenario, it will interfere with your life and create chaos.
Today we are living amidst a pandemic. Most places are at risk of being locked down. Under this situation, a resolution that will require a lot of social contacts is not the best idea. So make sure you consider this as well.
T is for Time-Bound
Under this criterion, you need to set deadlines for your goal. There should be a date by which you achieve your goal. For a new year’s resolution, it is usually by the end of the year. However, I propose you go one step further and set targets throughout the year.
c) Find a powerful purpose
Your reason for doing this is as important as the task itself when it comes to motivation. A man who was never able to quit smoking finally managed to do it when he decided he wants to live long enough to walk his newborn daughter down the aisle.
Can you see the power of “the why?”. He was never motivated enough to do it for himself. But when he added his daughter to the equation it became easier. Sometimes you have to find a purpose bigger than yourself to power you.
That is all about setting the right new year resolution. Once you have set the right resolution use the following tips to make it easier.
#2. Break it down into small chunks.
Attempting to lose 20 Pounds may be realistic for you but it can be overwhelming. That is why you need to break such new years resolutions down into small chunks that are easier to achieve. Otherwise, you will just give up.
So your first target should be something easy like to lose 1 lb by the end of January. I purposely made this extra easy because you are new to this. You will keep running into obstacles that you did not anticipate at this phase. Even with that, this is a goal you could easily reach.
Reaching this Goal will give you a sense of achievement and motivate you to keep going and maybe even to do more. By now you will have a hang on what needs to be done. So the next target can be more challenging.
The 2nd target will be to lose 5 lb by end of March. 3rd will be to lose 10 by end of June while the 4th will be 15 by end of October. This way you never allow your self to slack off.
#3. Be Kind to Yourself
If you ever make a mistake, remember you are only human. It is okay to make a mistake. Don’t be hard on yourself. Try again. Don’t give up on your diet just because you missed one day. Keep trying. Never give up.
#4. Watch your self-talk
What do you tell yourself when you make a mistake? Do you say “ you are such an idiot… No wonder you can’t get anything right”? Or do you say, “It’s okay, let’s try again.”? How you talk to yourself determines how much you achieve.
It’s not that successful people don’t make mistakes. They just don’t berate themselves for their mistakes. They learn from it and move on. So if you couldn’t resist smoking because all your friends were smoking then avoid such places where people smoke.
When you tell yourself you can’t get anything right at some point your brain gives up trying. What’s the point of trying if you are going to fail anyway. So always tell yourself you can do it. That you have the power to do it.
#5. Do it with a friend
If you are planning to go jogging every morning as a part of your new year’s resolution find a friend to do that with. This way you have a commitment to another person and you cannot cancel just because you don’t feel like it. However when you pick your friend make sure it is a friend who will follow through. It is not a good idea to start it with a friend who is likely to give up.
Every time you reach a milestone reward yourself with something you absolutely love. This will provide additional motivation in your journey. It is very important especially in the beginning as you are doing something new. At this stage, it is very easy to fall back into your old habits. So additional motivation will do you good.
Let’s say you are dying to watch the newest Zac Effron movie. Then watch it only after you reach that milestone.
I have heard that the sales of cigarettes significantly drops on then first week of January. Sales people don’t worry about it because they know it will be back to normal by the 2nd week. Can you see how many people give up on their new years resolution early on. Don’t be that person.
New habits takes time to form. Giving up early on is the biggest reason for failure. Now that you have additional tools to work with you can be the odd one out. Be that rare, incredible person who achieved her new years resolution.
So what is your new year’s resolution? Comment and let me know.