Setting New Year resolutions can help you achieve success in the upcoming year. However, sticking to your goals can get hard as the year marches on. The right game plan can help you stay the course all-year long.
Lots of peeps kick off January with high hopes of good behavior and achievements, but lose momentum as the year marches on. In fact, only 4 in 10 peeps are still on track with their resolutions after six months.
But that doesn’t have to be your reality in 2023. Sure, if your goal-setting process is flawed, you’re unlikely to get very far. The good news is that with a few tweaks, you can make sure your resolutions stick around and become part of your routine. The key is to set realistic, attainable goals and to break down those grandiose resolutions into smaller parts.
Keep reading for tips and tricks for setting new year’s goals that you’ll actually achieve.
February doesn’t have to be a time of disappointment, broken dreams, and dashed hopes. Here are 11 strategies to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions:
- Make SMART goals
- Start small
- Create goals for different areas of your life
- Write them down
- Prioritize your goals
- Break down bigger goals
- Include friends and other peeps
- Keep it interesting
- Celebrate progress
- Adjust as necessary
- Have patience
Here’s a detailed guide to each tip.
Make SMART goals
Get organized by setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals. Use these criteria to turn abstract ideals into concrete plans with clear direction. They also make it easier to track progress, stay on target, and measure success.
Yep, studies show that setting SMART goals increases the chances of sticking to them. So instead of resolving to do vague stuff like “get in shape,” instead, aim for something like “run a 5K in under 25 minutes by June 1st.”
When you’ve got specific parameters for your goals, it’s easier to maintain your motivation, making it more likely that you’ll succeed.
Don’t expect to completely revamp your life overnight. It takes time to change habits, and you can’t do it all at once. Instead, make smaller goals that are easier to tackle and don’t require a huge lifestyle shift from day one. This way, you can gradually work your way up to the challenging objectives.
For example, instead of aiming to cut out all sugary snacks right away, begin by swapping unhealthy treats for healthier alternatives. Once that’s become a habit, you can move on to eliminating snacks or reducing the amount that you eat.
Create goals for different areas of your life
Life is multi-faceted so why have resolutions that only focus on one area? Instead, think about all the different aspects of your life — like relationships, health, career, finances, and leisure activities — and create goals for each domain. Doing so helps ensure that you’re giving attention to every part of your life instead of just one or two.
Write them down
By writing your goals down, they become tangible and more real. Plus, you can refer back to them whenever you need a reminder or dose of encouragement. You could keep them in a planner, journal or notebook, or pop those puppies on sticky notes and post them around your home where you can see them each day.
If you prefer, you could even create a vision board with images that represent the things you want to achieve. And then, every time you need a boost, take a few minutes to look at it and remember why you’re striving towards that goal.
Prioritize your goals
Decide which resolutions are the most crucial for your health, finances, relationships, or general well-being, and commit to working on those first. Going full force and trying to tackle too many objectives at once can be overwhelming and cause you to lose sight of what’s truly important.
To help you decide which goals to prioritize, consider your values and the impact each resolution will have on your life. After you’ve identified the ones that are most meaningful and relevant, move forward one at a time or break them into smaller parts.
Break down big goals
If you’re passionate about achieving something big in 2023 — like starting a blog or learning a new language — break down the goal into smaller, more manageable parts. You can then set weekly checkpoints to track your progress and celebrate your successes along the way.
For example, to start a blog, you might set short-term objectives like researching hosting sites by February 20th or writing 10 blog posts by March 30th. Doing so makes it easier for you to stay on top of things.
Include friends and other peeps
You’re much more likely to reach your goals if you have the support of your mates or partner. So, why not ask them to join you in your pursuits?
You could ask a friend to join you for some charity work or a class to learn something new. Gyms and fitness studios often offer membership discounts in January, so why not get your BFF to register, too? Dragging your ass out of bed to work out is a lot easier if you’ve got someone there with you. And having friends along for the ride means more accountability and less likelihood that you’ll give up on your resolutions.
Keep it interesting
Working on your objectives doesn’t have to be a chore. You can turn your resolutions into something enjoyable by making a game out of it, rewarding yourself with treats, or setting up activities with friends.
Let’s say you want to learn a new language, one option is to grab a book and work through the chapters on your own. Or you could make it more fun by playing language learning apps with friends and competing to see who can learn more words in a day.
P.S. You could also join a class, look for a language exchange group in your city, or watch films with subtitles in that language. Get creative and have fun!
Don’t underestimate the power of celebrating your wins, even if they’re not huge. Learning to celebrate all your accomplishments — big or small — will help keep you motivated and encourage positive growth.
By rewarding yourself for your successes, you condition yourself to stay motivated and focused on achieving even more. The reward doesn’t have to be anything complex or expensive — it could be something as simple as treating yourself to a fancy cup of coffee, grabbing some self-care, or spending the day in nature.
Adjust as necessary
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to goal setting, and that’s okay! To keep things interesting and make sure you’re on track, it’s important to check in with yourself periodically to assess your progress.
If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to tweak or change it up. As long as you’re still working towards the same purpose, adjusting your goals, and being flexible with your methods is perfectly fine. It’s all about finding what works for you and taking action to make it happen.
Finally, remember to give yourself some grace — be patient with yourself and allow time for adjustment. You’re not going to transform into your perfect self overnight, so don’t beat yourself up if it takes a few attempts to get the hang of it.
Consistency is key. Even if you’re only taking baby steps, those small steps add up to bigger progress over time. So don’t be discouraged if you stumble — take it in your stride, get back on track, and keep going.
Setting resolutions can be an incredibly powerful way to make positive changes in your life, but it’s important to do it the right way.
By being realistic, creating achievable objectives, having a plan of action, and celebrating progress along the way — you’ll set yourself up for success. And with a little support from your friends and family, you can work towards your goals and live the life you always wanted.