7 steps to setting successful New Year’s resolutions
Happy New Year peeps!
And just like that a fresh new twelve months is laid out before us, brimming with potential, possibilities and the hopes and dreams of what the next year will bring.
I love this time of year but I am always slightly sceptical at the idea of setting New Year’s resolutions.
Like most people I have never seriously set any goals that I actually intend to keep;it’s always been a given that vague intentions like ‘I’ll be healthier’ or ‘I’ll read more’ will have fallen by the wayside come February.
But this year I want to embrace the opportunity for fresh starts that the New Year brings, and set some realistic goals that I intend to follow through.
2018 has been a big year full of change, new challenges and lots to be grateful for. But it has also been a tough year emotionally and it’s also me some valuable lessons about what I need to thrive. As I have written about before, structure, routine and regular check-ins help me to feel less overwhelmed when life feels chaotic.
Breaking big tasks down into manageable steps is saving me in this season of big life changes; moving country, wedding planning and buying our first house. So I’m taking this approach to when setting resolutions for 2019 and following some steps to making sure my goals will (hopefully) be reached this year!
Here are seven steps to creating realistic, manageable and successful goals for the New Year.
Take time to look back over 2018. I firmly believe we can’t plan ahead until we have acknowledged what the last 12 months have brought us. This will also enable you to see what might have been getting in the way of your goals. Take note of your highlights, achievements but also struggles from the year that’s passed.
Write down some resolutions or areas in your life that you’d like to address. For example, ‘I want to spend less time on social media’, ‘I want to get fitter’ or ‘I want to save money’. This is the point where most of us stop, myself included.
Now make some specific and actionable goals for each area that can be followed through. For example, I will work out 30 minutes every day, I will have a a digital detox every month or I will save 25% of my income. I use the guide that if you can tick it off a list, it’s actionable!
Set achievable goals- if they are totally unrealistic then you will likely feel overwhelmed and quit. There’s no harm in dreaming big, but if your goal seems like a massive mountain to climb then consider taking the first step and setting that as your resolution.
Come up with a system for measuring your progress! You could start a goal tracker in a notebook or bullet journal, a to-do list that you can tick off throughout the year or even an app on your phone (I have a food tracker app to help me stay on track with my healthy eating). Whatever works for you, just make it straight forward enough to use and a clear way to see your progress.
Schedule regular check-ins. I’m going to try and evaluate how it’s going every month, not only to remind me to keep up my resolutions but to also help me see any obstacles that may be getting in the way of reaching my goals. I am planning to have a monthly check-in but think about whatever timeframe will work for you and then it’s just a matter of setting a reminder on your phone or (if you’re old school) a note in your diary!
Have a compelling reason for your goals, and make sure they are things you really care about. Otherwise you will have no chance of ever keeping them! Remember also that your goals might look totally different to everyone else’s, and that’s a good thing. The more specific to you, the better.