How is your New Year’s resolution going?

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Every year most of us have at least one new year’s resolution. Sadly, often this resolution or list of ideas sounds great at the start of the year, but by the end of the year, we have not achieved what we had hoped. We start to falter by February, and often by the middle of the year we have completely stopped progressing and we give up until the next year.

               Though the problem is quite common, there are ways that you can manage your new year’s resolutions and maintain progress on them throughout the whole year. If you are struggling to maintain your new year’s goals this year, below we have listed several tips on how you might be able to set up and achieve your new goals for the new year. As you read these tips, here are two quotes to keep in mind: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” -Antione de Saint-Exupery and “Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.”- James Clear.

               Write down your new year goals: Writing down your goals for the new year is a simple way to start. Having a physical reminder of your new year’s goals is often the first step toward making progress toward achieving results.  

Writing down your new year’s goals can help you stick to your goals in several ways. The first way is that when you write down your goals, you will be able to better organize them. This will allow you to have the chance to prioritize the goals that you want to focus on when you want to focus on them.

               The next benefit of writing down your new year’s goals is accountability. If you write your goals down, then every time you look at the sheet of paper where they are written you will refocus towards your goal and be more likely to hold yourself accountable. Reading your goals can also help you to stay motivated to achieve them.

               Be specific with your goals: One problem that many of us encounter when setting goals for a new year is that we are far too vague with them. We have an idea of what we want to accomplish, but we get so caught up in trying to be perfect that we forget goals are about progress, not perfection.

When we are too vague with goals, it becomes hard to keep track of our progress as well as to ultimately achieve our goals. To best achieve your goals, you should have an overall goal to start, and then make it into a more specific goal.

               An example could be reading. If you set a goal to read more in the new year, be

sure to set specific goals regarding reading. The best way to do this is to set goals on the amount of time you wish to read every day or the number of books you want to read. This could mean that you want to read for fifteen minutes every day, or that you have a goal to read one book a month a total of twelve per year. With these specific details, you might have an easier time not just keeping track of your goals but holding yourself accountable.

               Set loose deadlines for yourself: An issue many of us face with new years resolutions is since we set the goals to be achieved over a full year, we often put them off thinking that we have a full twelve months to work on them. Often though when we do this, we end up putting the resolutions off the entire year!

               One way to work on overcoming procrastinating your new year’s resolution goals is to set loose deadlines for yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to set up goals that you wish to achieve in ninety-day chunks. Within those ninety days choose one to three goals to focus on. After the ninety have passed, reflect on if you achieved all those goals. Then set a new set for the next ninety days. If you did not progress as far as you would have liked, or if you did not achieve one of the goals, you can always work on it again in the next ninety-day period.

               With loose ninety days deadlines, you can work on a large yearlong goal over a smaller period of time. This can be an extremely helpful way to break up exceptionally large goal into smaller parts and may allow you to keep better track of your progress.

               Set a mixture of challenging and easy goals: New year’s resolutions differ from person to person and the goals that you set out to achieve this year might be completely different than the ones from last year. Your closest friends or even family members might have completely different new years resolution goals for themselves in mind.  It is best not to compare your goals to others but rather to keep your own in mind.

               The point of setting goals is not always just to achieve the goals, but rather to strive to achieve them. If the goals you set are too easy because you are comparing yourself to someone else, then even when you achieve them you are not truly bettering yourself. It is good to have a mixture of goals for yourself. You will want to have some that are challenging and others that are easy to achieve.

               You might want to start by focusing on the easier goals. This can help you build momentum throughout the year and excite you to take on new challenges. Even if you are not able to complete the more challenging goals in the new year, you at the very least achieved the easier goals and you will now have a better idea of how to set reasonable goals for the next year.

This can give you extra motivation to achieve more and more challenging goals until one year you will find what you once considered challenging resolutions and goals you now consider easy.

               An important thing to remember about setting goals for a new year is that it is not a race. You set the goals to better yourself, and you give yourself a full year to achieve them. If you end up not completing a goal, that does not mean that you did not make any progress.

If you did not achieve a new year’s resolution goal for this new year, you should try again for the next year! If you continue to work on goals over several years, you are bound to see progress in some form. What matters is that you try your best and you stick to the goals that you set out to achieve. So, remember it’s never to late to have a new years resolution!

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