The holidays are drawing to a close and the new year is about to start. That great feeling of anything is achievable that January brings is inspiring. However, when it comes to setting our new year’s resolutions the stats say that only 8% of people will have actually stuck to them by December next year! And I have a theory about why.
My theory is that people set New Year’s resolutions that they are unlikely to achieve.
Basically we are all too over optimistic about our New Year’s resolutions. I have seen in my work as a coach that many people set too many resolutions, set the bar too high and most importantly don’t plan how they are going to achieve their resolutions. BAsically they set themselves up for a fail. And sometimes we set ourselves up to fail because we don’t really want to achieve our goals. People sometimes set goals that they think they should set according to social norms that actually have nothing to do with what they really want. And of course they then fail.
But you can set New Year’s Resolutions that you will achieve with a little self reflection and planning.
New Year’s Resolutions are all about creating new habits. About making changes to our lives to improve them. And changing a habit means you have to be honest with yourself and plan the process. If you want to achieve it then using simple goal setting techniques will help you along the way. After all having a structure to follow makes it easier.
Here is my step by step guide to making resolutions that are achievable.
Evaluate the Year
Before you know where you want to go it’s good to know where you have come from. Have a look at my article or my youtube video Evaluate your past year- Getting ready for 2020 for some easy ways to do just that.
Self reflect on what you really, really want
It’s pointless making a New Year’s resolution about something you don’t really want. Use the following questions to help you find out what you do want.
- What matters most to me ?
- How would I like to positively change my life?
- What kind of person would I like to become?
- What is one goal above all others that I would like to achieve this year?
- Why is this all important to me now?
- What new beliefs would it be worth adopting this year?
- What habits or behaviours could potentially sabotage my progress?
Find 1- 3 goals/ New Year’s Resolutions
Now its time to begin setting your New Year’s Resolutions. Set only 1 to 3 max. I know there is probably more things you would like to change but choosing a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 realistically increases your chance of success.
When you have found them you need to double check that this is something you really, really want in your life. Ask yourself the following questions for each goal.
- Who am I doing this for?
- Why do I want this in my life?
- Do I believe this goal is doable? And if yes, why do I believe that?
- Am I passionate about this? Why?
After reflecting you may need to tweak your resolutions to be more inline with what you really want.
Make your resolutions SM.A.R.T
SMART is a mnemonic/acronym for setting achievable objectives. The letters stand for:
Specific – target a specific area for improvement. Make it precise.
Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress/success
Achievable – is this possible to achieve?
Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given the available resources.
Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
Go through each of your resolutions and make it SMART. This is great article to help you work with SMART if you are struggling with the process.
Make an action plan
We all know the old saying ‘ A dream without a plan is just a wish’. You gotta have a plan my friends. I recommend brainstorming action steps for each resolution and then choosing the most realistic for you and your life to go into your action plan. If you need resources to succeed such as a gym membership, money to pay for that course etc then include a list of these in your action plan.
You do stand a better chance of success if you have support. So asking a friend to be an accountability partner, joining an online community or hiring a life coach will increase the chances of achieving your resolutions. New Year’s resolutions actually started by the Vikings making a boast (with their hand on a roast of course) about what they would achieve in the coming year in front of the whole community at the Jul feast. So accountability has been around, and working for centuries!
Schedule check ins
It can be easy to make a resolution, harder to keep on going. A great motivator along the way is to schedule check ins. This is basically a point in time where you will evaluate your progress. Go back to your action plan and choose a new step to complete. You can have a weekly, monthly, quarterly or half year check in. It honestly depends on your passion for the resolution and the amount of time you have in your life. Be realistic and don’t forget to plot a reminder in your calendar to help you keep to your checkin times!
Get started! Look at each of your resolution action plans and choose the easiest step to start on. Then once that is complete do the next and the next and the next. And before you know it, it will be December and you will have kept to your New Year’s resolutions.
So invest some time in your New Year’s Resolutions, Make sure it is what you really want. Create a plan. Get support. Evaluate your progress. Take action. And trust me you will keep your resolutions and stand proud in December looking back at everything you have achieved!
Let me know your resolutions below or on the Re:Root Personal Development Community on Facebook. And keep us all updated with your progress too. It is always inspiring to hear how everyone is getting on!
Have a lovely week & Enjoy Your Journey