Haven’t we all made resolutions and been so determined to keep them only to forget all about them a few weeks into the new year? I definitely have. As we look forward to the clean slate which 2019 brings, here are a few tips that are super important for creating New Year’s resolutions that actually stick!
1. Reflect on the past year
In my previous post, I talked about the lessons I learned in 2018; you can read all about it here. It’s always a great idea to reflect on the hits and misses of the past year in order to determine what worked and what didn’t, so you don’t end up making the same mistakes. I like to think of the past year not just in terms of highlights and failures but the actions that led to them and what I should keep doing or what I could do better.
2. What are the key areas you’d like to improve?
A big mistake that people make when making new year’s resolutions is that they make too many of them. It is important to determine what your priorities are and streamline the key areas of your life you’d like to set goals for. For me, I’d say my spiritual life, academics, blogging, and health (including mental) & beauty/wellness.
3. Make SMART goals
You may have heard of this already in just about any goal setting speech or workshop, but it really is so useful. Whenever you set goals, make sure they are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. I always make sure my goals are very specific, achievable/realistic, and relevant to the broader scope of what I’d like to achieve. Also, decide on the criteria you’ll use to measure the outcome and set a deadline.
4. Break it down
This falls under the ‘Specific‘ of S.M.A.R.T goals. For example, a goal I have is to be more consistent with blogging in 2019. That is way too broad so I’d break it down to “Have x amount of posts every month”. That way its measurable and a lot more tangible.
5. Not just ‘What’ but ‘How’?
It’s easy to get caught up in the I’d like to achieve x or be more x, but your achieving said goal lies in the “how”. When I set a goal, I always think of how I would go about it practically, in order to make sure the goal is actually achievable. For example, with my resolution to be more consistent with blogging and have x amount of blog posts up every month, I also decide on the how which in my case would be to devote x amount of hours to blogging each day, set reminders, keep an editorial calendar, etc. This step is essential because it allows you to visualize the process behind achieving the goal and determine early on, what sacrifices will be required in order to achieve the goal. This is especially applicable to academic, habit development, and health-related or weight-loss goals.
6. Little reminders
365 days is a long time to stay motivated to achieve a goal without little reminders and motivators along the way to keep you on track. In 2019, I’ll break up the year and set quarterly meetings with myself just to check in to see how I’m doing with keeping my resolutions. I expect this will also keep me accountable. If you have a resolution buddy or friend to do this with, even better. That way you can keep each other accountable and motivated throughout the year.
7. Give yourself something to look forwards to
It’s called positive reinforcement. Plan a vacation or a purchase to reward yourself for achieving your goal. Having something to look forward to is a huge motivator for me. It doesn’t have to be something super expensive or extravagant, just something that you love and that’ll make you happy. It could be going to a restaurant you love or spending a whole day with an old friend or binge watching a tv show. Whatever it is, make sure it’s not detrimental to your progress or your health, and that it’s something you would look forward to.
SUPER IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to commit your plans to God and pray for the strength to achieve your goals. Let’s win in 2019!
INSPO OF THE DAY: “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3NIV)