Should you make New Year’s resolutions? A quick search on the internet revealed that only 8% will achieve their resolutions for the year. That statistic suggests that it may be easier not to make resolutions at all! However, by making one small change, you can make New Year’s resolutions that you will keep.
I admit that I’ve made resolutions in the past and failed to achieve them. Over the years, I’ve alternated between making resolutions and deciding they are a hopeless cause. For 2021, I’ve decided to return to making a few New Year’s resolutions that I will achieve by year’s end. Here is my strategy for making this year a successful one for setting goals.
Firstly, I’m going to make my list compact and realistic. I have a habit of making an ambitious list with 10 to 20 items, a smorgasbord of personal, professional, health, and financial goals. The list was more of a description of my ideal reality instead of what I really could accomplish. For example, writing a fiction novel was one of my resolutions for many years. But as the years progressed, time and time again, I got sidetracked with writing projects that immediately paid the bills.
This year, I’ve chosen three main goals that are achievable. To check if my goals are achievable, I’ve made a list of questions for myself. For example, is my goal aligned with my career priorities? Is my goal aligned with my life priorities for 2021 (not any time five years into the future)? Have I made a step-by-step plan that I can easily follow from day to day and week to week? Goals are easier to complete if you break them down into smaller pieces.
With only three main goals, it’s easier to track what I’ve done. Each week, I’ll check how much progress I made on my goal. I will reward myself for working on the goal, even if my progress is as small as baby steps. Sometimes we judge ourselves too harshly and we become discouraged if we don’t get as far as we like.
Finally, have a clear end point in mind. “Writing a bunch of blogs” does not have a clear end goal, but “writing five blogs a week” is crystal clear. If I have been writing five blogs a week for twelve months, then at the end of 2021, I will have succeeded at my goal.
Flexibility is important also. If I find writing five blogs a week is too overwhelming, then I’ll change or modify the goal to make it more achievable. For example, I’ll write five short blogs instead of long ones, or write only three long blog posts.
Resolutions are achievable! Keep your resolutions simple and realistic and constantly track your progress.
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