Beginning a new year is such a hopeful time. Whether we break out an unblemished calendar or merely scroll over to the month of January on our smart phones, there’s the sense of being given a fresh start every January 1st. We make notes, either mentally or on paper, of New Year’s resolutions we’re determined to accomplish. Yet, all too often, we stumble over the first steps of change and quietly retreat to old, unhealthy habits. Why not determine for this year to be different with a few helpful tips on setting New Year’s goals from Feel The Beat?
1. Write goals down and review them periodically
Resolutions that aren’t written down are destined to fail quickly. So write them out, and not just anywhere. Keep your list of New Year’s goals in a place where you will see them regularly, so you can review your progress and recommit on a consistent basis.
- Tape your goals to your bathroom mirror where you’ll see them first and last thing every day.
- For goals that require some accountability for success, affix them to your fridge. Just make sure they’re ones you don’t mind your kids asking about because they will.
- Take a photo of your resolutions and post them as your computer screensaver or as your smart phone wallpaper.
2. Create goals for different areas of your life
Sure, you may be most concerned that you get your finances in order, but how about those other areas of life? If you set one or two goals in each of them, you’re bound to see a ripple effect in every area.
- Relationship goals
- Work goals
- Spiritual goals
- Health and Fitness goals
- Finance goals
3. Set goals that are realistic and attainable
While it would be great to lose 30 pounds, get out of debt, and get a new job that pays twice your salary in the coming New Year, you do want to make sure that any resolutions you set are ones you can accomplish in twelve months. So instead of setting a huge goal that involves lots of steps, work on framing your resolutions as smaller goals that can be accomplished reasonably.
- I will replace my nighttime snack of a bowl of ice cream with sugar free yogurt.
- I will pay $25 a week towards my smallest debt.
- I will read a book pertaining to my skill set/career to better myself.
4. Make goals that are measurable
In order to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, you need to be able to see consistently that you’re on the right track. The best way to do that is to set goals that can be measured again and again over short periods of time.
- I’ll sit at the table with my children for breakfast at least five mornings a week. Instead of, I’ll make more time for my family.
- I’ll invite one friend out for coffee every other Wednesday evening. Instead of, I’ll be better at keeping in touch with friends.
- I’ll straighten the house for 15 minutes every day after dinner. Instead of I’ll keep my house cleaner.
5. Design goals that can be accomplished with someone else
What are the main reasons New Year’s resolutions are so hard to fulfill? They’re hard work and no one tends to notice if you give up on them! So go ahead and change that by teaming up with a friend or spouse to accomplish a goal together. You’re bound to have more fun when you’re working together, and you won’t be so tempted to give up if someone else is counting on you.
- Sign up for a fitness challenge at your local health club with a friend or group of friends.
- Swap off nights with your husband/wife to check your kids’ homework or read aloud to them from a favorite book.
- Agree to teach a Sunday school class with your best friend.