Happy new year everyone!
Every year, the first thing we do is talk about what we want for the coming year. We love to make New Year resolutions!! We talk about what want to do and accomplish. We have all these grand ideas in January. The start of a new year is like a clean whiteboard that allows us to start from scratch and make new drawings on the board, a representation for our life.
But what happens to all these ideas down the year? Often, they are either forgotten or faded out in our minds. Come April or May, we become too sick or tired of the resolutions that were made a few months ago. By July or August, we may not even remember a word that was said in January. This seems to happen year after year. Need proof? Ask your friends, your schoolmates, your colleagues, your family, or even yourself.
Fortunately, for you, this does not have to happen again. You will set better goals for yourself and find the energy to work towards them as if every month is January again.
It is important to make realistic new year resolutions so that you can come up with a plan, work hard towards them and eventually accomplish your goals.
Here are 7 tips from my past experience to help you accomplish your New Year resolutions.
Tip #1: Set Specific and Realistic Goals
Create goals that will benefit you or improve your life and that the goals can be achieved within a year. Think about the goals are important to you and are necessary for you, particularly this year. The goals should be within your reach. Limit yourself to a small number of goals so that you can keep track of them.
- Example 1:
“Put $10,000 in savings account by the end of the year,” is a specific and realistic goal that you can achieve within one year.
- Example 2:
“Lose 12 pounds in twelve months,” is another specific and realistic goal that can be achieved.
Tip #2: Create Clear and Concise Goals
Make goals that are quantifiable, as opposed to vague ones. It is easier to achieve goals if they can be measured in numbers.
- Example 1:
Instead of saying, “Get Rich,” it is better to say, “Make $100,000 by the end of this year.”
This will allow you to work towards a solid goal, rather than aiming blindly towards wealth, which usually does not work. We all know that you want to be rich, but you would have to create the building blocks that will get you there.
- Example 2:
Instead of saying “Lose weight,” it is better to say, “Lose 10 pounds in 6 months.”
“Lose weight” is a vague statement and usually does not prove any goal meaning. Set a predetermined amount of weight that you actually want to lose and the time frame you want to give yourself.
Tip #3: Make Personal Goals
Create goals that are for you as an individual. Come up with ideas independently. Do not be influenced by the people around you.
- Example 1 – an example of Individual Goal
Instead of saying, “Save the World,” say, “Recycle all soda cans I drink
- Example 2 – an example of Independent Idea
Choose to lose weight because this is better for you or your health. Make sure that it is a goal that you want and not a goal that everyone else wants, because they are doing it.
Tip #4: Prepare and Produce Plans for the Goals
Put together a game plan for the goals that you have created. Make sure the game plan includes actionable items that you can work on and milestones to indicate your progress.
Tip #5: Remind Yourself of the Goals
Bring up the goals to your mind from time to time. Use a reminder, either physically, like on a written piece of paper that is posted on your wall, or electronically, like with a periodic reminder on your computer calendar. The point is so that you can be reminded of the goal. A new year’s resolution is no good if you forget about it in a few weeks.
Tip #6: Keep Track of Progress for the Goals
Keep notes of any progress that you have made for the goals. This will motivate and help push you towards the finish line.
Frequently, we make new year resolutions at the beginning of the year and forget about them in a few months. That is evident for the people who would like to lose weight or exercise more. In the first few months of a new year, gym memberships usually spike up and then gradually diminish throughout the year. The reason is that because people are often excited up about their goals in the beginning of the year and lose sight of their vision as time goes on. Therefore, it is important that we remind ourselves of our goals and not lose focus.
Take notes on a notebook or in a computer word document to keep track of periodic progress.
- For example:
The goal is, “Put $10,000 in savings account by the end of the year.”
I would write down the amount I put in the savings account for every month from January to December. The notes may show something like this by the end of the year:
Jan $1,000 – Allocated one-third of the bonus money
Mar $1000 – Saved up money from eating lunch in office
Oct $1,000 – Reduced entertainment money
Dec $2,000 – Decided to skip out on vacation
Total: $10,000 – Goal Achieved!
At the end of the year, write down whether or not you have successfully achieved your goals. Reflect on the goals and your hard work. Write down your thoughts and what you have learned. This will help you set better new year resolutions and achieve them for the next year and the years ahead.
Tip #7: Motivate and Reward Yourself
Create a system that will help push or inspire you to work hard.
- For example, treat yourself to something nice or buy yourself a gift whenever you have reached a milestone that you have set for the goals. Or tell your partner/friend about your goals and have them reward you every time you have reached a milestone.
Interesting Story from A Friend
In a recent friend’s party, my friend, J.Z. came up with an entertaining way to remind us of our new year resolutions. She asked all of our friends to think about our new year’s resolution and write it on a piece of paper. After we finished, we each put the piece of paper in an envelope which she provided. J.Z. then asked us to write down our own name and address on the envelope and seal it. Next, she collected all the envelopes and randomly distributed all the envelopes (making sure nobody receives their own).
Each person would be responsible for one envelope (that is not his or hers) and the person has to keep it until the end of the year. When time approaches the end of the year, J.Z. will send an email to remind everyone to mail out the sealed envelope to the name and address on it. Nobody but the original writer would see the goals inside the envelope. The purpose is to remind us of the goals that we have set in the beginning of the year.
Now, I invite all of you to write down your goals in the comments section of this post. We will look back at all these goals next year and we will see whether or not you have achieved them. Please write clear and concise goals to make it easier for yourself. Good luck everyone in accomplishing your New Year resolutions and enjoy the rest of the year!