How To Succeed With New Year's Resolutions
New Year, New You – heard that before? Here's 4 Steps To Help You Attain Your Goals
For some, the new year is a time of looking back on what you didn’t accomplish and hope this new year provides a fresh start and a new chance to make lifestyle improvements. If you are like most people, your commitment to your new year's resolutions started to wane by January 12, and by today, January 17, they are nothing but a memory. Here are a few important strategies to get back on track and make this year your best year ever.
3 Most popular New Year's Resolution categories:
Is this the year you said to yourself “I’m going to get in shape”? If you did, you are not alone. Getting in shape, losing weight, taking better care of yourself, quitting a bad habit like drinking or smoking are the most popular resolutions. This is why gyms run specials in January and do-it-yourself courses advertise like crazy. People join, have great intentions, and by February they are just a name on the membership’s roster. Or you buy or subscribe to the fitness program and 6 months later, it’s still in the box. If this sounds like you, read on.
I’m going to stick to my budget, pay off debts, stop using credit cards, save more, invest more, increase my 401K contribution. Sound familiar? How’s it going so far? Getting your finances in shape is the second most popular resolution. January 1st starts off with great intentions, but the days and weeks go on and nothing’s changed. Going online to change your contribution keeps slipping your mind. Reaching for the plastic is so much easier than cash. You keep meaning to transfer money to your savings account, but something stands in the way. Sound familiar? Read on.
Have you resolved to watch less TV, read more, take a course, finish your degree, improve your skills, learn a new language, or start a hobby? This is the 3rd most popular category for resolving to improve your quality of life. So, looking over the last 16 days, have you done anything different? If not, read on.
What’s Wrong with New Year’s Resolutions
Let’s start with what a resolution means. A resolution is an idea, thought or decision to do or not do something. What is missing is a system or process to get you from point A to point B.
4 Steps To Attain Your Goals
The system you need to create starts by turning your resolution (idea) into a goal. Why? A goal is an idea with a deadline! A resolution is a good idea without direction. By making it into a goal, you give your good idea structure.
Step #1: Make Your Goals SMART
A SMART goal is –
Here is an example of a SMART goal: “I will start a diet and exercise program on January 1, 2018 and by March 31, 2018 (timely) I will lose 10 pounds (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic). Now, if you change the goal to state you will lose 100 pounds, it is specific and measurable, but probably not attainable and realistic. See the difference?
Step #2: Write down your goal
Just as I did in the above example, write down your goal as a statement or declaration of your desired outcome and intention and include the SMART details. Think about WHY you want it. The stronger your WHY, the better your chance of success.
Some examples of “WHY”
I want to lose 10 pounds so I have more energy for my children and more confidence in my appearance
I want to eliminate my credit card debt so I stop wasting money paying interest charges and stop feeling stress about my finances
I want to learn or improve a skill so I am a more valuable employee and stay employed longer
Step #3: Get into the details
Now that you know your desired outcome, what do you need to do? Here are some DIY tips.
Want to get into shape? Check out gyms in your area, online programs, etc.
Want to get your finances in shape? Look for an app to help measure results, local investment clubs, or finance workshops. Maybe you need to increase your income to help you create financial freedom. Consider a side hustle, even if it is temporary.
Have a burning desire to learn something new? Check out YouTube videos on your topic of interest, your local library for media on your subject or an adult education resource, like evening programs at a community college.
Step #4: Get support
Staying motivated on your own is very challenging and not for everyone. If you haven’t succeeded at attaining a goal on your own, finding the right support may be in your best interest. A great coach is often worth their weight in gold by holding your hand while holding you accountable. Helping you reach your goal faster and having a high level of support along the way can do wonders for your self-esteem, confidence and desired outcome. Can you put a price on that?
If you are trying to improve your health and develop positive habits to stay healthy, doesn’t it make sense to make that happen as quickly as possible? Then consider a Personal Trainer.
If you need to get your finances in shape, time is money. The longer you put off reducing debt, the more you pay in interest. A delay in savings and investing can mean lost opportunities for growth. Consider a Certified Financial Planner or Financial Advisor.
Want to improve your mind or job skills? Procrastinating is a breeding ground for obsolescence. Consider a Career Coach or Life Coach.
Now, go back to your “WHY”. How much will your life improve when you reach your goal? Think about it. The fee you pay a professional could potentially pay for itself by getting you to your desired outcome faster! So what works for you? Reply with your responses!