It has come to the last two days of 2016. If you have not done the things you have set out to do by this year, I guess it is a little too late now. But it’s alright, as the cliche saying goes, “new year, a new chance at starting over,” so now it’s time to focus on what you want to get done in 2017.
As much as I had my fair share of failed plans and resolutions that I set out to do each start of the year, there are also quite a few that I managed to accomplish and stick through all year long.
Same goes for you; I am sure there is at least one thing on your list of resolutions you managed to get done or get started on (if there is none, perhaps it is because you have set unrealistic goals that need to be adjusted instead of beating yourself over it).
Hence, even though many people are giving up on the entire idea of setting resolutions because they deem them to be unnecessary and impossible, the optimist in me is still hopeful about establishing my very own set of resolutions and set out to try to fulfill them.
If you are on the brink of losing hope on making resolutions, I am here to cheer you on and perhaps share some tips, while reminding myself as well, to stick to our new year’s resolution all till the end of 2017.
1. Set resolutions that matter to you.
One of the main reasons we do not stick to our resolutions or do things according to the plan is because the things on the list do not matter to us. Well, at least it doesn’t matter enough for you to follow through it. Perhaps you set out to keep contact with your old friends, but there is no actual significance to you. Maybe you find it very exhausting to continually reach out to them when they have obviously moved on with their lives. If that’s the case, it is time for you to let go and move on, and accept that certain things stop being our priorities.
Perhaps you set out to keep contact with your old friends, but in fact, it brings no actual significance to you. Maybe you find it very exhausting to continually reach out to them when they have obviously moved on with their lives. If that’s the case, it is time for you to let go and move on, and accept that certain things stop being our priorities.
If it is something that seems important, such as working out, find the actual reason why it matters so much to you. Write down the reasons. Not vague ones like “because I need to be healthier”. These will not be strong and concrete enough to remind you, especially when you are lying in bed trying to wake up for your morning jog. It could be as simple as “looking better in t-shirts”, whatever the reason is, it needs to be significant to you.
Before you set anything as your goal, make sure the outcome is important to you. Find the core reasons that will directly bring impact to you. The real reason you MUST achieve your goals. That way, you will be more intrinsically motivated to follow through them.
2. Create actionable steps to achieve your goals.
Instead of writing your resolutions in a very theory-based manner, what makes it work better is to draft out the actionable steps you can take to achieve your resolutions.
Create a time schedule to do what you plan. Set the days and time each week you want to spend time on doing something that will help you achieve your goal. Set targeted milestone for each week or month so you can see the progress better.
If it is something more attitude or emotional based, such as “control your anger”, list down the actionable steps you want to take for that to happen. It could be as detailed as “when my customer yells at me for no reason whatsoever, I am going to take a deep breath and count to 10 before answering back”. The more it comprises of practical actions, the more possible it will be to get it done.
With an actual step by step plan, you can follow through your resolutions in a bite-sized manner without it seem like it is too difficult or intimidating. Besides, with proper actions, you will be more likely to follow through the steps instead of convincing yourself otherwise.
3. Set realistic goals.
If you have always set high expectations for your new year’s resolution, you will find yourself left with very few accomplishments at the end of the year. Not only you get less done at the end, it will also take a toll on your self-confidence and self-worth.
Instead of setting your goals based on your ultimate success vision, seek to create improvements in your life instead of striving to gain perfect results in the span of one year.
For example, if you want to sleep earlier so you won’t feel so tired the next day, do not set out to change your bedtime from 3AM to 9.30PM. An easier way to do it is by slowly progressing through it, like going to sleep earlier by half an hour each night. This way your body and mental state have time to adjust to the new routine. This way, you will not be torturing yourself while risking yourself giving up altogether.
When you can set more realistic goals, you will be able to achieve them in a more comfortable manner, while still making tweaks of improvement to your life. With the sense of accomplishment, you can also continue to improve yourself further in the consecutive years to come.
4. Get someone to keep you accountable.
If you are one of those people who finds it hard to be self-disciplined, then perhaps a great way to ensure you stick to your resolutions is discussing it together with a close friend and keep each other accountable throughout the year. You can be each other’s mentor, reminding each other while pulling each other back on track when they are straying away from their plans.
Do not be embarrass that you do it better with someone else’s “supervision”. Not everyone is built the same way. Some people are fine just sticking to their resolutions on their own, while some people do things better as a team. If that is the case for you, and yet you are not comfortable telling it to the people around you, there a
If that is the case for you, and yet you are not comfortable telling it to the people around you, there a few websites or apps that you can sign up to that keeps you accountable to your goals.
5. Surround yourself with reminders.
If your new year resolutions are scribbled down on a restaurant serviette, chances are you are going to forget about them. List them down nicely on a piece of paper or in your phone or computer where you would not lose it. When you write it down and put it up in places that are easy to see, it will continue to act as a constant reminder for you to stick with them. Sometimes a small detail like this indeed goes a long way.
What I like to do is to write a full detailed version of my resolutions on a piece of paper or type it out, then create a few other ones with the main key priorities and stick it on my corkboard in my room and write it down on the notebook/planner I use every day. I believe in the power of the subliminal messages, so I try to surround myself with these reminders to help keep me stay on track.
If you are not a fan of the traditional pen and paper, there are many creative ways you can list your resolutions digitally too as well. You can use apps like Trello or Evernote to list them down. If you would want to gather interesting tips and tricks to help you stay inspired to achieve your goals, you can use Pinterest to help you out. If you want to remind yourself on a regular basis, set reminders on your phone every few days to constantly remind yourself of your priorities.
Few words before I end this post:
Whether this is your first time making resolutions, or you have failed countless times previously and is trying to make it work this time, give yourself a pat on the back. You are still doing great by trying it again. Don’t focus on your past failed attempts. It’s the new year after all. Lay the groundwork and focus on the new year and your new resolutions. I hope these tips are helpful for you and we can all pull through to make the new year an even better one.
If you have other tips to stick to your resolutions and achieve your goals, do share it in the comment section so we can all learn from them and accomplish more great things in this upcoming year.
P/S To each and every one of you who took the time to read my content, I truly appreciate you from the bottom of the heart. I will continue working on more helpful content and share it with you.
Wishing you a great and productive 2017!