December 31, 2021 3 min read
The past few years, more than ever, we’ve all been excited for the previous year to come to a close and a new year to make its way in. A new year comes with a lot of hope, optimism, and the drive to accomplish whatever goals you put off the previous year. New Year's resolutions may be common practice, but keeping them is not. It’s no secret that most of us are good at the follow through for the first week or two, or maybe even a month, but then it quickly falls apart and we tell ourselves that maybe we’ll stick to our resolutions nextyear.
Instead of falling into that trap again in 2022, let’s resolve together to adjust our goals to make them ultimately more achievable. But how do we even start when previous years have fallen so far from expectation? Here are some tips on how to make New Year's resolutions that you’ll actually stick to.
The first key to making a resolution you’ll keep is to make sure that it’s something that’s actually a realistic goal. It’s great to have a goal to travel to go to the gym seven days a week for three hours at a time, but that’s not a reasonable goal for most of us, especially if you didn’t go to the gym at all before the resolution.
Keep in mind too that you can revise your goal as the year goes on. Hypothetically, let’s say you set the goal to go to the gym three times a week for an hour each visit. That’s three hours a week, not too shabby. But then life gets in the way--you get a promotion at work, one of your friends needs help moving, and soon, you find yourself not making it to the gym at all, because if you can’t get there 3 times a week, then you’re not meeting your goal anyway, so why show up at all? That’s faulty logic; even if you can’t do it as often as you like, you can still go to the gym two times a week or even one. Revise your goal to fit into your schedule and pursue the goal even if it’s not the one you set on January 1st.
It’s easy to justify to yourself why you can’t accomplish your goal anymore, but it’s much harder to justify it to someone else who can see through your excuses. Find a friend or mentor who will keep you on track with your resolutions; someone who will check in with you and encourage you along your path. Plus, you can also find someone who has the same goals as you, and you can serve as their accountability partner too.
Stagger Your Goals
When you set goals that have a “due date” of December 31st, it’s easy to put off that resolution until the last minute. For example, if your goal is to read ten books in 2022, then maybe you read one in January, and then another in July, and then you’ve got 8 left to do in November and December. Instead of setting far off dates as the limit, stagger your goals to have different checkpoints. Commit to reading 3 books by March, and then another 3 by July, and so on. Setting these checkpoints encourages you to stay on track with your goals, and reaching your milestones can be extremely rewarding.
New Year’s Resolutions are hard, because they often call on us to change our habits and priorities. But if it wasn’t hard, would it really be worth doing? This year, commit to your New Year’s resolutions seriously and practically, and you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing your goals.
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