“You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.” – Les Brown.
Beginning a new year is such a hopeful time. Whether mentally or on paper, we make notes 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 habits.
Here are 5 tips to make sure your New Year’s resolution will be successful.
1- 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. For example, work, finances, health, or relationship goals.
2- Set goals that are realistic and attainable
While it would be great to have a marked abdomen, 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 achieved reasonably.
– I will replace the nighttime snack of a bowl of ice cream with a fruit bowl.
– I will go to the gym three nights per week.
– I will pay $50 a week towards my smallest debt.
– I will revise my resume and then look online for available jobs in my skill set.
Remember, the surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving never to eat your favorite burger again is setting you up to fail. Instead, strive for an attainable goal, for example, eating it just on the last Saturday of each month.
3- Plan for obstacles
There will always be temptations and obstacles that could quickly derail you from your resolution. It may be an invitation to dinner that could blow your budget–or your diet.
Think about the obstacles you’re likely to encounter in the first weeks after establishing your resolution. Consider how you’ll navigate these challenges and develop a plan.
Planning for the potential challenges can help you feel equipped to handle the unexpected obstacles that crop up along the way as well.
In other words, decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that gym class or have that ice cream bowl. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad behavior” will affect your goal.
4- Make a detailed plan on paper
If you start working toward a goal without any type of plan in place, you may quickly find yourself giving up when faced with any sort of obstacle, setback, or resistance.
You can start by writing down your goal, making a list of things you might do to achieve that goal, and noting any obstacles that might stand in your way. By knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and the difficulties you might face, you’ll be better prepared to stick to your resolution and overcome anything that might sidetrack you.
Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.
5- Design goals that can be accomplished with a partner
Teaming up with a friend or spouse to achieve a goal together is an excellent idea. 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 Zumba class with a friend.
– Swap off nights with your husband to check your kids’ homework or read aloud to them from a favorite book.
WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣
Accomplish: achieve or complete successfully.
Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something.
Circumstance: a fact or condition connected with or relevant to an event or action.
PHRASAL VERBS ✍
“We should try to get together more often with our family.”
“We will have to spend less, and for that, we will have to find out what we use our money for.”
“Most of us think that we have a few extra pounds and want to slim down.”
Turn over a new leaf: to start again with a new attitude or perspective.
Kick a habit: to stop a habit.
Start from scratch: to start from the very beginning, with nothing.
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