As the new year approaches, so will the two groups with inevitably opposing viewpoints of New Year’s resolutions: those passionately for it and those unequivocally opposed to it. Now, I think there’s merit on both sides of the argument but if you’re of the former group, hopefully this post will increase your chances of succeeding with your New Year’s resolutions and if you’re of the latter, then maybe this will change your mind…or not.
So, without further ado, here are two ways to achieve your New Year’s resolutions (or frankly, any resolutions or goals you set for yourself throughout the year):
1. Factor leniency/mess ups into your ultimate goal
The primary reason most of us stop pursuing our resolutions or goals is because we fall short once and then, it stops becoming worth our time to pursue the goals we’ve set forth and so one cheat day suddenly transforms into a cheat decade (okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration…I think). This is why it’s imperative to factor those “mess ups” into your resolutions.
For example, if you set a goal to work out 5 day a week, then factor missing one day per week as part of your resolution. So, if you end up getting lazy and skipping one of the days you were supposed to work out, well, that’s okay because it was all part of the plan! Sure, you could just set 4 days a week as your target from the start but the goal here is to workout 5 days a week but there’s room for missing a day. So, just in case you miss a day at any given week, it’s not the end of the world and you’ll still be meeting your resolution.
2. Set practical goals with controllable outcomes
Settings goals like “exercise more” or “eat healthier” rarely, if ever, lead to the envisioned, desire outcomes. Simply put, they aren’t practical and there’s no way to actually measure progress or success. Sure, something like “exercise 5 times a week” is slightly better but the optimal resolution is one that clearly defines practical steps toward achieving your goal, its frequency, and how you will progress with it throughout the year. So, instead of “exercise more,” you can try something like “run 2 miles a day for 5 days a week at a 9 minute per mile pace with 3 skip days per month (factoring in leniency) and increasing the distance by 10% every month (factoring in progress throughout the year).” Setting a goal like this will create clear and applicable guidelines for you to follow and progress with throughout the year.
It’s also important to set goals you can control. A lot of people tend to forget this when setting personal and health goals. It’s better to set a goal to exercise X amount of times per week rather than losing X amount of pounds per month because while you can often control the general direction of your weight, it’s very difficult to force your body to lose a set amount of weight per month (in a healthy manner, at least). The same applies for personal goals like “meeting the right person” or “establishing a close group of friends.” These goals are inadvertently byproducts of more practical goals like “reconnect with three, old friends every month,” which is a more achievable (or at least practical) goal.
Anyway, I hope these two, simple steps help make your New Year Resolutions seem less ambiguous and daunting and instead, more practical and achievable throughout the course of 2017. Sure, a new year doesn’t really change much but hey, if this is the stimulus you need to achieve a personal goal or change the world, more power to you.
“Determine what you want and why you want it. Once you understand what’s important, you can utilize your passions and achieve anything.”
Happy New Year and here’s to an incredible 2017!
Until Next Time,