Setting goals for the new year: How To Set Smart New Year’s Resolutions That Stick

“What the new year brings to you will depend greatly on what you bring to the new year” – Vernon McLellan. Many of us set New Year’s resolutions, yet just a few stick to them. One of the reasons for the widespread failure is that most people fail to set smart new year resolutions.

Research shows that 40% of us set New Year’s resolutions each year, but 23% quit the first week of January. You need to deeply understand why you are setting a goal and need to work on it now. Why do our resolutions fail so often, and how do we make sure we stick to them? 

Steps on how to set smart resolutions for the year

Take the time to appreciate what you’ve achieved

Many people set goals, but just a few bother to look back and think whether they have accomplished those goals. If you don’t look back at what you’ve achieved, how will you know what you bring to the new year? How are you going to make a different impact this year? It’s essential to look back and reflect on where you came from. You have some impressive accomplishments, so the question is, have you taken the time to celebrate them? If you haven’t done that already, take an hour today to write down what you accomplished last year. What did you achieve? What are some of the great people you met along the way? How many books did you read?

Understand why you want to make the change

The best thing you can do is to understand why you want to change your life profoundly. What is your motivation to do it, and why is it necessary to do it now? You have to dig deeper. If you don’t do this, chances are you don’t have the motivation to achieve that goal. Set some medium goals so you can have small victories along the way.

Set specific personal goals

Sometimes our goals aren’t based on sound principles and research but on common wisdom. Most people set the same resolutions: exercising more, losing weight, saving more, and spending more time with family and friends. But sometimes, these goals don’t relate to our specific situation. What if, instead of changing your diet from day one, you have an extra glass of water every day? That’s a small victory that’s going to motivate you to move forward. Small steps go a long way! That is why you need to start small and have a game plan. 

Find an accountability partner

It would be best if you had someone to keep you on track and motivate you. That could be a friend, a work partner, a group, or a mentor. They will help you along the way, give you advice, and provide you with the external perspective you might sometimes lack. 

Write a letter to yourself

In Scare Your Soul: 7 Powerful Principles to Harness Fear and Lead Your Most Courageous Life, Scott Simon urges people to forget about setting new year’s resolutions and write a letter to themselves instead. The letter should revolve around five key questions:

  1. What are the fears that you plan to tackle? 
  2. What are the adventures you are embracing in the year to come?
  3. How will you connect or reconnect with others in your life?
  4. How do you plan to grow over the coming year?
  5. What can you do to serve others?

Once you write this letter to yourself, you’ll start thinking more deeply about who you are and what you want to achieve. Returning to a goal you wrote down brings you a new commitment to your goal. You can return to the letter and check how you perform on each of the 5 points. As you return to the letter, it will make you a better person. 

Conclusion- How to set smart new year resolutions

Setting resolutions is not as important as sticking to them. What makes the difference is the type of resolutions you set and your ability to stick to them. Setting smart resolutions and sticking to them is key to achieving your goals in the new year. If you are holding on to things that are not serving your purpose, now is the time to start fresh.

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