Here we are at the beginning of a fresh new year! For a lot of people, this is a time to reflect on the past year and to think about the changes we’d like to see in the months to come.
A lot of people take advantage of the fresh start of the year to make New Year Resolutions, and a lot of those people do really well for a few months before they start to lose motivation, or interest, or momentum.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year's resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February. This isn’t because we are bad at succeeding. It’s mostly because we are bad at stating what we really want.
If we aren’t setting reasonable goals and creating realistic actions plans, then we will have a more difficult time succeeding.
The top ten New Year’s resolutions are:
Learn a new skill or hobby
Live life to the fullest
Save more money / spend less money
Spend more time with family and friends
These are all really great things to want, and there is no argument that they can be beneficial. But here’s the thing - they don’t really mean anything. And until they do, there is no way to achieve them. Let’s look at the first three on the list. All good things indeed. But what do they mean? And how do you know when you’ve succeeded? What part of your life needs organizing? What does exercising more mean to you? What is your weight loss goal?
And then there’s number five! “Live Life to the Fullest”??? What on Earth does that mean??
Setting realistic goals is the secret to making successful resolutions. So, grab a notebook and let’s get started!
Take an Inventory
Before we look ahead, take a little time to reflect on the year. It can be easy to focus on what went wrong, since that’s what first comes to mind for many of us. Don’t hide from the things that didn’t go your way last year, but don’t catastrophize them either. Looking objectively at the less-than-perfect outcomes can help us to see where we might have done things differently, either avoiding a bad situation or reacting to one in a healthier way.
And when you’re done with the negative stuff, shift your attention to what went right. What did you accomplish? What areas did you do better than expected? Recognizing your successes, no matter how small, is a very powerful motivator.
Choose Your Goals
You might have a resolution in mind, or you might pick one from the list above. Choose two or three things that you want to accomplish in the new year. You can pick anything you want, as big and vague as you want. Write them down in your notebook.
Break it Down
For each of your goals, answer these three questions:
What does this mean to me?
Why do I want this?
How do I get it?
Our minds have trouble working with vague ideas. Using a vague idea as a goal is likely to fail, since there is nothing concrete to work on. Answering these questions helps to refine your objectives in a way that is more measurable and specific. Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of what you are working towards, and how to succeed.
Use the information you learned about refining your goals to create an action plan. The key is to use small steps. If your goal is to exercise more, maybe the first step is to go for a short walk at lunch. If your goal is to get organized, choose one cabinet or shelf to clean out each week.
When we use small and reasonable goals, we build up a momentum of successes. Each time we succeed we feel better, happier, more motivated, and more likely to succeed again.
Set aside some time each week to look at your notebook. As you make progress toward your goals there may be things that you’ll need to adjust, and accomplishments you’ll be ready to check off. Checking in with your goals regularly will help keep you on track.
Need More Help?
We’ve covered the basics of how to make successful New Year’s resolutions.
Are you looking for more?
Join me for a special 2-part online workshop Resolutions that Work - Jan. 16th and 23rd, 9:30 - 11 am
Bring your resolutions, and we’ll help you create a plan that makes them a reality. Click on the link below to Register Now!
Resolutions that Work Online Workshop - Jan. 16th and 23rd, 9:30 - 11 am
Free Access - “Release Tension” custom audio hypnosis program:
Karen Gray is a Certified Hypnotist, Registered Nurse, and Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis. For more information on how you can use hypnosis to change your life, schedule your free Strategy Call at https://karengray3.zohobookings.com/#/customer/3976471000000026006