If you are a human being you probably use the beginning of every year to reflect on the past year, make decisions, and set resolutions for the New Year. It is a good thing to make resolutions, but it takes a good deal of discipline and commitment to get results that would be different and better than what you got last year.
Lionnel Yamentou Ndzogoue, New Year, New You!

Tim Mossholder | Unsplash.com | six steps to successful New Year’s Resolutions

Resolutions, Intentions, and Goals

Have you ever set New Year’s Resolutions tried them for a while then quit? Most of us do this repeatedly each year. Setting Resolutions, intentions, and goals are what we all do because we know we should accomplish something in the upcoming year. We also feel under pressure from our friends and neighbors when they ask us about our resolutions. But truth be told, I hate them all. They are simply recipes for failure and guilt.

Five top Resolutions that fail

Here are the top five resolutions we all have listed at one time or the other, usually failed, and always want to do.

  1. Get healthier or lose weight. So what do we do we add a gym membership creating more pressure to fit something into our already busy day?
  2. Quit Smoking. Somehow we think that by making this a resolution it will magically happen like losing weight.
  3. Get more organized and become more productive.
  4. Improve my diet.
  5. Prepare a budget and save more money.

These and many other resolutions quickly fall by the way as the new year starts and time goes on. We fail at them because they are too general. For example, I weighed 222 at the Doctor’s yesterday. A resolution for weight loss could be I want to lose two pounds per month in the new year. Clear and concise.

We are usually are not committed to our resolutions. We don’t realize the steps we need to follow to be successful. For example, what does improving my diet mean. I want to eat fresh vegetables twice a week is clearer.

However, they do sound good in theory. But the reality is we never fit them into our daily, weekly, and monthly routines. But you can achieve your resolutions by following the six steps below.

Seven steps to have successful New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Why do you want to have this resolution at this point in your life?
    You must know why you want to disrupt your life in the new year to accomplish your resolution. What is your why? Is it because it will get your friends and neighbors off your back or is it something important to you?
  2. Instead of selecting a long list of New Year’s Resolutions, select four then pick one to focus on each quarter.
    Selecting one per quarter will help you focus on one at a time. Focus is important. If you lose focus you bounce back and forth between all them and get none done.
  3. What steps are you going to take to finish your resolution?
    Most of our resolutions are very vague and broad statements that keep you from taking action. I’ll lose weight when I join the gym. Steps might be I join the gym and plan to do certain exercises to lose two pounds each month. Remember muscle weighs more than fat.
  4. How are you going to fit them into your already full day?
    When you are going to do it is also critical. Joining the gym isn’t enough. You must find the time to go regularly to give you the result you want. Going for the first month then starting to skip sessions doesn’t work.
  5. Identify and build the habits you need to achieve the resolutions.
    Habits are those things we do often enough that we don’t have to think about them. Go to the gym at the same time daily. Or if you are a runner, run the same route each day.
  6. Track your steps to ensure you do them daily.
    Keep a diary or spreadsheet and check off your successful completion each day. If you miss one day, don’t beat yourself up. Get back on track.
  7. Reward yourself each time you achieve a resolution.
    Most people need a reward when they; achieve something. For me it doesn’t seem that important, but psychologists have proven that even giving yourself an imaginary high-five works.

We set resolutions because we want something to change in our life. But if we are not specific and have no detailed plans about how we are going to change it then we can expect things to remain as they currently are. And we will end the year without the resolution accomplished. So rather than set them if we should recognize what we have accomplished in the past year and build on them, where is there the potential to do more, to be more. Catherine Pulsifer