New Year’s Resolutions have become something of a joke because so many people set goals in January only to abandon them for their old habits in February. So how do you make a plan for change that you can actually achieve? Here are some ideas:
1. Break down your goals into their smallest parts - These are called micro-goals. Take your large objective and write down the steps needed to achieve it. Then, break down each step into short, easily-accomplished activities. For example, if your intention is to get in shape, your first step might be to join a gym. Breaking that down further, you will need to make a list of what you are looking for in a gym, research facilities in your area, visit them, and select one to join. Micro-goals are motivating because they are relatively easy to accomplish in a short amount of time.
2. Set a realistic time frame - Instead of jumping in to several lofty goals in January and then feeling defeated in March when you have not made any significant progress (something I tend to do), distribute them throughout the year. Try to focus on a single one each quarter, so maybe January-March is dedicated to creating better fitness habits, and then in April-June you address financial goals. Change is difficult so don’t attempt too much at once.
3. Decide what you will give up to achieve your goals - All accomplishments take time to achieve. In order to get where you want to be, you are going to have to take time away from your current activities. Are you willing to give up some hours each week spent watching TV or checking social media? Maybe you can make better use of lunch breaks or your commute to work. Take an objective look at how you spend your time to find the hours to dedicate to your new pursuit.
4. Write it down and schedule it - Put your plan in writing and review it regularly – even daily – to keep focused. Transfer your list of micro-goals into your calendar. And if you need an extra push, share your goals with family and friends. Sometimes a little social support (and pressure!) is what you need to get motivated.
What do you plan to accomplish this year?
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