How to Accomplish your New Year’s Resolution
Every year, hundreds and thousands of people create New Year’s resolutions. Everyone is excited and looking forward to a fresh start. They are pumped and motivated for change. But what really happens when the New Year arrives?
January begins and you re-commit or sign-up for a gym membership, you decide to start a healthier diet and make plans to create a new and more fulfilled you. Then February rolls around and your initial motivation is dwindling. In April you still believe you can achieve your goals but you find yourself busier and pushing them off. June pops out of nowhere and you feel discouraged and guilty for the lack of accomplishments. In October you have completely given up hope and most likely forgotten what was on your original list. Finally, you are in December approaching January 1st again. The cycle continues. So how do you break this cycle?
A simple way to break this vicious pattern is to create better and S.M.A.R.T.(er) goals. According to George T. Doran a S.M.A.R.T. goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Specific: It is important to be as specific as possible when developing your goals for the new year. It is a lot easier to follow something that is very narrow and clear than something that is vague and abstract. For example: “ My goal is to be happier.” versus “My goal is to hang out with friends on the weekends, so I feel happier and less stressed during the week.”
Measurable: You want to create goals that you can tell if you achieved or not. If you can not measure your goal then how do you know if it was accomplished? It is pretty difficult to measure happiness, in fact, it is very subjective. However, you can measure how many times you went out with your friends in a week. Make sure you are able to be objective rather than subjective when measuring your goals.
Attainable: The goal you create has to be reachable and not impossible considering your predicament. For instance, is it really attainable to hang out with your friends every single day if you work an 8/9 hour job, feel exhausted, have a family, etc? Maybe it is more attainable to say your goal is to hang out with friends only on Saturdays or Sundays.
Realistic: Make sure your goal is realistic for you to accomplish and not idealistic. If you are introverted and are exhausted by people, it might be unrealistic for you to spend time with a group of 10 friends every single Saturday. It can be more realistic if your goal became “ I will spend my Saturdays with 1 or 2 friends from x to y time.”
Timely: Give yourself a deadline to accomplish your goals. People thrive on deadlines! You fulfill tasks at work or school because there are time crunches and pressure. The same will work if you set yourself a deadline for your own personal goal. Set an appropriate amount of time to complete your goal that will encourage you. For example, “I will hang out with 1 or 2 friends from x to y time on Saturdays” can be a weekly or biweekly goal. The time frame will depend on you as a person.
You will be far more likely to fulfill your goal if you create a S.M.A.R.T. goal. The key to accomplishing your goals starts the minute you create them. Do not set yourself up for failure.
If you find yourself stuck or needing more help to fulfilling your goals or transforming your life call Life Counseling Solutions, 407.622.1770, for a free 15-minute consultation or appointment with me. Connect with me on Facebook or Instagram for more tips, encouragement, and posts.
About Colleen: Colleen values the importance of a comfortable and non-judgmental atmosphere. At the heart of her work, she seeks to create a safe environment in which clients can feel at ease while working through life’s difficulties. Her specialty is working with women and adolescents struggling with anger management, trauma, and substance abuse problems. She also enjoys assisting those facing multicultural or racial issues. She is dedicated to equipping clients with practical skills to better manage and reduce symptoms such as anger outbursts, anxiety, or restlessness. Ultimately, her goal is to help clients uncover the source of their distress so that they can begin to heal. See Colleen’s full bio.