Only 46% of those who commit to New Year’s resolutions are successful, according to a study from the American Journal of Psychology. Year after year, countless people make New Year’s resolutions. However, most fail within the first few months of the New Year.
Of course, the struggles of daily life get in the way, like stress or work. Yet even those who devote hours to achieving their resolutions still seem to fall short. I decided to try something different this year. Instead of curating a colossal resolution to reach by the end of 2023, I decided to set many smaller and more attainable goals.
Below are six tips to build a better year with realistic and attainable goals.
1. Ditch the resolution lifestyle.
Resolutions suck. They are always too grand or too vague to motivate anyone. Feeling pressured to set a resolution is completely valid. However, it’s imperative to remember that whether you choose to set goals and resolutions, or do nothing, your choice is for you. When you set goals, you can commit to them at any point throughout the year. The new year doesn’t need to signify a fresh start.
2. Write down some goals
Generally, a small goal is an attainable goal. Attainability is key. Write down a few small goals that you could achieve in a reasonable amount of time, making sure they are incredibly specific. Simply writing “I’m going to work out” isn’t detailed enough to follow. Working out could mean once a day, or it could mean once a year. Be conscious about time management as well. Don’t choose goals that require multiple hours of work a day if you’re already busy. Time management also plays a huge role in motivation.
3. Why am I doing this?
Understanding why we do what we do is key to motivation. Begin to think about why these goals are important and why you want to achieve them. Not only can this help with motivation, but it also assists with eliminating pointless goals and planning. If you find that a goal of yours doesn’t meet your standards or match your ideals, then get rid of it. No one is obligated to any specific goal that they create, so if it is unattainable, come back to it later.
Creating a detailed plan almost completely guarantees a successful goal. Be sure to write down every detail about your goals.
Life will inevitably get in the way, and you’ll forget about all your goals. Remember, you need to put in the effort to complete them. It might help to keep a journal or planner handy. It can assist in organizing and setting a timeline to complete your goals.
I like to use a color-coded planner with different colored highlighters and pens. Yet, with a journal, you could write your feelings and sentiments daily, weekly, or monthly. Others could opt to use virtual options such as Google Calendar on their phone or laptop or Canva to create calendar printouts. Planning is a great way to keep yourself accountable.
It’s imperative to practice accountability while setting or achieving goals. By holding yourself accountable, you can practice self-trust and patience. Self-trust aids in motivation and consistency. You can healthily push yourself to accomplish your goals. By doing so, you can also maintain a consistent schedule or regimen. It might help to ask close friends or family members to hold you accountable, too. Sometimes, you need another person to encourage you to finish a task. Stickk, a great app where you can wager a price to incentivize yourself to complete a goal, is another useful tool in accountability.
6. Be patient with yourself
Patience is truly a valuable skill in completing goals. It’s important to understand that you may fail sometimes, and more important things will get in the way. It’s okay to stray from your goal, but only for the right reasons. Patience and excuses aren’t a synonym, however. Before you begin to stray from your goal, ask yourself “why?” And remember that it’s okay to fail if you learn from it and keep pushing forward.