One of the biggest problems many people face when starting their New Years’ Resolutions is time. Setting up one big goal for the year with a December 31st deadline can be a recipe for disappointment. If you only ever reflect on whether or not you achieved your goal, you may miss all the great progress you’ve made along the way.
A lot of work goes into making big changes like losing weight, getting strong, or changing unhealthy habits, and you won’t know what to expect until you start the journey.
The good news is that you can make (and keep) those big New Year’s Resolutions if you follow the right steps and set realistic expectations.
Set SMART Goals
Setting goals is the most important step in the process to change, but sometimes we set goals that are out of reach.
Instead of going with an arbitrary goal like, “I want to get stronger in 2022,” define your resolution clearly and explain the true purpose this resolution serves.
Once you’ve considered your resolution, write down a set of SMART goals or action steps that can help you make your resolution a reality. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to your values, and based in a reasonable amount of time. An example of a clearly defined smart goal would be:
“I will increase my lift weight by 50% in the next 6 months by training at the gym three days a week.”
By breaking up your big resolution into smaller SMART goals, you’re turning an idealistic vision into a manageable and realistic achievement.
Your resolutions will start to look less like a wish list and more like an action plan.
Stay The Course
Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to get to work. Achieving your goals is easier said than done. There is no magic trick to predict how long progress takes, and there are always going to be unpredictable events that may get in the way.
When times get tough, here are a few things you can do to help you stay on track and keep your head up.
- Track your progress. Write down your goals and action steps in a journal or planner. Keeping it all written down can help you stay organized and see the progress you’ve made over time.
- Give yourself grace. Anyone who has ever made a goal or resolution will tell you that you’re likely to face setbacks, and there’s a chance you won’t meet your goals at all. Setbacks and failures are bound to happen as a natural part of growth. You can’t be perfect, and that’s perfectly okay.
- Find a support group. You’re not alone in trying to better yourself. Confiding in someone you trust can help you navigate through any struggles or setbacks in your journey. Your support system can be family, friends, coworkers, or someone outside your social circle, like a therapist.
- Celebrate the journey. While you may not always be able to achieve the resolutions you set, your journey towards a better you should still be celebrated. You’re still making progress toward becoming your ideal self, and that is something to be praised.
New Year, New Resolutions
Whether you’re resolving to lose weight, hit new records at the gym, or kick bad habits to the curb, keep the above tips in mind while setting up your plan for the new year.
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