It is customary this time of year for individuals to make New Year’s resolutions. Many of these goals may include to lose weight, save money, or have better relationships. And although we all may have good intentions starting out, the fact is very people stick to their resolutions throughout the new year.
Although there is no secret to making and sticking to a New Year’s resolution, there may be, however, approaches that are more successful than others. Strictly speaking, there really isn’t a difference between a New Year’s resolution and general goal setting. In fact, that’s what a New Year’s resolution is: setting a goal. Viewed in this way, setting a goal is easy . . . if you can break it down into smaller steps.
Committing to and executing a New Year’s resolution can be thought of the same way. In other words, the first, best, way to approach any new goal is to break it down into its small parts. For example, let’s take a common New Year’s resolution: losing weight. Suppose an individual wants to lose, say, 20 pounds. What might be the best approach to achieving this goal? Well, although there might not be one exact answer here, one reasonable approach would be to—you guessed it—start by tackling one pound at a time, while continually keeping any long-term goals in mind.
Another way to stack the deck in your favor is to set reasonable, small goals. This oft-repeated advice remains true. Thinking big has its place, but the old advice of “not biting off more than you can chew” applies here. One reason this advice is repeated so often is because it’s easy for people to get discouraged when they don’t seem to get anywhere with their goals. Setting smaller goals that add up to bigger ones can increase confidence and motivation and will surely increase the chances of success.
In addition to starting small and setting reasonable goals, creating a timeline of when you would like to hit certain benchmarks is also an effective way to help reach your goals. Having a timeline can tie your goal setting to specific targets, and this can help make your goals more concrete and less abstract. Also, in line with the abovementioned reasons, creating a goal timeline helps break larger goals down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
These are just a few simple ways to help put your New Year’s resolution on track. And although much more can be said about this subject, the above-mentioned advice is a good way to get started toward the new year. It is noble and noteworthy to set a New Year’s resolution. The key, however, is to set yourself for success so that you are still on track in the summer and beyond when many others have long given up.