New Year’s resolutions are nothing new. Many people set them each year, but few people actually can say they accomplished what they set out to do. If you have a history of giving up your New Year’s goals, the problem may not be with your willpower, but your goal setting skills. These tips can help you pick and keep a goal that will serve you throughout the next year and beyond.
Evaluate What You Want to Accomplish
This may seem like an obvious part of picking a goal, and it may even seem like that’s the whole job, but there is more nuance to this process. You will likely have a few ideal goals in mind for the new year. Everyone has a list in the back of their mind of things that they would accomplish in a perfect world. However, it’s important to realize that not everything can be achieved at once. Evaluate your top goal and go from there. If you decide you truly want to focus on more than one thing, keep them small and keep your expectations realistic.
Limit the Scope
Be willing to limit the scope at first when it comes to your goals. Remember that while it’s called a New Year’s resolution, you don’t have to create it once and never change it. If your goal is achievable but difficult, consider ways that you can make it easier at first. If your end goal is to cook fancy dinners at home, but you aren’t comfortable around the kitchen yet, set an intermediate goal of simply cooking more at home, in general. As you achieve more of that goal, set a new goal to learn a difficult recipe or two. Be willing to build on your achievements throughout the year. Don’t take on everything at once.
Create Specific Metrics or Checkpoints
A broad goal may be easy to set, but it’s hard to accomplish. Broad and vague goals are difficult to stick to since you don’t have a specific accomplishment in mind. The common New Year’s goal of “get healthier” is vague and hardly achievable simply by being set. However, a specific metric of “exercise 3 times a week” or “eat a cup of veggies with each meal” provides a target and a path to achieve your overall goal.