Lose weight, eat healthy, enroll in a dance class, teach English, read one book a week, get promoted, exercise daily or develop a passion for photography. Sound familiar? Many of us, like every year, make a long list of New Year’s resolutions. However, how do you go about accomplishing them? What usually fails? Why can’t you fulfill everything you set out to do?
There are many proponents and opponents of making New Year’s resolutions. Skeptics usually claim that creating such a list is pointless and it is better to focus on action. However, most often these are people who have created resolutions more than once, but with meager results. Lists in themselves are not bad because they organize our thoughts, allow us to focus on important things for us, and in many cases help to achieve the goals. However, if you are reading this text you want to learn how to effectively implement resolutions. It is quite possible that in previous years something failed and we will help you to improve their effectiveness.
1. Focus on priorities
The main reason why lists may not work, or why you’re likely to abandon them in frustration and discouragement around April, is because there are too many items to tackle and the goals are so far apart. When you wrote them down back in December, you probably felt that the list was ambitious and required a lot of work, but that’s what motivated you to take action. However, an overly long list that was previously your ambitious goal can quickly become your affliction. You will get discouraged that something is not going your way, that you should have already completed the next points, because you will not make it before the end of the year or some of them will require more effort and investment.
Therefore, in order not to make these mistakes this year, focus on the really important things. It is worth limiting the list to 5-10 points which are in a similar group and will be easier to implement e.g. exercising and changing your diet, reading books and learning English. Most often if you start to be physically active you will instinctively change your eating habits to healthier ones and you can read books in English. This will increase the effectiveness of your resolutions!
2. Measure your strength against your goals
We have mentioned this point above, but in this case it is about funds and time. Many people want to enroll in a dance, English or personal development course, start psychotherapy, go on 5 trips abroad, change their closet, renovate their apartment and put aside a considerable amount of money every month. Verify your budget, honestly assess how much time you are able to spend on your goals and then cross out the items. It is also worthwhile to pre-plan your goals and to be specific about how much time you will spend on them and how much it will cost you. For example, learn Spanish 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for 30 minutes each or take a Spanish course twice a week for 45 minutes.
3. Checking off the list becomes a goal in itself
Instead of being happy that you’re getting better at a foreign language, exercising more or eating healthy, you’re only focused on ticking off all the items on your list to show at the end of the year that you’ve accomplished it or what you’re not. This list is for you therefore learn to enjoy your own successes, appreciate for how much you have achieved, but also savor learning English, enjoy physical activity or develop yourself culinarily. New Year’s resolutions are not a race. They will help you learn new skills and become a better person regardless of whether you achieve 3 out of 10 resolutions. Sometimes it’s better to tick off fewer but better points than a dozen or so but get nothing out of them.