New Year is upon us once again and with it brings feelings of hope and renewal with a desire to make changes in our lives for the better. New Year resolutions are started with the best intentions but alas many aren’t realized and fall by the wayside leaving many a soul finishing the year in disappointment.
Here are some tips to help you make it through the year with your New Year resolutions firmly by your side. First let’s start with the most common of New Year resolutions.
Here are the top 10:
- Lose weight
- Get organized
- Spend less, save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Stay fit and Healthy
- Learn something exciting
- Quit smoking
- Help others in their dreams
- Fall in love
- Spend more time with family
How to achieve your goals
Goals are hard to achieve and even harder when abstract and immeasurable. Instead of wanting to “Enjoy life to the Fullest”, figure out what it exactly means to you. Is it visiting different countries, going out more or seeing your friends? If so, try to make the goal more specific such as Visit 2 countries this year. How often do you hear “I really lived life to the fullest this year.” This was the number four on the most set goals in 2014. Many practitioners use SMART goals for helping their clients achieve their goals.
Specific- who, what, when, where, why and how
Measurable – when will you known it is done
Attainable – is it realistic?
Relevant – How does it fit into your life now?
Time-based – When will you achieve your goal, what’s the time line?
For example, if your goal is to lose weight be specific on how much you want to lose and how you will lose it. It must be measurable! Looking in the mirror every couple weeks and guessing your loss won’t help you stay on track.
Make sure the goal is realistic. If you weigh 600 pounds trying to lose 500 in a year to become a bikini model is not going to happen unless you amputate or choose liposuction. Ask yourself if losing weight is relevant to your life right now? Is it something you are able to do? Are you driven to lose weight?
Goals need to be Time Based. Set miniature goals every couple months such as lose 10 pounds by March.
Make sure you tell people about your goals. Having people there to support you will increase your chances of succeeding. If your goal is to lose weight, find a workout partner. You will feel as if you are obliged to show up, otherwise you will be letting someone down. If your goal is to help others, commit time to volunteer organizations.
Always ensure your goals are positive. If your goal is to be a better student, don’t word your goal as “Miss only 2 scheduled classes” word it as “Attend all Classes”. The wording of a goal plays an important part. If you have worded the goal negatively, there is a negative association with the goal. For example if you partied last night, you wake up groggy, you will say to yourself “it is only one class” This kind of thinking leads to a snowball effect. After you have missed 2 classes, you will have the mindset that you have already missed two another one won’t make a difference.
Ignore the goals focus on the process
Goals are always accomplished by hard work and diligence. Simply setting a goal won’t make it happen. You must develop a process to make that goal happen. Simply setting the goal to learn a foreign language is just a thought. However putting in motion your study plan is how you will learn that language. Putting aside scheduled time each week will get the job done. A kid’s goal may not be that he wants to learn math, but since an allotted time each week is set forth for he/she to do so, the child will eventually end up learning it. If you have a goal you must come up with a process or system to achieve it.
Make sure that you reward yourself for achieving your goals and mini goals. This will keep you on the track. Looking at kids, you can see how a little reward here and there can make the world of difference in the child’s participation. You can watch a small kid work 10 times harder for a teacher, if the teacher offers a sticker. This sticker will without a doubt be lost before the kid returns home. As adults, not much has changed. Our sticker is an hour of free time a trip to a massage parlor. Rewards for achieving miniature goals do not have to be big. Having someone else verify the completion of these goals will limit any cheating. After achieving your 1 year resolution have something big in mind, something that you will truly look forward to.
Choose 1 goal!
Make sure you limit the amount of goals you have set. Goals can be compared to football players. Tackling one football player is a hell of a lot easier than trying to tackle a whole team at once. The more goals that you have set the more confused you will be on where to begin. You will immediately be neglecting goals, from lack of time. Make sure you choose the goal you want to achieve and prioritize it. Trying to prioritize too many things at once is a recipe for destruction.
There is good news! University of Scranton has done some research. People who explicitly set goals are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than someone who has not explicitly set a goal. You can check out other fun new year resolution statistics here.
Another interesting post with fun facts about New Years Resolutions can be found here
Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at +86 13122 810 421 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties