It’s resolution time again, and though I wish I could be one to just say, “I don’t make resolutions,” the new year always brings out the need to try to break the bad habits that have built up over the past year(s). Some resolutions I’ve fulfilled, others have been spectacular failures. However, I’m not alone: Nearly 50 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions—but only eight percent actually achieve their goal(s).
You’d think with the experience of “failed resolutions past”, we’d try to keep things small and simple. But instead, the arrival of January 1 always brings the promise of a fresh beginning—and that brings out the ambition to make huge changes in our lives.
As we enter 2017, I’ve decided to focus on sticking to a few key rules that’ll help increase the possibility of successful New Year’s resolutions. And, as a bonus, many of these can be applied to our workdays as well.
1. Don’t Overload
Saving for the future, getting healthy, learning new skills, getting organized—these are just a few of the many resolutions people try to tackle. But tackling too many goals at once can be overwhelming and quickly leads to failure. Prioritize the areas in your life, then focus on just one or two goals at a time. Success will be more attainable and will lend itself to further future targets at home and in the office.
2. Break It Down/Plan It Out
It’s easy enough to say you have a goal—but be sure to take the time to break it down and plan it out. Take your main goal and divide it into smaller steps. Building a schedule for achieving goals has shown a greater success rate. Also, creating a calendar helps you to review your process and keep yourself on track.
3. Set the Time Aside to Concentrate
We pride ourselves on being able to multi-task, but that can lead to objectives falling by the wayside. Taking the time to concentrate exclusively on your resolutions can help make them a regular part of your life. Whether you set time aside once a week, an hour a day—or even a few minutes a day—you’ll get closer to achieving your goal.
4. You’re Going to Slip… and That’s Okay
Bad days are a given—you’re going skip a workout, eat a doughnut (or doughnuts), splurge on something you don’t need. It happens and that’s cool. And more importantly, it’s helpful. Failure is just as important as success, since it teaches us to discover alternative solutions to reaching a goal as well as helping us appreciate successes even more. Don’t let a set back drag you down—review your plan and keep on trying.
5. Find the Motivation That Works Best for You
There are no singular paths to success—what helped Bob from Accounting reach his goal won’t necessarily work for you. Explore what drives you—motivation can come from a blog, an app, a chat group, a classroom, anywhere. It’ll be easier to reach your goal when you don’t struggle with how to get there.
So there you have it. By following these few rules both at home and on the job, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring 2017 is 365 days of satisfaction, happiness, and achievement.