It’s that time of year again: the beginning of the new year! This is a time to take advantage of this fresh start to be your best self. Reflect on the year before and make New Year’s resolutions for the year ahead.
So, how do you make a New Year’s resolution?
There are many ways to go about this, but these eight steps below will show you how to make successful resolutions—resolutions that align with your own needs. Hopefully from this post you can make realistic, actionable New Year’s resolutions that will help you see successful results.
1. Set an intention for this new year.
Ask yourself: How do you want to feel this year? Brainstorm a list of words that describe the feelings you seek. For example, do you want to feel happiness? joy? love? radiance? healthfulness? creativity?
2. Establish a vision for your best self.
Once you have brainstormed a list of words, circle the top three that you feel would bring out your best self. With these words in mind, write a vision statement. What do you want to see for yourself this year? For example, do you see a healthier, radiant, happy self? Do you see a creative, joyous, and productive self?
3. Make goals. These are your New Year’s resolutions!
Now, it’s time to determine what you need to do to make your vision a reality. To do, this, write down SMART goals that will help you work toward your vision. The essentials elements of SMART goals include:
• S-Specific. Narrow your goal to one thing you want to accomplish. A goal must be crystal clear to you. You must envision the outcome.
• M-Measurable. Determine a number that tells you when your outcome is achieved.
• A-Actionable. Choose 3-5 action steps that you must take to reach your goal.
• R-Relevant. Identify how your goal aligns with your personal mission values.
• T-Time bound. Set a timeline to create a sustainable outcome.
An example of a SMART goal is:
In 8 weeks, I will drink 9 cups of water every day, because this aligns with my vision for healthy living.
4. Prioritize your goals.
You need a succinct list of goals for the new year. And, you just want to tackle one goal at a time to be successful. I recommend creating no more than six goals. It takes more than two months to form a habit. So, if you tackle a new goal every eight weeks this year, you really max out at six goals
5. Build objectives.
Objectives are the milestones that will get you to your goal. Objectives identify the “how” you want to achieve your goal. And, objectives are written in a results-oriented manor. For example, for the water goal above, objectives could be:
• I have three water bottles available at work, in my car, and at home
• I have access to citrus slices, herbs, tea, and frozen fruit
• I am reminded every hour to drink water
6. Create actionable steps.
Now that you know you milestones, you need to identify the specific actions that must be taken to get you to those milestones. For example:
• Buy three water bottles
• Place water bottles in the car, at work, and at home
• Every Sunday, cut up a lemon, lime, orange, and mint
• Add herbal tea and frozen fruit to the weekly grocery list
• Set a phone reminder to drink water throughout the day
7. Determine a timeline.
Now that you have a vision, goals, objectives, and actions, you need a timeline. Things to think about when setting a timeline:
• Do your goals build upon one another? If so, which is first?
• Are there certain times of year where some goals might be easier than others? For example, if you want to be more physically active and one objective is to go skiing, begin your goal objective when it is snowy outside!
• Choose a “due date” for each milestone to keep you motivated.
• Incorporate your milestones into your calendar so that you are reminded throughout the year to work toward your goals.
8. Begin your New Year’s resolutions with confidence.
The best way to make your new year’s resolution successful is simply to start. As Lao Tzu says:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu Tweet this!
What resolutions will you make this new year? Let me know in the comments below!
© 2017 Caitlin W Howe, LLC
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