How to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick

how-to and resources Dec 20, 2017

Ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year again.

The time we decide to make New Year's resolutions... or the time we say, "Nope, New Year's resolutions aren't for me."

Resolutions work for some people; they epically fail for others.

There are thousands of articles out there saying why you should or shouldn't make New Year's resolutions. This is not one of those articles.

Personally, I don't think you should wait until a new year to make resolutions or goals. To make them work all the time, you should be frequently reviewing, working on, and even revising those goals throughout the year.

So I'm not going to tell you that you should or shouldn't make resolutions. That's up to you.

What I AM going to suggest is that if you do want to make them, I have a few tips you can use to help you achieve them this year.

Sound like a plan? Let's dig in!

1.) Break Down Those New Year's Resolutions Into Smaller Goals

Let's say one of your resolutions is to start your own freelance transcription business. Great!

But that's a pretty big goal that's going to take a LOT of work. How exactly are you going to accomplish that goal? What steps are you going to take on a daily basis to make you meet that goal?

This right here is why many resolutions fail from the start. People make goals that are too broad and too big, and they get overwhelmed from the get-go. And unsurprisingly, they ultimately don't hit the goal.

Don't let this happen to you! Once you come up with a resolution, break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Maybe you set weekly goals to finish one of my transcription courses. Then after you graduate, maybe you make a goal to set up your website. After that, you make another goal to update your resume... then to update your social media profiles... then to contact X number of potential clients each week. And the list goes on and on.

See how much more manageable that sounds than "I'm going to start my own transcription business"? We love a sense of accomplishment! And checking off those mini goals on a regular basis will help motivate you to keep going toward that big goal.

2.) Make Smaller Resolutions Throughout the Year

And speaking of smaller goals... who says resolutions have to take an entire year to complete? Or that you have to make them all on January 1? OR that they have to be these huge, life-changing goals?

Why not make meaningful mini resolutions you can accomplish in a week or a month throughout the year?

Now I'm not saying you need to have a goal every single week or even every month. That seems a little overwhelming, to be honest.

But maybe you decide one Monday that you want to set fifteen minutes aside every morning that week to meditate or pray. It could be a particularly busy or stressful week ahead, and you know that you'll need something in place to help keep you focused and grounded. And maybe you don't necessarily want to do that every week -- and that's okay!

That mini goal is still meaningful and brings you happiness, even though it isn't an epically large goal most people associate with New Year's resolutions.

And THAT'S what's most important -- making and accomplishing goals that mean something to you and make your life better, no matter how big or small.

3.) Make Resolutions You ACTUALLY Want to Achieve

You might be thinking, "Why in the world would I make a resolution I don't actually want to do?" Well, I say this because a lot of us DO make resolutions we really aren't 100% invested in.

For example, how many of us have made a resolution that we're going to exercise more? I'm going to guess a lot ;-) But do we really want to exercise more? Do we want to bad enough that we'll truly be motivated to make it happen, or do we say we do because we think we should?

This is the time when you need to be honest with yourself. If you set a goal you're not 100% invested in from the start, you've set yourself up for inevitable failure.

You might not know exactly how to achieve your goal, but you need to know and believe that you do want to achieve it.

4.) Write Down Your Resolutions... and Look at Them Often

I can't stress this one enough. The old saying "out of sight, out of mind" holds particularly true when it comes to New Year's resolutions. We might write them down somewhere and then tuck the paper away, never to be seen again. Or we don't write them down at all and figure we'll just remember them.

Bad idea, folks. When you finalize those big and small resolutions, WRITE THEM DOWN. And the most important part: keep them where you can see them every day. Your refrigerator.  Your desk. Even your nightstand. You could even make the goals into a checklist with deadlines so you can visually keep track of your progress. There's nothing better than crossing off an accomplished task, am I right?!

It's so much harder to forget/avoid your resolutions if you can actually see them every single day. It's not enough to have them in your head; you need to see the words to give you that visual reminder.

Write. Them. Down.

5.) Find an Accountability Buddy

You might have heard of having an accountability partner when it comes to working out, but why not have one to help you stay on track with your New Year's resolutions?

This buddy can be a friend, family member, work colleague, or even someone you only know virtually (maybe even through the TA Facebook group!). And they don't have to have the same goals as you. As long as you can help each other stay on track, they'll be a huge help.

Have frequent and scheduled check-ins to share your progress, give encouragement and support, and discuss what you'd like to accomplish before the next time you check in. Knowing that you'll have to report your progress to someone else can serve as great motivation for staying on track.

Your Turn

I'd love to hear your resolutions and goals for the next day, week, month, or year! It doesn't matter how big or small they are, or if they're personal or professional -- share them with me in the comments below. Here's to a fabulous and prosperous 2018!

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