It’s almost time to make the ambitious New Year’s resolutions that we make year after year and never go through with. This New Years’, let’s make better resolutions: resolutions that we can and we will make happen.
First step for creating your New Year’s Resolutions: focus on your priorities
I’ll pick just four broad priorities to focus on first, but feel free to pick as many as you want. We will narrow them down later. I like to take a blank piece of paper and make four sections. At the top of each section, write your broad priorities. For me, those sections will be: Finance, Family, Fitness, and Fun.
Very broad, I know, but now I can narrow them down to get to the heart of what I want to change or improve on by adding specific examples.
Next, narrow down your priorities to get a clearer picture of what you want your New Year’s resolutions to be
As you can see from my photo above, I have added a few specific examples to each of the four broad priorities that I chose. To narrow it down, it’s best to focus on the specific examples that are more realistically doable. I can cross at leas one out from each of the broad priorities. Such as, “Go for a walk around the neighborhood every evening”. You don’t want to use words like every when making new year’s resolutions because that’s just not realistic. I might have a cold and miss a few evening walks or something may come up and that resolution would be toast.
Also, the “Save at least $150 every month.” I did great with adding the, at least, but the every month at the end is just not realistic. Some months, there may be an unexpected bill that will prevent me from saving $150 or more.
So how do we fix the unrealistic resolutions? By setting S.M.A.R.T. New Year’s resolutions!
Specific – The more specific you make your resolution, the less likely you are to sway from making it happen. It’s easy to just brush it off if you state that your resolution is “I will lose weight this year.” and don’t accomplish it. By being specific and stating, “I will lose twenty pounds this year”, you are more likely to want to accomplish that. And you are closer to making a S.M.A.R.T. New Year’s resolution.
Measurable – How will you measure your progress and success at accomplishing your new year’s resolutions? With a weight loss resolution, you can measure your progress by tracking calories, keeping an exercise log, measuring yourself weekly, and of course, the number on the scale going down over time.
Attainable – Let’s take the “I will lose twenty pounds this year”. Twenty pounds over the course of a year is about 1.5-2 pounds a month. So “I will lose two pounds a month each month.” is more attainable. Is losing two pounds a month each month realistic and attainable? It can be depending on your body composition and starting weight, how much you exercise, and eating habits.
Relevant – Is it relevant to your life? Think back to your broader priorities, does it fit in with any of those? If so, then yes it is relevant.
Time-Based – By chunking the weight loss resolution into pounds lost per month, we are making the resolution time-based.
Lastly, set your New Year’s resolutions into action easily!
You can plan how you’re going to accomplish your new year’s resolutions and plan and then plan some more, but if you don’t actually set the plan into action; well then another year will fly by before it’s time to make them all over again!