New Year’s Eve is around the corner and that means New Year’s resolutions are flying through the air left and right. What makes a goal good? What makes a resolution doable? Here are my 5 tips to making the best resolutions.
- DON’T BE VAGUE. Vague resolutions are WRONG because it’s impossible to have a tangible “yes” or “no” for achieving them. I am the first to admit “be more healthy” has been a New Year’s resolution of mine in the past. It’s too bad that’s pretty much impossible to quantify. Sure, I’ll make some healthier decisions with it in mind, but let’s be real. It’s not going to make a difference overall. A resolution is something definite. Vague resolutions let you off the hook. If you want to make serious goals that are achievable, make them specific.
- BE REALISTIC. Making goals is good. Aiming high is good. Making all of your resolutions so extreme that you’ll never be able to accomplish them is not good. Unless you are actively making huge changes come January, your life will probably look the same as it does right now. A good goal factors that in. Change something, or add or take something away. Don’t think you’ll actually travel to 50 countries if you work a 9-5 and aren’t planning on quitting your job.
- CHOOSE FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE. Similar to #2, but from a wider perspective. Make resolutions that you want in your life. There are some years I have 5 resolutions, and some years I have 50. Usually, when I have more there’s a big number of small goals. Sometimes I need something on my list that I know I’ll be able to check off. When I only have a few, usually they’re BIG goals. I use my list of New Year’s resolutions as a guide for what I want to invest energy into.
- THINK ABOUT THE HOW. If you write down a resolution, that’s great. But it’s only the first step. How you plan to accomplish that goal is equally important. Goals are ACTIONS. That means they require action. And doing. Don’t wait to think of a way to accomplish what you want to do until the moment you want to do it. Do you need to start saving from January to be able to travel in July? Do you need to prep your resume so you can apply to your dream job when it opens up? Preparedness if like gas in a car. Necessary, and the more you have, the further you go.
- DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE NEW YEAR TO START. I think starting things from cold turkey is just as difficult as stopping things cold turkey. Every year I hear about people making goals on January 1st, then giving up by February. The idea of a fresh start is inspiring, but once it’s not the start anymore, the followthrough isn’t there. I take my goal setting pretty seriously, so I usually start thinking about my resolutions at Thanksgiving. I try to start them in December, even if it’s only partially, because then even if I fail it’s not the new year yet! By the time January 1st rolls around, I’ll be more used to prioritizing it and my dedication will (hopefully) be focused. If you know what you want, start now!
I make goals for a lot of things, especially writing. I make daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, annual goals, and more….. I use these ideas for WAY more than New Year’s resolutions, but tis the season so I thought I’d share.