5 Tips To Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions

The start of a new year is always exciting! There is no better time to reflect on the previous year and prepare for this year’s possibilities. Making New Year’s resolutions can have positive effects, such as improving mental health, increasing self-awareness, and achieving personal growth. It’s a chance to embrace new beginnings and change your life. A fresh start means reflecting on past mistakes and making note of undesirable traits so you can work on becoming an even better version of yourself. Keep reading to learn the steps you can take to achieve your new year goals!  

Why Are New Year’s Resolutions Important?

black friends sitting and reading

“New Year, new ME!” There’s a reason why that saying never gets old. Making resolutions is an effective way to focus on yourself and improve your overall well-being. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself under the microscope. Change is good. Highlight your strengths and weaknesses so you can work towards changing for the better. New year’s resolutions can provide a sense of direction and motivate you to get to where you need to be. 

Have you ever accomplished something that seemed impossible at first? It’s a great feeling! Making a commitment to yourself is enough to get you on the right path. With each milestone, you will feel motivated to keep going. New Year’s resolutions prepare you to achieve whatever you put your mind to. You have a chance to plan a course for your future and take advantage of every opportunity that may arise. 

Why Are New Year’s Resolutions Hard To Keep?

We all start the New Year with a burning desire to keep our resolutions, but by March or so, we slip right back into old habits. You must be wondering why New Year’s resolutions are so hard to keep. It could be a lack of preparation, not having the resources to see things through, or a loss of interest due to certain factors. It is easy to lose sight of the goals we set for ourselves. Stress, a busy schedule, mental health struggles, and financial woes are just a few of the roadblocks. 

new year's resolutions list

It’s still a good idea to create New Year’s resolutions though. They give you purpose. An optimistic approach for the future; Who knows? This year’s resolutions might be just what you need to take action. You may not accomplish every single thing on your list, but with the right steps, you can cross off a few before the year ends. These five tips might be just what you need to achieve your New Year’s resolutions.

Write Down Your Goals

When making your resolutions, don’t just say them out loud. Set realistic goals and write them down. Start small by focusing on one or two resolutions rather than trying to tackle too many at the same time. Try to be specific too. Vague goals are not inspiring and you probably won’t be motivated to follow through.

Go a step further and ask yourself WHY these goals matter to you. It could be as simple as “I want to start a wooden watch collection so I can upgrade my wardrobe and stand out in the office” or “I want to start volunteering at the local shelter so I can give back to my community and make a difference.” Knowing why you are working towards these objectives will motivate you to get them done. Here are a few examples:

New Year's Goals

Honesty plays a big role when you are deciding which goals to pursue. Be true to your own desires and never make an attempt to fill someone else’s shoes. It’s alright to pull inspiration from a mentor, colleague, relative or friend, but make sure you genuinely want to work towards these New Year’s resolutions, and you’re not adopting them for the wrong reasons. Getting to know why your goals matter adds an emotional element to the process. This makes them unique to you and including the reasons from the early stages will make achieving your goals much easier. 

Create A Solid Action Plan

There is more to achieving new year goals than simply writing them down. You need a solid action plan to get the ball rolling. Not sure where to start? The following points will help you create a strategy for your new year goals.

Describe Each Goal:  This is straightforward. Jot down a few sentences about each goal. For example, you want to enroll in a course so you can apply for a promotion at work or get a better offer from another company. Which course do you need to take to make that happen? Do you need a degree, a diploma, or a certificate? Is it possible to do it online or is it only offered face-to-face? These details are very important and will help you make certain decisions later on. 

black woman making a list in notebook

Make a List of Resources: Goals require work, and then some. Make a list of everything you will need to accomplish each goal. How much will it cost to get that gym membership or enroll in that Project Management course? Is the course an undergrad program or do you need a first degree to apply? If you’re thinking about stepping out in a stylish wooden watch, which A Few Wood Men model suits your persona and will you need matching accessories? This is one way you can know ahead of time if your goal can be accomplished short term, or if you’ll have to plan for it long term. This is your chance to start gathering all the resources you already have so you can work on the goals that are within reach. 

Potential Challenges & Solutions: All roads have a few bumps. The good news is you can prepare for them. Before starting, ask yourself “What could possibly stop me from achieving my goal?” You probably won’t foresee every single challenge, but if you have a long enough list, you will be prepared for most, if not all issues that arise. For example, starting a business is a huge commitment and without proper planning and financial management, you will fail. If you are strapped for cash, start small and scale when you are more stable.

steps to achieve new year's resolutions and goals

Let’s pretend that you want to sell your clothing designs but don’t have the capital to quit your job, buy equipment, and ship those products yourself. Start with a Print On Demand (POD) company. While trying to get your first sale, check your monthly expenses to see what you can cut back on to free up some cash. If the course you want to enroll in is a bit too expensive, try cheaper alternatives like YouTube, Skillshare, Udemy, and so on. For every problem, try to come up with a solution or workaround. This exercise will lighten the load and lower the chances of you being anxious, surprised, and demotivated if and when you run into problems. 

Set Realistic Deadlines: This is the step that can make or break your will to follow through on your new year goals. Unrealistic deadlines are a recipe for failure and you might not be motivated to even start working on your goals. Have an honest conversation with yourself and use your resources, or lack thereof, to decide on a realistic deadline. Create a column for your long-term and short-term goals. If you need to change the deadline, feel free to do so. There is no shame in reworking your plans to fit your timeline.

yellow sticky note on calendar with "deadline" written on it

Track Your Progress: What’s the point of having a plan if you don’t have the means to keep track of milestones?  Knowing that you are making progress is one of the biggest motivators when it comes to accomplishing your new year goals. Keep things single with a journal or planner that you check several times a week. You can go a step further and use an app to set deadlines and set reminders. You can even schedule emails to yourself and set reminders on your phone. 

Take The First Step

Sometimes, you just have to get up and take that first step. The best time to start is right now. You are more likely to succeed if you make small changes to set you on the path to achieving your new year goals. It takes time to change a habit or create a new one so create that routine now. If your goal is to get a promotion at work, once you figure out the required tasks, schedule some time to upskill. Get a friend or loved one to hold a mock interview. There are a lot of resources online to help with interview questions. If you plan on seeing a therapist to improve your mental health, reach out to a few and schedule a consultation. After a few weeks of tiny steps, you’ll be surprised how your habit makes the journey to accomplish your new year goal much easier. That first step is setting you up for success. 

january calendar with dates highlighted

Stick To The Plan 

This is why it is very important to have deadlines that make sense. A big part of making sure you accomplish those new year goals is being able to keep up. It will take a lot of discipline, but with the right attitude, you will get there. 

There are going to be days when the unexpected happens or another task takes much longer than you expected. You will feel like giving up, but try to think about the reward that’s waiting for you. When problems arise, go back to the drawing board. Don’t give up on the goal if you experience delays and obstacles. Keep your eye on the destination, while you focus on finding another path to get there. Figure out ways to boost your mood, productivity levels, and so on. If you need daily affirmations or a special playlist while you work, find one that works for you right away. Stand in front of the mirror and repeat those goals every morning if you have to. Whatever happens, remind yourself that giving up is not on the agenda.

Celebrate Your Wins

black couple celebrating

You deserve to celebrate every milestone that you meet along the way, no matter how small. Remember, every single win takes you one step closer to your goal. Celebrating your accomplishments feels great and releases dopamine in your brain. It also reinforces the habits you need to get to your next milestone. 

If your friends are aware of your goals, share the good news so they can cheer you on. It is also beneficial to connect with others who are working on their own new year goals so you can encourage each other. Having a good support system makes all the difference when it comes to success.  Always evaluate what went well, what didn’t, and how you can improve on your next goal. Once the confetti is on the flow, don’t get complacent. Get back to the schedule  and start working towards the next milestone. Through it all, learn to enjoy the process, be gentle with yourself, and you’ll end up accomplishing even more in the long run. You are capable of achieving anything you put your mind to. You’ve got this!

January 02, 2023