Enrich your life by setting and planning for achievable new year resolutions. You will increase your confidence and happiness and get where you want to go much faster! A little bit of thought and intention can drastically change your life for the better.
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It's that time of year again. Happy new year!!
There's something about new beginnings and new seasons that's really exciting! I think it's the change or shift that occurs.
These changes naturally happen as we go through different times of the year and new seasons of life, but you can add even more exciting changes to your life if you make your own plans for some.
Well, that was cheesy. But it's true!
Have you ever set out to do something and accomplished it, leaving you feeling confident and alive? You can do that all the time! Life is so much richer when you are working towards something better.
What Are New Year Resolutions?
These are goals that people set at the beginning of a new year, in the hopes of making lasting positive changes that will continue through the upcoming year and beyond.
Are New Year Resolutions Good?
There are many different opinions about new year's goals, but I think they are a great thing! There's is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding you want to make a change and planning for it. That's what life is all about- improvement! And the new year is a perfect time for a fresh start. Some go about it the wrong way and have bad experiences making goals and resolutions, but if you do it the right way, it can only help you.
Free Printable New Year's Resolutions Worksheets
How Can Goal Setting Benefit YOu?
I love the quote "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". It's really true that unless you put thought and intention into your life, you'll just coast along. You'll never come even close to reaching your full potential. Goal setting will help you achieve the life that you want, instead of settling for a dull existence.
Goal setting can help you clarify what you want to do with your life because it forces you to think about it and then commit to act. If you don't go through the process of setting a goal, you may never fully explore the possibilities, and thus, you'll definitely never reach them.
Goal setting and accomplishing also boosts your self-confidence and increases your self-mastery skills. You can prove to yourself that when you plan to do something, you can follow through and be disciplined even when it's hard. If you find goal setting to be a discouraging activity, your goals are probably unrealistic or too vague, so you haven't been able to achieve them.
You can't control everything that happens in life, but goal setting is the best way to give you some control over your future which gives you purpose and a clear direction and that feels AMAZING!
Why New Year Resolutions Fail
- Vague goals - If you don't make a specific goal, you are way less likely to accommplish your goals because it's really hard to track your progress.
- Unrealistic - Really assess whether your goals are achievable or not. It's actually quite discouraging to set goals and not complete them, so make sure they are doable, but still stretch you a little bit. Big goals can be planned, but they need to be broken down into smaller goals (perhaps monthly goals) and have realistic due dates.
- All or nothing mentality - Many people give up on their goals because they fail once. Try to switch to look at the progress you have already made and just recommit and keep going even when you slip up.
- No accountability - If nobody else knows about your goals, no one will be happy for you when you succeed or disappointed when you don't. Telling someone about your resolutions will help keep you on the right track and motivate you to continue. It also feels great when you can report that you are on track and get acknowledgement and encouragement along the way.
- Fear of success - Many people have the unconscious belief that having more success will bring greater responsibilty and stress to their life. While this may be true, recognize that if you don't strive for something better, you'll be stuck where you are forever. Any additional burdens from acheiving success will be well worth it and you'll be better equipped to handle them because you've proven to yourself that you can do hard things on purpose! Make the mindset shift and accept that success in achieving your goals will only be good for you!
How to Make New Year Resolutions Work
Have you heard of the SMART goal acronym? It's a way to ensure your goals can be met. The letters stand for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (a certain time frame or end date has been specified). Whenever you make a goal, measure it quickly against these criteria. Here are some more tips and powerful tools for making sure you can follow through with your goals:
Make them small and take it slow. I have learned that the surest way to make a change in my habits is to take embarrassingly small steps towards my ultimate goal. Say one of your new year's resolutions is to exercise 3 times each week in the new year. Don't start with doing 1-hour intense gym sessions. Start with 10 minutes of yoga or gentle movement at home, then as that becomes a habit, ramp it up to 10 minutes of yoga plus 10 minutes of light cardio. When that is normal and getting boring, add 10 minutes of strength training. Eventually, you will get where you want to be and it will be a real habit because you didn't go too hard in the beginning.
Surround yourself with knowledge. Knowing the reasons to do something will make a huge difference in your resolve to be consistent with it. Let's continue with the exercise example. Before I started exercising regularly, I knew it was important for my health and wellness, but I just didn't want to do it. Sound familiar?! Then I read an amazing book called "Living the Good Life" by David Patchell-Evans, the founder of the company GoodLife Fitness Clubs. It entirely changed my attitude towards exercise because I learned all the amazing reasons to do it! After reading it, I actually wanted to exercise because I knew the specific benefits and really wanted them! He also simplified exercise and made it seem approachable.
In another way, it's really helpful to read books or listen to podcasts about the topic so that it can be on your mind more often and you can learn additional helpful tips and tricks related to accomplishing your new year's goals.
Make a specific plan of action. The more you plan how you will achieve your goal, the more likely you are to stick to it. For example, it's better to plan, "I will do 10 minutes of yoga in the living room right after I get out of bed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays" rather than "I will do yoga 3 times a week".
When you make plans, it's helpful to attach your goal actions to things you are already doing because you'll be more likely to remember and be consistent. In the above example, you are attaching your yoga practice to getting out of bed, which you already do, instead of leaving it to chance that you'll remember to do it 3 times at some point during the week.
Pick what is most important to YOU. This may be a bit obvious, but set goals based on what will make YOU happy and what YOU want for the future. If you set a goal to please someone else, you won't truly want it and it's unlikely you'll stick with it.
Give yourself some grace. Change is hard work! When you fall short of your goal, that shouldn't cause you to throw in the towel because you "failed". YOU DIDN'T FAIL! Failure would be quitting now because you slipped up once. We all make mistakes and you can't fulfill your goals perfectly. Be proud of the progress you already made (because the small wins truly do matter!) and recommit to your goals! This isn't about perfection, the end goal should be progress and moving in the right direction, so don't fret when you slip up here or there, just get back on track and keep working!
How Many New Year Resolutions SHould I Make?
It's really a personal amount. If you have struggled with sticking to goals in the past, it may be best to stick to 1 or 2, so you can really focus on them and follow through. It can be tempting to make a goal for every little thing you want to improve at that moment, but it won't be possible to sustain so many changes made at once.
Where to Write New Year Resolutions
Writing them down is much more important than where you write them, but there are a few locations that may be helpful. If you have a vision board, a whiteboard, a notebook or a to-do list that you look at often, write your goals down there so you will see them often. It'll be a consistent reminder since you will already be looking there regularly.
It's super cheesy, but you could also write them on a sticky note and put them on your bathroom mirror, the dashboard in your vehicle or on the inside of your front door. These are other places you may pass by and look at often.
You can also write your goals right into your weekly schedule, whether you use a physical planner or a digital one. Put the action items right at the time that you will do them. This way, you'll get even more reminders of your goals and you won't have to think about when you'll fit them in. Just follow the schedule!
Goal Setting and Planning Printable Worksheet
The free new year resolution template worksheets I have for you to help in your goal setting are based loosely on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "Children and Youth" program. In the program, the youth set goals for every aspect of their life: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual.
I think this is a great way to balance your approach to improvement- pick one goal in each of the different areas of your life. Of course, you can do what you want! If you have 2 physical goals and 1 intellectual goal, that's fine too! In the free printables, I have included one planning sheet for each of the different categories, so you can print what you need from there. I've also included a master list sheet where you can write all of your goals, put it on your fridge or mirror and check them off as you complete them! And please actually check them off, because you'll get a rush of dopamine (the reward hormone) which will further motivate you to keep checking off your goal lists!
And if you set more goals throughout the year, you can come back and use a planning sheet, plus write it on your master list. Goal setting isn't only for January 1st, it's for whenever you feel inspired to make a change. Don't wait until next year, act now!
What New Year Resolutions Do You Make?
Let me know in the comments what your goals are and your way to set, plan for and accomplish them!