How to Set a New Year's Resolution You'll Actually Accomplish This Year*

How to Set a New Year's Resolution You'll Actually Accomplish This Year*

The new year is a great time to evaluate your wellness goals and expectations. Most people enter the new year with a laundry list of things to accomplish in the coming months. However, many people often do not realize that 80% of all new year’s resolutions are unkept or unfulfilled. Studies have shown that most resolutions are given up as early as January 12th.  

Realistic goals are essential when creating resolutions for the new year. According to Harvard Health, there are five questions you should ask yourself when setting a new year’s resolution:  

  1. Why do you want to make a change?  
  1. Is your goal concrete and measurable?  
  1. What is your plan?  
  1. Who can support you as you work toward change?
  1. How will you celebrate your victories?  

How to Set Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

Why Do You Want to Make the Change

We are all familiar with the statement, “remember your why.” This becomes especially important when you have run out of motivation and need to depend solely on discipline to achieve your goals.  

When you sit down to set out your goals for the new year, for each goal, write out why you want to accomplish them and what emotions and feelings you are looking to achieve.  

Is Your Goal Concrete and Measurable?

For a goal to be achievable, it needs to be clear and quantifiable, or measurable. These two factors are necessary to know when you have hit your goal. One of the easiest ways to create a concrete and measurable personal goal is to create a SMART goal.  

SMART stands for:  

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based  

For example, some common goals are “get in shape” or “save more money.” These are great goals, but they do not fall under the category of SMART goals. To take one of these goals and make them SMART, try getting specific:  

  • Get in Shape --> Run a 5k in 6 months
  • Save more money --> Save $5,000 by December 31st

Once you have made your goals more specific, you can work on creating measurable steps to achieve these goals. Breaking down your goals into quantifiable steps makes them achievable, leading to a higher likelihood of success.  

** Always consult a physician before making any health or exercise adjustments.

What is your plan?

Creating a plan to reach your goals is the next step. Taking big goals and breaking them down to make them specific and measurable is essential to the plan. For example, if you are working with the goals outlined above, your plan could be saving an extra $50 each week or working towards being able to run 1 mile and then 2, 3, etc.  

Simply put, creating a plan improves your chances of success by turning a larger project into bite-sized pieces.  

Who can support you as you work toward change?

Not all hard work needs to be done alone! Try asking a friend to become your workout buddy or ask someone you trust to hold you accountable for frivolous spending.  

If you want to make a more significant lifestyle adjustment, try surrounding yourself with people living their lives in alignment with your goals.  

How will you celebrate your victories?

Enjoy the journey by taking time each day to acknowledge your efforts as you work towards your goals. By creating measurable and concrete plans in the beginning, you will be able to recognize when you have achieved them or when you are getting close. In addition, these self-check-ins can serve as a reminder not to give up!  

80% of New Year’s resolutions fail, but by taking mindful steps and implementing proper planning, you can hold onto your goals and resolutions.  

Kellie O'Keefe
Kellie O'Keefe

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