2021 has come to a close, and as always, a new year means making a fresh start. As tradition has it, the New Year is the most favorable time to create change and set positive new goals and intentions moving forward. But as the saying goes, “old habits die hard.” This truism is what makes it hard for just about anyone to stay focused on their resolutions throughout the New Year.
But despite any challenges you may face as you get started, a new year definitely marks a new beginning. It's another new chapter of your life, that won't be perfect, but you can still achieve the goals you want and be more successful. So, to help ensure this year’s pledges, proposals, intentions and plans don’t remain pending, consider the following tips to stay focused on creating a new start for a new you:
1/ Don't Go to Extremes
If you habitually find resolutions hard to live up to, then stick to a single resolution this year. This allows you to focus your undivided attention and efforts more effectively and reduces the likelihood of being overburdened, which can negatively impact your progress and ultimately your success.
2/ Be Specific
A resolution that’s too vague or general may ultimately be ineffective. For example, if one of your resolutions is to lose weight, then you probably hope to lose a significant amount over the new year, rather than one or two pounds. If you set specific and periodic goals, such as lose two or three pounds by the end of January, then you’re actually building a measuring stick that can help gauge your progress along the way. As you meet this measuring stick each month, it will motivate you to continue on course and realize your resolution by year’s end.
3/ Get Automated Help
For many of us, saving money and being more productive are popular New Year's resolutions, and using technology can help you accomplish your financial and time management goals. If your goal is to save ‘X’ amount of dollars this coming year, then sit down and calculate how much you need to save each pay period to make it a reality. You can then have that figure automatically deposited into an interest-bearing savings account each time you’re paid. You can also use daily planner apps and checklists to help you stay on top of your daily tasks throughout the year.
4/ Don’t Get Discouraged by Setbacks
A wrong turn at Albuquerque can sometimes derail our progress. Resolutions all too often fall by the wayside when we experience setbacks directly related to our goals. If you resolved to save money but had a bad month, don’t allow that tough month to discourage you from your goal. While there's always a possibility that setbacks can occur, it’s never an excuse to give up on a resolution.
That's why it can be helpful to consider the following questions as you begin setting your goals and resolutions for the new year:
- What major challenges have I experienced this year, and why?
- What did I lose?
- What did I gain?
- What did I learn?
- What do I resolve to experience in the New Year?
- What can I do now to ensure that it happens?
Photograph by Annie Spratt
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