Set Realistic Goals for Your New Year's Resolutions

Aspyn Coaching
Set Realistic Goals for Your New Year's Resolutions 

With December well within sight, many of you have probably started thinking about what you would like to achieve in the new year. The end of the year is a great time to reflect on what we have or have not accomplished and how we can find growth in the upcoming year. While we think that it's great to set goals for yourself and move into new year with a growth mindset, many people might not keep the goals they're setting, and we're here to tell you why. 

If you're interested in setting goals and meeting them, keep reading!

Why New Year's Resolutions Usually Fail

Many avid gym-goers will complain that the gym is chock-full of people in January because everyone's ready to reach their fitness goals this year. While they might be annoyed, they know they only need to wait a few weeks for the excitement to fade and the gym to die back down again. But why is this? Why do 25% of people drop their New Year's Resolutions after just 1 week of being in the new year?

Discover Happy Habits notes three common reasons why nearly half of resolutions are dropped by the time January is over include:

  • The goals set were unrealistic
  • Too many resolutions were made
  • People simply forgot about their resolutions
The New York Times informs readers that to give yourself a chance to actually meet the goals you set for yourself starting January 1st, they need to be both "meaningful" and "attainable."

5 Tips for Setting Realistic Goals for Your Resolutions
If you want to set New Year's Resolutions and meet them this time around, here are some tips to help you get there:

1. Ensure Your Resolutions Are Valuable to You
Oftentimes, we don't really know what we want our resolutions to be and feel pressure from society to achieve certain things. It's better than no goals at all right? That's not entirely true. Many people don't stick to the goals or resolutions they set because they don't have any meaning behind them. If you can't connect with the outcome, you're probably not going to make it there. 

If you need some help setting goals that are meaningful to you, take a look at these tips!

2. Set SMART Goals
Setting a resolution like "quit smoking" or "exercise more" or "get out of debt" is extremely vague. While they are in fact resolutions, it's going to be difficult to stick to them if you don't actually make a plan. The SMART Goals system is a great way to use your resolutions to set goals that you can achieve. Here's how it works:

  • Be SPECIFIC about what you want to achieve, i.e. "I want to save money" vs. "I want to save $300 in January"
  • Set MEASURABLE goals in order to track your progress, i.e. "I want to cut my screen time down to 2 hours per day" and track that progress daily/weekly
  • Make sure they're ACHIEVABLE to ease into new habits, i.e. "I need to exercise every day for 1 hour" vs. "I'm going to do yoga 3 times a week"
  • Set RELEVANT goals that are meaningful and impactful to you, i.e. "I want to lose weight" vs. "I want to change my eating habits"
  • Make TIME-BOUND goals that will give you a realistic timeline (filled with small goals) for reaching your overarching goals, i.e. "I want to read 3 books in 3 months, reading 1 chapter each day"
Following this system for goal-setting has proven to be an effective tool to help people set and achieve their goals!

3. Don't Overdo It
Very Well Mind reminds readers to focus on one goal at a time. While you may have several goals and resolutions that you want to meet, it can be overwhelming to focus on too much too quickly. Especially when you're working on changing behavior, you don't want to exhaust yourself or you'll risk abandoning your goals and resolutions altogether! 

Instead of trying to meet all your goals at once, try prioritizing which goals are most necessary and most important to you first! Visit this article for help.

4. Let Go of the "New Year, New Me" Mentality
You might be thinking that a new year is a great time to start fresh, and it can be. However, Psychology Today notes that the only time we're going to change is when we're ready to change, and that has nothing to do with what day it is. You can start before the year starts and you can start months into the year, but that doesn't change the fact that you're making progress toward the version of you you're goals are aimed toward. Letting go of the expectations that come with the "New Year's Resolutions" mentality will erase the pressure from having to have a"perfect year." 

5. Accountability
One reason that we will likely give up on our goals is that there's no one to hold us accountable. Behavior change is no small feat and that's often what's necessary to achieve goals and New Year's Resolutions. Some ways that you can maintain accountability throughout your journey include:

  • Setting goals with someone else 
  • Setting up a meaningful reward system for when you meet goals
  • Utilizing a coach to help you set, maintain, and reach goals

If you think that the best way to hold yourself accountable for the goals and resolutions you want to set for yourself is by utilizing an experienced, professionally trained coach, then please visit Aspyn Wellness for more information!

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