The new year is almost here. And if you’re like us, you already have a list of goals you can’t wait to accomplish. But did you know more than half of people who make new year’s resolutions fail to maintain them? Unfortunately, it’s true. While we all start the year excited, somewhere down the line, we lose our motivation and go back to square one as the next year approaches. You, however, do not need to be a part of this percentage. You can learn how to stay accountable to your New Year’s resolutions and make every year successful.
5 Tips for Making SMART New Year’s Resolutions
Before we learn how to accomplish our resolutions, let’s discuss a few helpful tips to keep us motivated, the SMART way;
- Specific. When you write down your resolutions, get detailed. For example, if you want to travel, write down when and where you want to travel. Egypt in November? Or Malaysia in March? Make them as concrete as possible.
- Measurable. If you want to learn how to eat healthier for the new year, log your process in a journal or take notes. Measuring your goal by tracking it will reinforce success.
- Achievable. Before every new year, we become overly excited and write down an overwhelming list of resolutions. What happens? It’s too much to handle, and we inevitably fail. Instead, choose two or five at the most to focus your attention.
- Relevant. Define your intention behind the resolution. For example, reflect on why you want to lose weight or learn a new skill. Having a well-intentioned reason will empower you to persevere when you experience setbacks.
- Time-bound. Once you have specific and achievable resolutions, execute a well-thought-out plan to succeed. For example, write small attainable goals to achieve what you desire and daily actions you can take throughout the year.
How to Stay Accountable for Your New Year’s Resolutions
1. Choose new resolutions
How often do you choose the same resolution year after year? You think this year will be different, but unfortunately, you find yourself in the same position, losing motivation and criticizing yourself for doing so. You’re not alone. But you’re also setting yourself up for failure by following the same goals. So, to break this habit, alter your resolution slightly with a new and innovative twist to help you succeed. For example, if you want to learn a new language, say, “I intend to practice Italian three times per week” instead of “I’m going to attempt to learn Italian again this year”.
2. Create a coping process
Everyone starts the new year pumped. It’s that sense of euphoria in the beginning days that gives us that boost of energy. But it’s also because you haven’t personally experienced any challenges to your goal. Yet, after waking up at 5 am every day to take a full body Pilates workout, you may notice your high productivity levels are starting to wane. So, instead of hitting snooze and skipping your class, create a system of coping mechanisms to help you push past the frustration. For example, create a visual aid to remind you why you want to accomplish your goal. Setting coping mechanisms in place will help you receive a boost of productivity again.
3. Reevaluate your plan
If you find yourself in May still far away from accomplishing your resolutions and losing motivation, don’t worry. Yet instead of resorting to self-criticism, which will only weaken your chances of success, sit down and reevaluate. Look at what’s working and what isn’t. Chances are, it’s not you but your plan that needs the tweak. We often look within and blame ourselves when we’re not manifesting what we desire. But often, it’s the execution. So, take a step back, look at your journal and alter your plan of action.
4. Accept the changes
Unfortunately, none of us has a crystal ball that can predict the future. So, even if we create a bulletproof plan to accomplish our resolutions, life will get in the way. It’s unavoidable. Therefore, the best way to learn how to stay accountable to your New Year’s resolutions is to accept the changes and adapt. You are growing every day, and the person you are today is not the same person you were the year prior. So, take a load off and remove the pressure. Allow yourself to grow with the changes.
5. Track bad habits
Some weeks we’re on fire, and we have a surge of productivity. And others, we want to binge Netflix and eat our favorite ice cream. It happens. But instead of hating yourself for having these human moments, investigate the cause. For example, grab your resolution journal and write down what triggered the low energy. Perhaps it was a fight with your partner, bad news at work, or you’re noticing you’re developing a bad habit. Whatever the cause, try to understand what this moment is trying to teach you. It’s not a failure if there’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself.
6. Enlist your support
Feeling unmotivated? Call your support system. Feeling like a failure? Text your accountability buddy. Wanting to give up? You guessed it, contact your loved ones. They are the key to staying on track to accomplishing your goals. And remember, your buddy is also experiencing challenges. So, contacting one another will help remind you you’re not alone and give you that uplifting spirit you both need.
7. Cut yourself some slack
Change is a process and doesn’t arrive like an overnight Amazon delivery. Why? Well, your habits may need more than two weeks to reduce or to see the changes you wish. That’s how they work. Habits develop over time, and they need time to reverse engineer. So, take a step back, work on your resolutions each day and strive to be like the tortoise, not the hare.
The path to achieving your resolutions is not linear. It’s full of bumps, turns, obstacles, and roadblocks. You will become frustrated, but that’s a part of the process. When you decide to grow, adopt a new habit, and get rid of another, you will experience a spectrum of emotions. But remembering this and giving yourself the love, patience, and empathy you deserve will make it easier to learn how to stay accountable to your New Year’s resolutions. Your goals are within reach. Believe in yourself.
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