Another year begins and, with it, the New Year’s resolutions and the desire to start projects, take care of our health and give up those habits that are hurting us.
But, to what extent are we going to be consistent and work to achieve our goals? How long are we going to take to make excuses to abandon them? The answer is that this depends to a large extent on our capabilities, our biology, the desire we put into it, and the way we set our goals.
So, before we start writing a list of things you want to achieve this year, we want to give you some tips to help you make more realistic New Year’s resolutions. And also make them easier to achieve.
How to make a realistic New Year’s resolution list?
- Be specific: Make sure your New Year’s resolutions are clear and detailed. Instead of saying you want to “reduce your anxiety”, specify what you want to achieve. An example of a specific resolution would be “to meditate a minimum of 10 minutes a day, three times a week”.
- They should be measurable goals: Set a goal that you can accurately measure, so that you can know when you have achieved it. For example, don’t say that you want to “sleep more and better”. If not, specify that your goal is “to go to bed at 22:30 for 6 months in a row, at least 4 nights a week”.
- Set achievable goals: Make sure your goal is achievable and not an impossible challenge. If you are an introverted or socially phobic person, it is unlikely that you can become a virtuoso speaker or make 200 new friends in a year. Instead, it is possible to achieve your goal if your resolutions are something like “attend at least one social event a month” or “take a course in assertive communication techniques”. Knowing yourself and knowing your tendencies and limits doesn’t mean you can’t improve in those areas. You just have to set goals that are aligned with who you are.
- Choose relevant New Year’s resolutions: Make sure your goal is meaningful to you and relates to your long-term goals. Maybe your goal is to enjoy your free time without drinking and smoking, but most of your regular friends spend the day with a beer in their hand. It might make more sense for your resolution to be “join a hiking group” rather than “spend more time with my friends”.
- Set deadlines: It is very common for us to sit down to think about our New Year’s resolutions at the end of December or during the first few weeks of January, which often leads us to think that we have a whole year ahead of us to get down to work. However, if we do not set specific deadlines. It is very easy for time to pass without us realising it and we find ourselves in December without having achieved our goals. So set a concrete deadline for achieving both your overall goal and the small steps in between. This will help you to stay focused and to mark the different stages of your purpose, which will allow you to reach your goal.
Extra bonus: This year, get to know yourself
The most important thing when it comes to setting our New Year’s resolutions is that they are aligned with ourselves. And, to do this, we first need to be clear about who we are and who we want to become. Success can have a thousand faces, for one person it can be to become the CEO of a large multinational, for another to take care of his family and have time to read and do sport; for another, to jog around the world and have a blog of exotic recipes… Whatever it is, what you want to achieve will mark your action plan. But if you do not know where you are going, what your starting point is and what your strengths and weaknesses are. It will be very difficult to know what you have to do and, above all, what NOT to do.
Remember that sometimes we insist on idealising certain lifestyles or setting goals that go against our nature and threaten our emotional wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to know ourselves and do some self-reflection work. In this way we can make realistic New Year’s resolutions that are easier to follow and that bring us closer to our goals.