The new year is here! With it comes a fresh opportunity to set new annual & monthly goals. New Year’s Resolutions are a great way to check-in on your progress and re-evaluate what is or is not working. If you’re the type of person to follow through and actually achieve your New Year’s goals – this article is for you.
Keep reading for the top twelve tips (make sure you keep an open mind)!
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Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Matter?
“New Year, New Me,” right? Well, you’ll be the same person unless you make a consistent and conscious effort to change your daily habits.
You can say all the “I’ll do this” and “I’ll do thats” in January, but when it comes down to it, only you can hold yourself accountable for accomplishing your goals.
In fact, according to The Times Tribune, “studies show that only 8% of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution actually keep them all year and 80% have failed by the start of February.” 
In my opinion, this can be attributed to a lack of true planning. You can be so motivated at the start, but if you don’t implement a dedicated plan (especially for those inevitable moments when you’re not motivated) you can throw your goals right out the window. Don’t rely on emotion or willpower alone.
If you remember anything from this article, remember this:
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
It’s More Than Just “SMART” Goals
I’m sure many of you have heard of creating SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time-bound) – this is a great starting point, but what is even more important is what comes after that.
You have your New Year’s resolutions or goals – now what? How do you actually accomplish them?
Many people like to say that it takes “21 days” to form a habit. While this may be true for smaller, more achievable goals, a 2009 University College London study determined that 66 days was the average time to form a long-lasting habit.  Some participants in the study formed habits in as little as 18 days, while others took 254 days.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
– Jim Ryun –
Remember this throughout the year – it will take months to form a habit. Until it’s an unconscious habit, you must continually remind yourself of your goal & hold yourself accountable through dedicated schedules and planning. Only you can make these changes – no one else can do the work for you.
How Do You Actually Achieve Your New Year’s Goals?
What’s The Secret To New Year’s Resolutions? Well, follow the tips below & you’re off to a great start…
1) Write all of your goals down with pen & paper.
- Putting all of your goals word-for-word down on physical paper makes it more tangible. It makes them real.
- Before you get started, think about why this is actually a goal. What is motiviating you to accomplish this goal? What’s your reasoning? Put some serious thought into the “why.”
2) Don’t set too many goals.
- I like to focus on the following categories: Physical/Health, Mindset/Intellectual, Career, Social, & Financial. I only add one goal under each category – no more than that! This keeps your annual goals limited to 5 major categories and helps you narrow down on what is most worth your time.
- You need to keep it realistic!
3) Cut up long-term goals into more approachable smaller goals.
- Losing sixty pounds, for instance, is a major feat, but if you cut it down to saying “lose 5 pounds per month” it makes it much more attainable. Breaking down annual goals into a weekly or monthly plan will help you stick to it.
- By focusing on ultra-specific micro-goals, you can accomplish even more. Ditch any vague resolutions!
4) Have an accountability partner.
- This is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable! Finding someone to touch base with you frequently on your progress will help keep your goals front-of-mind.
- Asking others to hold you accountable will make it more difficult to slip back into bad habits.
5) Tell your friends and family!
- Make it known to the world that you will accomplish these things. Focus on telling those who truly care about your wellbeing – those who will be supporters along your journey.
6) Create a vision board.
- Make sure you keep it in a very visible spot that you will see every morning (like right on your desk or on the fridge).
7) Plan, plan, plan with a planner.
- My favorite planner is the Mead Cambridge Weekly Agenda.
- If you don’t like using a physical planner, use whatever you will stick to (whether that’s using a notepad, a list on your computer etc…). Plan what you need to accomplish daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Setting up dedicated time blocks during your day can help you prioritize.
- Identifying very clear action steps will help to set you up for success!
8) If you stumble, get back up!
- Give yourself some grace. Obstacles WILL arise – they always do. Focus on getting back on track without beating yourself up about it.
9) Know when to ask for help.
- If you’re struggling to stick to a workout routine, for instance, and you don’t know how to do specific workouts with the proper form, it may be time to work with a certified personal trainer! Know when to ask professionals for their help and advice – they’re the experts for a reason.
10) Celebrate your achievements every single month!
- Creating new habits and sticking to your goals can be hard – make sure to include some rewards along the way (even if it’s just a $5 latte that you love at the end of the month).
11) Track your progress.
- If you skip a day, make sure you log that in your planner. It’s not to “shame” you for falling short of a habit, but rather to help you track how many days of the month you did what you said you would. This can be a great metric to review at the end of every month. Documenting your progress brings you one step closer to reaching your New Year’s Resolutions or goals!
- Remember: progress is not always linear. Your progress can go up and down like a rollarcoaster (refer to tip #8).
12) Focus on growth mindset.
- You implemented these goals because you want to improve – every challenge is an opportunity to help you become your best self. Embrace the journey!
What’s The Secret? – Frequently Asked Questions
Click the below FAQs to learn more about how to actually achieve your new year’s goals and resolutions!
How to create goals for yourself?
Creating SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time-bound) is a great starting point, but what is even more important is what comes after that: execution. Tracking your progress, telling your goals to others, and knowing when to ask for help can help you achieve your goals.
How to actually stick with your goals?
Implementing consistent habits is one of the best ways to hit your goals. There are many habits that can help you stick to your goal, such as planning, creating a vision board, asking for help, tracking your progress, having an accountability partner & more.
Why do New Year's Resolutions fail?
Most New Year’s Resolutions fail due to a lack of planning. It’s essential that you break down your New Year’s Resolutions or goals into smaller, achievable, bite-sized steps.
What are the benefits of goal setting?
Goal setting is essential to help you to reach your goals! Without properly planning for your goals, it is nearly impossible to reach them. A goal without a plan is just a wish!
What are your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions or goals?
Let me know your thoughts! You can watch our web story here!
Do you plan on actually achieving your goals?! I hope so!
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