New Years Resolutions || How To Create Resolutions (GOALS) That Actually Last
Happy Almost New Year!
With the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 just around the corner (which trust me, is so weird to think about) the infamous new years’ resolutions have probably crossed your mind.
Quick Disclaimer: New Year’s Resolutions are popular because it makes sense to reflect on the year past and reposition yourself for the new year ahead, but the ideas behind New Years Resolutions are becoming more and more divided. The argument against them is that you shouldn’t wait until the beginning of each year to make changes to your life. I agree and I want to stress that If you’re not happy with something in your life, you can absolutely make changes when they’re needed. Do not feel like because you set a New Years Resolution you can’t make changes until next year or your resolutions won’t last.
Don’t get me wrong, setting new years resolutions is always a great idea but I can not tell you how many years worth of New Years Resolutions have gone down the drain. Oh wait, I guess I can. I’m 20 years old, but assuming that I didn’t start doing New Year’s resolutions until I was ten (just an estimate), I guess you could say that I have followed through on DRUM ROLL PLEASE *Insert super awesome drum roll here oooor if you’re feeling extra click here* absolutely none of them.
With that being said, you’re probably wondering why I’m giving advice on creating New Years Resolutions that actually last when I’ve never actually followed through on any of my own. Well, even though I’ve never followed through on New Years Resolutions, I have followed through on other things – like reading my Bible daily. So, I feel like that gives me the slightest bit of credibility, plus who really has the secret to creating effective New Years Resolutions anyways?
They say it takes 21 days to create a habit and I can 110% vouch for that. As I mentioned above, I made an effort to read my bible every single day, and almost two months later, reading my bible feels as natural as breathing. So why can’t we follow this 21-day habit making method for our New Year’s Resolutions?
Hang On, There’s More!
Sure, you can do your New Year’s Resolutions for 21 days straight to make it a habit but it’s not nearly that easy nor should it be the sole motivation behind it. Before we can even get to the habit making, we should probably decide what it is we want our resolutions to be. In order to determine these, we must reflect on the past year.
So Let’s Jump Into It & Create Resolutions (Goals) That Actually Last!
Step One: Reflection
Here are some questions to ask yourself when reflecting on 2017. You can find some more HERE from daringtolivefully.com
- What is one thing I’ve accomplished this year that I am really proud of?
- (new job, # of books read, higher GPA, lost weight, Graduated high school or college, read bible daily – woot, took care of yourself, did that thing you’ve been wanting to do, reached out for help, stepped out of comfort zone, etc)
- What is one thing that happened this year that I am not proud of?
- lost job, gained weight, lower GPA/failed class, sinned, lost friends, etc?
- What is something that I want to change/improve for next year?
- productivity, motivation, organization, positivity, thankfulness, build relationships, weight/health, etc.
- What is a new skill or hobby that I would like to pick up in the next year?
- reading skills, writing skills, editing skills, videography, calligraphy, blogging, read more books, apply myself more, etc.
Take the answers to these reflection questions and form your 2018 New Years Resolutions with them. Check out these awesome printable 2017 reflection templates HERE from moritzfinedesigns.com to make the process easier!
Helpful Hint: Only set the goals YOU truly want. Don’t just set a goal for 2018 because everyone else is or because you feel like you have to. These goals should be personal and specific to you. You will not succeed if your whole heart is not in it. Please do not waste your time, be honest with yourself!
Step Two: SMART Goals!
You’re probably thinking, wait, there’s a step two? Yup! Usually, people do step one and then leave it at that, but that is where I believe they go wrong. They set the goal, but is it SMART?
SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Smart goals take your goals and improve them by making them all of these things, thus setting you and your 2018 resolutions up for success!
Here’s the break down of SMART Goals!
- Specific – Specifically define your goal.
- Leave nothing to the imagination. Your goal should be clear and concise.
- Measurable – Identify how you will measure your success to stay on track.
- If you plan to eat 1500 calories a day, you would want a calorie counting app or some way to keep track of your calories.
- Achievable – Is it realistic and possible for you to achieve?
- I’m not going to run a 5k start to finish a week from now when I’ve never run a day in my life. Instead, an example of a goal that I would set is “I plan to train daily to run a 5k start to finish exactly 6 months from now. That goal is much more achievable.
- Relevant – Is it relevant to who you are?
- If I’m a homebody, I wouldn’t set a goal to travel halfway across the country. Maybe instead if I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, I would say “I plan to travel 2 times to a different place each time in 2018” or something along those lines.
- Timely – Set a realistic time frame for achieving your goal.
- If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, you wouldn’t expect to lose it in a week or even a month. Instead, an example of a timely goal would be “I plan to lose 20 pounds in 3 months by healthy dieting and exercise”
Let’s use one of my goals as an example, I want to read my Bible every day for the entirety of 2018. Okay, so my goal already pretty specific, but let’s take it to the next level. Below I’ll break it down.
Original Goal/Resolution: Read my Bible every day for the entirety of 2018
- Specific – Read one chapter of my Bible first thing in the morning each day of 2018
- I added, “one chapter”, “first thing in the morning” and “each day” – these words added to the specificity of my goal.
- Measurable – I will journal every day and write down the chapter I read in the Bible.
- Achievable – Yes, it is realistic and possible for me to achieve.
- Relevant – Yes, I am growing in my relationship with the Lord and in order to do so, I must read His word.
- Timely – I believe a year is a realistic time frame. I have already done it for two months without fail, and like I said, it’s become like breathing to me.
End Goal/Resolution: Read one chapter of my Bible first thing in the morning each day of 2018.
Now do this for every one of your goals. Once you make your goal Specific, if it’s not Measurable, Attainable, Relevant or Timely, you may want to reconsider setting that goal.
I know it may seem like a lot of work, but if you want to take your New Year’s Resolutions seriously, I encourage you to give this a try with me!
In order to create New Year’s Resolutions that actually last, we have to:
- Reflect on the past year by asking yourself key questions to get an idea of what your New Year’s Resolutions should be.
- Transform those resolutions into SMART Goals!
- Make your smart goals a habit – it only takes 21 days!
- Go forth and be successful!!
I pray the end of 2017 is enjoyable and the beginning of 2018 treats you well. See ya next week!