Don’t be vague about how you want to improve. Resolutions like “Get myself into shape,” or “Try to be a kinder person,” don’t translate into tangible steps. Instead, make goals like “Start working out twice a week,” or “Do one random act of kindness each day.” This way, your resolutions are clear and easy to put into action.
Make sure your goals have clear markers to help you track progress. Some resolutions, like losing weight, naturally lend themselves to tracking, but others, like self-improvement goals, are more challenging to measure. Take the time now to create markers for your progress to make it easier for you to stay the course.
Be realistic about what you intend to accomplish. If you haven’t worked out in years, don’t resolve to run a 10K this year. Instead, start small, like committing to a 10-minute daily workout. When you set goals that are within your reach, you’re less likely to abandon them when the going gets tough.
It’s best to concentrate on the areas where you most need to improve. While other goals may sound nobler, work first on the areas where you know you are lacking.
Set a specific date for achieving each goal. A self-imposed deadline will push you to work on your resolution today.
- Write it down.
- Chart your progress.
- Don’t keep your resolutions to yourself.
Enlist the help of a friend. It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you’ve changed; it’s a lot harder to fool a friend. Pair up with a pal this year and commit to keeping each other in check. Share your resolutions and designate one day a week, or twice a month, as a check-in day, in which you note each other’s progress and give honest feedback on how you can each improve further.
Post your progress on social media. This will make you accountable to an entire audience and just might give you the motivation you need to keep going.
Join a support group. The American Psychological Association recommends joining a support group dedicated to your goal, such as a workout class at the gym or a group of coworkers determined to quit smoking.
- Celebrate each win.
- Embrace imperfection.