New Year, New Goals: Breaking the Cycle of Failed Resolutions


setting goals

New Year celebrations are filled with excitement and anticipation. For most people, it is also about making resolutions or setting new goals for the year. Some people succeed while others fail at following through with the promises they make at the beginning of the year. Making resolutions stick to the very end may seem like a daunting project once enthusiasm wanes. But there are ways to get them done. Here are some ideas on how to stay on track with whatever goal for a brand new year.

Mind your pace

“Slow and steady wins the race”

Everything seems possible and doable at once at the height of excitement. But there may be days when enthusiasm is at its low. One of the timeless and simple approaches to working on your goals is to take small steps instead of making huge leaps that you cannot sustain. The trouble with starting with big goals is that it can put needless pressure that may lead to a lot of stress. The last thing you want is to stress yourself out in pursuit of your goals. Start slow and focus on making steady progress by taking the small steps that support your end-goal.

Make a plan that works for you

“The devil is in the detail”

Making New Year resolutions is the easy part. The real challenge is on how you can stay on track once the initial enthusiasm fades. Use goal setting principles like SMART to set clear, measurable, and time-bound goals. Make a plan around your objectives for the year that works for you. Incorporate mini-goals into your daily activities to help you take small and sustained steps that bring you closer to the end-results you have in mind.

Take time to evaluate

“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal.”

Keep track of your progress. Start a journal where you can write down anything related to your goals. Reviewing your notes can help you reflect on what works and what you may need to adjust to accomplish what you set out to do. It’s also important to make period self-assessments using your journal as guide. Make sure that you remain realistic with your expectations. It’s easy to get caught up with the desire to succeed that you may inadvertently start pushing yourself harder. Avoid overwhelming yourself by setting unrealistic expectations on your mini-goals hoping that it would speed up your success.

Believe and focus on the goal

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Visualize the outcomes and the steps needed to make them happen. You have to create clear mental images of the results you’re aiming for. But more importantly, you have to strongly believe that you can make it happen so much so that you could actually experience the feelings of already having succeeded with your goals.

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