Are New Year's Resolutions Effective?

commitment new year's resolution personal growth Dec 21, 2021

The new year is a time for fresh starts, and many people make New Year's resolutions to help themselves get on the right track. Unfortunately, while these resolutions often have good intentions, they are not always effective in achieving their goals. This blog post will explore why so many of them fail and how you can change your mindset when making a New Year's resolution.

It's time to make a new year's resolution again!

It's already December, and there are only several days left before 2021 ends. Are you one of the people who make New Year's resolutions every time a new year begins? If so, you must be prepping up already thinking about what you should write this time. So the question is, did you manage to achieve what you have written as New Year's resolutions this year? If not, are you planning to make the same resolutions, or will you write new ones?

It's common for people to make new year's resolutions such as:

  • Lose weight
  • Save money
  • Eat healthier
  • Consume less alcohol
  • Pursue their dream
  • Get enough sleep
  • Quitting smoking
  • Spend more time with friends and family
  • Take self-care more seriously
  • Learn new skills

However, only a few can keep working on their goals as time passes, and even fewer manage to be successful in meeting their goals. Several reasons play a part in why people cannot fulfill their New Year's resolutions. Therefore, setting the right goals is essential to achieve your New Year's resolutions.

1. Set SMART goals

Setting goals that follow the SMART acronym is a good idea for making the best resolutions. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Following these five guidelines will make your resolution ideas more effective.

Specific - Make goals that are specific and clear. Instead of making a resolution that says, "I want to save money," make it more specific by stating the particular amount you want to save for a year or even per month. "I want to save $1,000 per month" works better.

Measurable - Using the resolution of saving money, use a tracking tool like a spreadsheet or note to jot down how much you are saving per payday. Doing this will allow you to measure your progress towards meeting your goal. So when you make a goal, try to come up with something that has measurable statistics to track your progress.

Achievable - One reason why some people fail at achieving their New Year's resolution ideas is that they could have set up a big lofty goal for themselves. Trying to save up $100,000 within five years might be too much of a stretch when you're earning around $1,000 a month. It would be more feasible to extend the timeline to 10 or more years. Nothing is wrong with setting a big goal, but make sure it's within your capability to reach it.

Relevant - Don't just make New Year's resolutions identical to what everybody else is making or based on a spur of emotion you are feeling. Set appropriate goals that will benefit you in the long run, even if you don't feel like doing it right now. For example, the goal of saving money might not be of utmost importance to you for the upcoming year but setting it as early as possible will provide you with a stash of cash that can open up more opportunities for you in the future. Making goals in line with your virtues and vision are also good New Year's resolutions.

Time-bound - Hitting our goals in life take time, so you must make New Year's resolutions that are achievable within a specific time frame. Trying to save a large amount of money within a short time frame will only frustrate you if you don't make it. Instead, extend the deadline when you want to save up a specific amount, or you can add additional income streams to your current job to help you achieve your goal.

2. Remove the "s" at the end of "resolutions."

See that letter "s" at the end of the term "New Year's resolutionS"? You couldn't achieve your New Year's resolutions because you are probably trying to accomplish too many resolutions simultaneously. Life goals take time, focus, energy, and lots of motivation to achieve. Trying to take on several life goals simultaneously can be overwhelming, so to save time and energy, focus on working on one personal goal. Of course, nothing's wrong with making only one resolution. But, on the upside, you can devote all your efforts towards one goal and have a better chance of achieving it.

3. Don't make the same goals if you keep on failing

How many times have you made the same goal every year only to end up failing repeatedly? Of course, before giving up on a goal, one must try several times, using different approaches and all the resources you have. If you still fail after trying everything at your disposal, maybe it's time to make a new goal in life. Alternatively, if you are still determined to make the same goal, you can reframe the words such as "I want to save money" to "I want to cut back on unnecessary expenditures." Please note what strategies worked before and carry them over to your next attempt. Discard failed strategies and try new approaches to achieve your goals.

4. Stick with it

Motivation is the most significant driving factor that will determine whether you can keep working on your New Year's resolution or not. Setbacks will happen as you work on your goal the whole year-round. In addition, failures can drain your motivation to continue. However, if your resolutions matter to you, these things won't deter you from continuing. Having a good reason for making a specific resolution and knowing how it will benefit you are excellent, motivating factors to keep you going. Create backup plans in case something doesn't work. Stick with it until you see a result before deciding to drop your target.

5. Have a support system

Trying to work on your New Year's resolution alone can be daunting, especially when there's no one to hold you accountable if you fail to do what you must. So why not work together with another person that has the same goal as you at the same time? It can be your friend, buddy, or family member. Alternatively, you can try working with a life coach. A life coach can identify what you should do to meet your objectives, motivate you, and hold you accountable. Fulfilling your dreams is more fun if you have somebody else working on it or someone to guide and help you.

6. Start with something small

If you have a goal to save up $100,000 in 10 years, it can be overwhelming if you keep on thinking about that considerable amount. Sure enough, you will save that amount of money in the future with enough determination and hard work, but it will take time. It can be a bad idea to keep worrying about the future, so why not focus on small accomplishments for the moment? Be glad if you manage to hit your monthly savings target. Work your way up slowly and steadily, and all the incremental improvements you make will eventually add up and accumulate to what you were aiming for in the first place.

Don't let your New Year's resolutions end up only on paper.

Most people become excited to make New Year's resolutions when New Year's Eve is on the horizon. However, many will not achieve them as their motivation and interest dwindle as time passes. Nevertheless, New Year's resolutions are an excellent way to identify goals that will help you have a fulfilling life. If you keep working on them, you will reap the benefits of better physical and mental health, having a new skill at your disposal, healthy habits to aid in self-improvement, and more money.

Resolutions fail when you don't set the right ones. So it's essential to know yourself, your visions, personality, and habits, to be able to set goals that are a right fit for you. If you think about it, you don't need to wait until a new year starts to set goals for yourself. You can set them up anytime, start whenever you want, and create new goals once you finish with something. It's all a matter of commitment when you want to achieve something.

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