2020 was the tough one, and we are all more than ever motivated to take control over our lives and make the most out of the year to come. We learned the importance of self-care and are dedicated to do better. That’s why this year’s New Year’s resolutions finally have a chance to be completed, and not forgotten by January 8th.
Making New Year’s resolutions is more than just an empty tradition. It is a promise to self, to grow, to learn and be better.
Making resolutions isn’t only about resolving to eat healthier, exercise, read more, travel, earn more or save money. It’s more about making an action plan of the steps you will take to work on the resolution. You are 10 times more likely to go through with the decision if you write down the plan for it.
Keep on reading to find out how to make a plan and follow through.
Analyze your last year
Before you make a plan for the future, it’s wise to learn from the past. Answer these questions to get a better insight into a previous year.
How is my life different now than it was a year ago?
How do I feel about those changes?
What was the peak of the year?
What was the low of the year?
What life lessons has this year taught me?
Did I accomplish everything I wanted this year?
If last year was a book, what would be the title?
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS – PLAN YOUR BEST YEAR
Write down your New Year’s resolutions
After reviewing a previous year you will probably have a more clear vision for the new year. In order to get what you want you need to know exactly what you want. Make your resolutions specific. Because let’s face it, it’s impossible to plan for a vague resolution.
If you’re having trouble finding good resolutions for a new year here are a few questions you can answer.
Where do I see myself in one year?
What is my biggest wish for next year?
What will be my three priorities in the new year?
What habits do I want to build in the new year?
How can I make a new year better than the last year?
What am I looking forward to in the new year?
What is the one world I want to define a year to come?
RELATED: 5 Simple Habits to Improve Your Life
Create a detailed plan for your New Year’s resolutions
If you fail to make a plan, you are planning to fail. It’s true that nobody ever made a stable progress without a good plan.
You need an action plan to know which actions you will need to take to accomplish your resolutions. The plan should consist of actions and milestones. The more detailed is your plan, the greater the chance you will succeed.
Let’s say your resolution is to eat healthier. Instead of trying to make this big change all at once, you will start with one meal at a time, or eliminate one unhealthy habit at a time. For example, the first milestone might be to eat healthy breakfast every day. And steps to reach that milestone are finding healthy breakfast recipes, writing a list of ingredients you’ll need, going grocery shopping, preparing healthy breakfast every day and eating it.
Now this resolution to eat healthy is not so big and scary, when it consists of a series of small, easily achievable actions.
Give your milestones a time frame to make it easier to track progress and to motivate yourself. One fun way of planning resolutions is to plan with 12 milestones, one for every month of the year. This will give you a nice sense of symmetry, and you know how much the brain loves symmetry.
Every big goal can be broken into small steps, and once you do it, you will know exactly what you have to do in order to achieve it.
At the end write a mission statement. It will consist of one sentence for every resolution you made. The sentence is written in present tense and describes you taking actions needed to attain your goal.
- “I am choosing healthy food that will nourish my body.”
- “I am exercising daily and getting fitter and stronger every day.”
- “I am thoughtful with my money, and I’m spending only on what I really need.”
- “I am reading every day and expanding my knowledge.”
Tips to help you execute the plan
Creating a plan is the easy part, but also a very important step. The next part is going through with it, which is always easier said than done.
Once you’ve written a detailed plan for the resolutions follow these tips to successfully complete your plan.
- Start from where you are with what you have. If you wait for the perfect moment or until you are ready or have all the best tools, you will never do anything. Situation is never good enough to start something new.
- You’ll suck at everything in the beginning. Make your peace with that now and don’t expect great results. Instead focus on giving your best. And with time you will get the results you want.
- Every morning check in with your mission statement. And go over your plan for the day. Take 5 minutes to quickly visualise the course of your day.
- Every evening reevaluate how you did, make necessary adjustments and write a plan for tomorrow.
- Set reminders on your phone. The more you are reminded of your tasks it’s more likely you will complete them.
- If your days are too unpredictable to write a concrete schedule and keep up with it. Then simply outline your plan by writing tasks you need to do in order you plan to do them, without allotting a specific time for each task.
- When it comes the time to do each task, start immediately without hesitation. Before your brain starts to overanalyze and look for excuses not to do it.
- Create a vision board. Majority of people are visual types, and having images of your goals and dreams in front of you might just be the daily kick in the butt you need.
- Make it a habit. It’s a fact that the brain thrives on habits. If you want to do something efficiently and successfully make it a habit.
Prepare emergency motivation
Sometimes life just gets hard. But then is not the time to quit, it’s time to step up and grow. To make it easier, prepare yourself for those days too.
Find motivational quotes that resonate with you and make you want to jump and start doing whatever it is you have to do. Write them on sticky notes or print them out in a bold font. Place your motivational quotes throughout the house to be constantly motivated and inspired.
The world has a funny way of conspiring to give you everything you really want and work consistently and relentlessly on getting it. The only catch is to not give up.
Before you can get what you want you need to be sure that is what you really want. Because you will be tested, repeatedly. And you will fail hard many times before you will succeed. There is no other way.
If you look at any success story, what you will see is a tireless journey of overcoming failure after failure to the point of almost giving up. But if you push through the breakthrough will happen.
Do quarterly evaluation
Making a quick review of your progress every three months will help you stay motivated. It’s a really simple but quite effective way of keeping yourself accountable.
Answering a set of questions will get you to think of the progress you’ve made and to find a solution to the difficulties you might’ve had. It’s important to write down the answers and not just think about them in your head. This will get you to really specify the details and organize your thoughts and impressions.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS EVALUATION QUESTIONS
Did I complete the plan?
How do I feel about continuing with this resolution?
Can I improve/expand on it?
What were my excuses for not following the plan?
How can I refute my excuses?
How will I improve in the next three months?
Making regular progress evaluations is important for two reasons. First by acknowledging your progress you strengthen belief in your own abilities, and the more you believe in your abilities the better you perform. And second you gain a better understanding of obstacles that are getting in the way of your progress.
Beginnings are always hard and kind of awkward. But once you move past that, it gets a whole lot easier. And if you stick with your plan long enough to form a habit, you will grow into the person you want to be.
Happy New Year!