Don’t Just Make a New Year’s Resolution, Make a New Year’s Plan

Wanting to better yourself is a beautiful thing. Everyone can use some self improvement and the  New Year is always good motivation to move forward with it. However, you will set yourself up for failure, or at least make success more challenging, if you don’t have a plan to go along with your aspirations.

Let’s say that you want to quit smoking, for example. It’s a great thought but it has no meat to it.

Add the why.  Adding in the reasons you want said thing can add more of an impact emotionally, logically or both. This is more motivation to keep you on track. So now maybe you want to quit smoking to be around longer for your kids and to save money.  Add as many benefits as you can to the statement.

Add the how. List out the steps you are taking to do this. For smoking, maybe you will use patches or gum. If you have weight loss goals, maybe you will go to the gym three times a week and meal prep. List out as many hows as you can or things that you are physically going to do to accomplish this goal.

Prepare for temptation. Taking charge of your temptations is key as they will inevitably happen. Think about what kinds of things that would come up to take you away from your goals and then plan what you are going to do in those cases. For smoking, you could have a hard day at work and feel the need to smoke. When that happens, maybe you will ask a friend or family member to listen to you vent instead.


Prepare for failure. It happens and everyone is guilty of it. But how are you going to get back on track? Just because you fell down doesn’t mean you have to stay down. Maybe you went to that party, someone offered you a cigarette and you caved. Now what? Chalk it up and maybe you start fresh the next day. Maybe you bring some gum to the next party or take the long route to miss the smoking spot, etc. Use your mistakes and learn.

Use S.M.A.R.T. guidelines! Make a goal that is…

Specific: It states what you specifically want and is straight to the point

Measurable: Goals should be measuarable so you can see progress

Attainable: Becoming superman would be a good example of what is NOT attainable. Make sure your goals and the time frame you set for them are also healthy. Make sure you are giving yourself a fair chance and a healthy one at that. Do the research!

Relevant: Obviously, the goal has to be important to you and your life. You wouldn’t make a goal related to golfing when you don’t like golfing…

Time-Bound: Give yourself a time frame but be fair to yourself and be fair to your goal.

Other Success Tips!

Make a dream board for motivation!

Follow Instagram accounts similar to your topic. When I don’t want to go to the gym, I’ll look at Instagram accounts of boxers and fitness pros, to get inspired.

Get family, friends, the cashier at the drugstore, Facebook groups, anyone you can think of to keep you accountable.

Celebrate your successes and milestones. Make them a big deal!

Set one or two goals, not 50, and make those your priority. You can’t give 100% time, effort and energy to chaining 100 different things about yourself. Take it one step at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

New Year’s Resolutions are wonderful but it isn’t enough to just say that you are going to do something. Give yourself the best resources and tools to ensure that you can be successful.

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