When a new year begins then we all make resolutions. Lose weight, work less, save money, travel, exercise, quit smoking, among many other things. However, over the months the enthusiasm fades and, as in a vicious cycle, we postpone the goal until the following year.
The famous site Wikihow says that there are three critical steps in the creation process of New Year’s resolutions: creating the goals, start with the plan to fulfill them and finally not giving up and achieve them.
Since this process is like a race, below we will summarize the steps you can follow to end 2016 with a successful record of goals achieved.
STEP 1: Create your goals and get ready to start
At this early stage it is important to write down what goals you hope to accomplish throughout the year to increase your commitment and to avoid forgetting about them on the way, but you must address the following recommendations as well:
- Brainstorm all the changes that you want to make and improve in the areas of health, work, relationships and personal growth.
- Choose one or two substantial goals that are achievable.
- Create systems to fulfill the goals starting from small, everyday actions that can easily get you closer to the goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 28 pounds next year, you can first start by avoiding fast food, soft drinks, snacks and sugary drinks, drink more water and walk three times a week until March and then gradually add two days to go to the gym.
- Review your goals notebook and make sure they are specific and not confusing, measurable, achievable (realistic) and relevant or rewarding.
- Talk to others about your goals to reinforce the importance for you to reach them and to get their support.
- Make copies of your goals and send them to your electronic devices to have them present at all times.
Once you have defined your goals, and the actions and strategies to achieve them, you are ready to advance to the next stage.
STEP 2: Start with your goals
- Rather than setting a specific timeframe, it is better to design a plan on how to achieve your goals, based on a calendar.
- Start following your plan immediately, although difficult start, the sooner you start then the faster you develop a routine.
- Make one change at a time so that you can create a routine instead of being overwhelmed.
- Talk about your progress with a friend, mentor or coach, to maintain focus and improve what is necessary.
- Remind yourself of your goals, write down every day what you are going to do and at what time and do not forget to do it no matter how busy you are. Do not delay the planned tasks.
- Focus on the process rather than on the final result. Take one step at a time and be happy with the progress.
- Create an enabling environment to achieve your goals and get rid of habits that do not match and do not help achieving your goals. For example, put running shoes next to the door or put fruits and vegetables in the front part of the refrigerator.
In this stage of implementation, each day will take you closer to your goals so it is key to remain firm, disciplined and motivated to reach the final stage.
- Reward yourself for each accomplishment. It is often better to have small prizes and a grand prize at the end when you complete the goal. They must be defined at the beginning of the plan.
- Think about your achievements constantly to stay motivated.
- Face your fear of change and dismiss excuses.
- Acknowledge your self-destructive behavior that will distract you from your goals.
- If you slip up, start again and do not be discouraged.
- Seek support. Try to not undertake your goals all by youself.
- Write in a journal your progress and the things you are grateful for, each day of the year.