Every year millions of people all over the world set New Year’s resolutions but fail to keep them. Why? Because they have unrealistic expectations, unclear goals, and frankly, most of them don’t know how to build momentum.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to give you 3 simple steps that you can take to achieve any realistic New Year’s resolution you set for yourself + I’ll share with you a little coaching exercise that will help you envision what you really want and how to actually get it.
Busy bee? Here’s a quick video summary of what you need to do to keep your New Year’s resolutions and achieve your goals:
1. Keep Your Resolutions Simple and Realistic
We all want to achieve great things in life but the number one reason why it’s so hard to keep our New Years resolutions is because we want to achieve too many things at once, or we set goals that are almost impossible to accomplish in a year.
So, here’s what we’re going to do now:
I want you to take a look at your resolutions for this year, and if you don’t have any planned yet, that’s even better. Pick one that can be considered also a SMART goal, which means it has to be SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC, and TIME-BASED.
Here are some examples of vague resolutions that would most probably not work:
-> I want to be happy.
-> I want to lose weight.
-> I want to marry my boyfriend.
The first two are too general and not specific enough, and the last one is a delicate one – it’s not entirely up to you whether they would propose to you or not, so you can’t control the outcome.
Let’s focus on these five criteria and take a look at three great examples of SMART goals:
-> I want to learn to speak German at level B1 by 31st December 2019.
-> I want to lose 30 pounds by 31st December 2019.
-> I want to launch my social media marketing agency and have 20 clients by the end of 2019.
2. Make a Detailed Action Plan
No matter what your resolution is, the only way to make it happen is to consciously choose the best set of actions that will bring you closer to your achieving your goal.
Here’s a little coaching exercise we’re going to try first.
I want you to imagine how would you feel if you kept your New Year’s resolution. Close your eyes and imagine that you have achieved your goal. Imagine you are that successful version of yourself now. What can you see, hear and feel? Now in your mind visualize the steps you took to get there, including the point where you are now, making that initial decision.
You may now open your eyes and use these feelings of excitement and happiness to take action. Take a piece of paper and write the first step you need to take to achieve your goal.
For example, if your goal is to learn to speak German at level B1 by the end of the year, the first step may be to find a private tutor or an online program that suits your needs. Now, write down the first step you need to take.
Once you’re done with writing the first step, let’s make it even smaller and more actionable. In the example given above (to learn to speak German at level B1 by the end of the year), a smaller step can be to set 2 or 3 hours to research your different options, reflect on them, and make the decision to choose only one of them by the end of the week.
3. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself, Raise Your Awareness Instead
Every time you’re in the present moment, and you realize how your behavior is directly linked to the potential outcome, you win over the primal fight-or-flight response of your brain.
Here’s what will happen if you become too strict with yourself: you’re going to sabotage yourself and stay in your own way. Imagine your ‘monkey mind’ as a 5-year-old that wants to play funny games all the time. If you want to learn how to tame your self-sabotaging tendencies, you need to be open-minded and willing to negotiate with… yourself.
Here’s how to do that: every time you catch yourself thinking thoughts like ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I won’t be able to do it’, ‘I feel like an impostor’ say back to yourself in your mind ‘But it’s going to be so nice when I achieve my goal! The end result will be amazing. Imagine how great I will feel in the end, how many people I will help, how this will affect my family and friends, etc.’
I’m not going to tell you that keeping your resolution is going to be easy. In fact, if you’re not familiar with my coaching story, there were many times I almost felt like quitting in the beginning, but I knew this was just my mind standing in the way. Back then my coach told me to start before I was ready and I’m so happy that I did.
Don't let your fear interfere with your mission. Click To Tweet
Don’t let your monkey mind pull the strings. In fact, there’s a great blog post on procrastination by one of my favorite human beings – Tim Urban, that explains the monkey mind in details, and I highly recommend you check it out.
Remember: there’s no such thing as an unachievable goal, as long as it’s grounded in reality and you’re taking focused action every single day. If you want to become more consistent and have someone to keep you accountable, let me help you.
P.S. Have you made a New Year’s resolution for 2019? Share in the comments below and let’s make it official!