It's pretty easy to think of a New Year's Resolution... but how do you accomplish it? Use this how-to guide for easy steps to make your 2014 New Year's Resolution a success!
First, focus on your goal. What is it you want to achieve next year? Financial freedom? To cut back on your vices? To travel or volunteer or learn more? Spending more time on yourself?
Now be specific. Let's say your goal is to be healthier. What does "healthier" look like? Shedding 20 pounds? Running a 9 minute mile? Practicing yoga every day? Walking to the store for groceries without loosing your breath? Getting the doctor's okay to stop your blood pressure medicine? It's easier to complete a goal if you have a specific accomplishment (or several) that you are working towards.
Next, what steps will take to achieve your goal? Outline a year-long plan detailing your weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly goals with easy steps you will take to achieve your longterm plan. If your resolution is to start running for improved health, for example, your plan could begin with simply walking around the block 5 times a week and slowly increasing your distance and speed throughout the year, ultimately working towards running a half-marathon this time next year.
Go ahead and write these mini-goals down somewhere you will look everyday, like your calendar or bathroom mirror, as proof of your commitment to change. Depending on your personality and lifestyle, you can start out with a strict and detailed plan or stick with more vague, general steps to help ease you into your new program. The great part about planning your goals is that you can constantly revise them as necessary to make them more or less challenging.
Make sure you are mentally prepared to see your New Year's Resolution through to the end. Accept that you will be devoting time in your busy schedule to completing your goals. You will probably be making lifestyle changes, too. Sometimes it is easier to complete goals when other people know about them, too. Consider telling your friends and family what you are trying to accomplish so they can support you through your journey and hold you accountable if you loose focus. You can even track your progress through a blog or social media for global support.
Finally, end the year with a bang! Motivate yourself to begin your New Year's Resolution today. Starting is the hardest part but you already have a thoughtful plan in place to guide you to your goal. The worst that can happen is that you backslide into old habits and have to start over again... and that's not bad at all! Practice makes perfect and mistakes are simply part of the process.
What is your New Year's Resolution? What steps have you taken to make your past goals a success? Let us know in the comment section below!
Images from Independent Fashion Bloggers, Pop Sugar, Compete Everyday, Fit Fab City, Deva Coaching, and Things We Forget.