As the end of 2015 passes and we are met with a new hopeful year, 2016 will bring countless New Year’s resolutions that will either be broken or forgotten by the time February comes. Most are plagued with a mentality that does not bring them the determination and perseverance needed to meet their goals. As a result, failed New Year’s resolutions are simply brushed off without another thought. The sad reality is that people do not actually commit to their resolutions and none of their goals are accomplished. To make sure that does not happen again, follow these two tips to achieve all your New Year’s resolutions.
First, a goal must be set in order for it to be achieved. In choosing a goal, focus on what you want in the future, something that will be worth working towards over a certain period of time. Since a New Year’s resolution will last over the course of the year, the goal should not be too simple. Make sure it is thought through and is something that has meaning to you. Factors to keep in mind are optimism and being realistic. As sales for athletic wear spike around this time, it is clearly obvious that a typical New Year’s resolution is to “lose weight.” However, this goal, while it may be easy to work at in the beginning, is vague and difficult to actually achieve unless parameters or plans are set. Instead, a better way to approach such a goal would be to tailor it to something you are able to follow through with, such as setting daily calorie limits or keeping hydrated.
Another way to be realistic and adjust goals for yourself is to set a few smaller goals for variety and to work towards more accomplishments by the end of the year. By setting smaller, realistic and achievable goals, your willpower throughout the year will not be depleted as easily as setting one huge goal. Setting a few smaller goals creates achievability and feasibility; you aren’t limited to just one goal after all. According to Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney, two social psychologists and authors of “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength,” willpower is considered a real form of mental energy, powered by glucose in the bloodstream, which is used up as you exert self-control. The resulting loss of willpower is then called “ego depletion,” meaning that in order for someone to actually be able to achieve a long term goal, they must anticipate and acknowledge their willpower when setting a goal.
A few other improvements that could be made to plan resolutions is to alter them so that they have outcomes of win-win situations. Setting a goal that gives you beneficial results despite a possible loss of motivation towards the end of the year allows for you to achieve at least a smaller goal, leaving you feeling accomplished. For example, saying that you are going to read 50 books this year will seem quite difficult as the end of the year approaches and you have only read five. However, the information and stories that those five books you completed are now in your memory bank. Evidently, you are bound to end up happier knowing that you are able to achieve something, despite the fact that it may be smaller than what you had hoped for.
To achieve all your goals this year, tailor them to you. By having simple, realistic and thoughtful New Year’s resolutions, not only will you be able to attain the long term goals you set for this year, but you will also be able to manage your everyday commitments and ambitions.