How to Set New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Achieve

by - December 11, 2021

 The new year is right around the corner, and with that comes a new start, a fresh start. Tons of people set new year's resolutions around this time (probably you too), but few people actually achieve the new year's resolutions they set. What makes you different from the majority of people that set goals?

How to Set New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Achieve

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Think about this for a second... so many people set goals, but a lot of them fail to reach their goals. This means, if you actually want to succeed and reach your goals, you need to do what people aren't doing. Sure, you can set goals just like everyone else, but you need to take a different approach to reaching your goals than the crowd.

A few moments ago, it occurred to me that I have been writing about goal setting, productivity, and personal development for quite a while now, but I've never actually written a post on how to effectively set new year's resolutions.

I decided that it is time to change that so today, I've put together these tips you can use to create your new year's resolutions!

How to Set New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Achieve

1. Review Your Goals From Last Year

First things first. How did you do on your goals last year? I start every year by going over how my goals (and my life in general) went the year before.

If you didn't reach any of your goals, last year, then this year you should take a different approach to reach your goals. If you didn't even set any goals... then I'm happy you are reading this article! I hope you will set some goals this year!

Rate how each of your goals went on a scale of 1-10 or use another rating system so you can get an overall feel for how you did. Keep in mind what went on throughout the year, and don't beat yourself up, if you did not do very well.

In 2020, I only completed 12/21 of my goals, but I'm okay with that because there was (and still is) a pandemic going on! This year, I am doing much better on my goals!

In a few weeks, I am going to write a full post on how you can do an end of year review, but until then, you can read My 2021 Bullet Journal Setup Part 1 to see a picture of my 2020 year in review, and a broad overview of how I do a year in review.

How to Set New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Achieve

2. Plan Earlier

Did you already start planning for your new year's goals? I sure did!

I started thinking about my goals for the new year a month or two ago because we are in quarter four of this year.

Have all of your goals written down before the new year hits, and have a detailed plan for each goal. You need to have as much time as possible to reach your new year's resolutions!

If you plan ahead, you will be more prepared to reach your goals, once the new year hits, and you may even have enough time to get a head start on your goals. This is especially helpful if you want to try and create habits in the new year, which leads me to my next tip.

2. Do a Trial Run of Your Goals + Habits

You might set a goal to wake up at 5:30 every day, but if you always sleep in until 9:00, how on earth are you going to miraculously start waking up at 5:30 every single day?

Or you could set a goal to read one book every week, but the first week of the year you realize that is just too much work.

You want to make sure that you aren't overloading yourself with new goals and habits. Plus, you want to give yourself some room for error.

You don't have to start your new habits and goals on December 1st, but I would recommend trying out your new habits for at least two days in a row to make sure that they are realistic and manageable.

3. Create Habits Versus Daily Tasks

"This year, I'm going to exercise for 60 minutes every single day." Then you end up exercising daily for exactly a week and a half. During the second week, you miss a day because you aren't feeling great. "Oh well, that goal fell out the window. There is always next year, right?"

We have all heard of this, and we may be guilty of doing this ourselves. Don't set yourself up for failure!

Instead, set of setting a goal to do something every day, set a goal of turning that behavior/task into a habit. This way, you can still miss doing that behavior/task every once in a while, without failing on your goal.

You never know what might happen, so you should leave room in your plans for the unexpected to happen, and then it won't throw you off track.

How to Set New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Achieve

4. Identify Your Why for Each Goal

A week or two ago, I was looking at my goals to check my progress, and I realized that the goals I am probably not going to complete this year are the goals that I have little to no motivation to complete.

This year, I am planning on making a list of the reasons why I am trying to reach each of my goals. This will not only allow me to discover if I actually want to reach a goal, but it will also remind me why I am trying to reach a goal when I am lacking motivation.

Knowing the why behind each of your goals is very important!

5. Set Positive Goals that are Life-Changing

Does this tip sound a little weird? Yeah, I'd think so too! Let me explain.

Say you have a goal to lose 15 pounds. What happens after you reach that goal? Is that just the end? I'd say that this is a negative goal because it doesn't actually help you change as a person. It doesn't make your life any better because after you hit your goal there is no lasting change to your lifestyle.

You could be exercising ten hours a week, and you might still not hit that goal, even though you put in all of the effort to reach the goal.

Instead, in my opinion, it is better to create a positive goal that will help you create a better lifestyle. Such as eating healthier or creating an exercise routine. These goals would have to be more specific though, of course!

Think about it like this. If you train for and then run a marathon, are you just going to stop there or are you going to continue running afterward? Most people would probably continue running afterward because they like to run.

You want to set goals that will benefit your life going forward. Going back to the goal of losing 15 pounds, you might lose the 15 pounds, and then afterward go back to your old ways of eating, and exercising. You might gain the 15 pounds right back again!

That is not a life-changing goal, and ultimately it did not do anything for you. Let's stay away from goals like that!

7. Look at the Bigger Picture

When setting your goals for the year, you should refer to your life goals, a vision board, a bucket list, or even your 5 or 10-year goals.

This will help you set goals that are in tune with your long-term goals, and will ultimately help you create the life you want!

Don't just focus on the year ahead, look at what you did last year, and what you want your life to look like in the years coming up. Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you see yourself in ten years?

The goals you set this year should help you reach the goals you want to achieve in the future.

How to Set New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Achieve

8. Have a Plan

Of course, I couldn't do a post about setting new year's resolutions without mentioning the most important step! You NEED to have a plan!

I modify my plan basically every year because I want to try new methods to see what's best. You can check out my goal planning for 2021 and 2020 below.

How I'm goal setting for 2021 will be posted on my blog probably a week or two after Christmas! I'm super excited about this post because I have some new ideas I want to try out for the next year!

For most of my goals, I try to break them up into twelve parts, and then I do one part each month.

Every so often, you should also do a check-in on your goals to see if you are on track to reach your goals.

9. Modify Your Goals Over the Year + Change Them if Needed

For 2021, I set a goal to practice for a test I had to take five times a week until I took the actual test. At the beginning of the year, I realized that doing five shorter practice tests every week takes up a good deal of time. I was starting to lose motivation to work on that goal. Then, I learned that I did not even need to do the test.

Instead of counting it as a failed goal, I switched the goal to one that I can actually (hopefully) achieve!

If you realize that you have a goal on your list of new year's resolutions, that you no longer want to/need to/have the motivation to reach, then change your goal! There is no reason to reach a goal that you don't really want to complete.

January 1st is just a day. Nothing more than that. If you mess up on one of your goals, it is okay because there is still tomorrow and next year.

I set 22 goals at the start of the year, knowing that I probably wouldn't complete all of them. I'm on track to complete around 19 of them. Life changes. Your goals change. Your priorities change.

Set the goals you want at the beginning of the year, but know that your priorities might change during the year.

10. Read Your Goals Daily

Lastly, you should have all of your goals listed somewhere where you can read them daily. If you don't want to have to read your goals daily, try to read them at least every once in a while. I have all of my goals written in my bullet journal, so when I'm flipping through it, I can read all of my goals.

You might want to put yours up on your mirror, your fridge, or framed above your desk. The more you see your goals, the more you will be reminded to work towards them, and the more achievable they will be.

If you want, you could even have your goals for the year listed as already being completed. Then you could use your list of goals as affirmations you say daily.

How to Set New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Achieve

How to Set New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Achieve

Good luck with your goals this year! I hope these tips help you set goals that you will achieve! Setting and reaching goals is a lot of hard work, but it is worth it. Even if you didn't reach your goals in past years, you can still reach your goals this year!

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I hope you have a productive week and a wonderful new year!
Share this post with your friends! Thanks. :)

How to Set New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Achieve

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