How to Keep a New Year Resolution

Every year thousands of people make New Year resolutions, most will not keep them – does this sound like you? As a life coach I am often ask what is the best way to keep a New Year resolution? Here are three easy steps to take to achieve your new year’s resolution:

The first mistake most people make when making a new year’s resolution, is keeping it too general; “I will get a new job” “I will lose weight” or “this year I will become rich” To stick to your New Year resolution, you first need to make them SMART:

SMART stands for:

  • S – Specific – the resolution must say exactly what needs to be learnt or done “ I will apply for jobs” is not specific “ I will apply for 3 administration jobs” is specific
  • M – Measurable- It must say exactly how this can be measured – you must be able to tell when the resolution has been achieved
  • A – Achievable – The target must not be too hard or too large, remember: it better to have several small targets leading to a larger goal. Although they should not be too easy!
  • R – Realistic – It must be possible to get access to any training, books or support needed to meet the target. It must take into account other areas of your life
  • T – Timed – There should be a set time limit for achieving the resolution. You need to know when to look to see if your Goal has been met.

Second, write down your new years (SMART) resolution and underneath write “I will put my energy into this goal and achieve this New Year resolution” and sign and date it. This commits you to your goal, put this signed document some where you will see it every day, like on your fridge.

  • To learn more about the power of commitment, I recommend reading Influence by Robert B. Cialdini.

And finally to re-enforce your commitment to achieving your New Year resolution, re-write your New Year resolution on 5 pieces of paper “I will exercise twice a week by going on two 3 miles cross country runs and by July 22nd I will be able to run a 3 mile route within 30 minutes time limit” and give this to 5 people who are important to you. By telling other people your goal, you will be even more committed to achieving it, as we generally don’t like people to think we are the type of person who gives up or goes back on what they say they will do.

The three steps to achieving your New Year resolution or any goal, is to make the goal SMART, record it to paper, sign it and put in on your fridge as a daily reminder and then tell others what your goal is and when you will (date) achieve it.

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