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8 Questions to Help You Set Achievable New Year’s Resolution

8 Questions to Help You Set Achievable New Year’s Resolution

The New Year is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to start thinking about what you would like to achieve in 2017. New Year’s resolutions are a great way to motivate yourself to move forward and achieve your goals, but lots of people struggle to stick to their resolutions.

There are lots of reasons why people struggle to stick to their New Year’s resolutions. Maybe the resolutions were unrealistic, or perhaps the person didn’t care enough about the resolution. No matter what the problem is, you can fix it – you simply need to change the way that you choose your resolutions.

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Here are 8 questions that you should ask yourself before setting your New Year’s resolutions to make sure that they are realistic and achievable.

1. Are my goals realistic?

One of the main mistakes that people make when they are setting New Year’s resolutions is that they aim too high. They feel motivated and ambitious when they choose their goals in December, but by January they feel demotivated and stressed so they drop the resolution completely. Make sure that your resolutions are realistic so that you will be able to stick to them even on days when you don’t feel very motivated.

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2. Am I making too many New Year’s resolutions?

Some people set lots of different resolutions. They decide to quit smoking, cut down on junk food and exercise more, but in the end they don’t fulfil any goals as they feel too overwhelmed. It is difficult to completely change your lifestyle overnight, but it is easy to change small aspects of your life. If you want to achieve your goals choose one or two resolutions to focus on, rather than three or four.

3. Is this a goal that I would love to achieve?

Some people are pressured by their friends and family to set goals that they are not really interested in. Don’t let other people choose your goals for you, as you won’t work towards it if you don’t really care about it. Instead choose resolutions that matter to you, so that you actively work towards achieving them.

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4. How am I going to reward myself if I achieve my goals?

Some resolutions come with their own rewards; exercising will tone up your body and help to improve body confidence, and quitting smoking means that your will improve your overall health. If you start to feel demotivated, try to focus on the reason why you set the resolution. If your resolution doesn’t come with a reward you can arrange a treat – for instance, you could treat yourself to takeaway on the 1st of February as a reward for sticking to your resolution for a whole month.

5. How am I going to measure my success?

Some people give up on their resolutions as they don’t measure their goals. This makes them feel demotivated as they feel like they are making an effort but seeing no progress. Write down a few ways that you can measure your goals, so that you are less likely to give up.

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6. Which resolution should I work on first?

Decide which resolution is most important to you, and try to work on that one first. It can be difficult to achieve lots of different resolutions, but if you work on them one by one you are more likely to achieve them all.

7. How much time should I give myself to succeed?

Do you think that your resolution will take two months or two years to achieve? Setting a time limit will make your goal seem more real, and it will help you to track your progress so you are more likely to stick to it.

8. How am I going to plan my life around my goals?

If your resolutions don’t fit into your current schedule, you will need to think about how you will manage your time in the New Year. Take a look at you schedule and re-arrange it so that you will have lots of time to work on your goals.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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