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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

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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