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After I Read This, I Strongly Believe That I Can Achieve My New Year’s Resolution This Time

After I Read This, I Strongly Believe That I Can Achieve My New Year’s Resolution This Time

The ball drops in Times Square.

Fireworks go off across the world.

Someone asks you about your New Year’s resolution, and as you blurt out your response, you quietly realize it’s the same resolution you set for yourself last year.

And the year before last.

And the year before last year, too.

Ouch! Why is it that achieving a New Year’s resolution is so hard?

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Well, first of all, before you start feeling bad for yourself, know that if you didn’t achieve the New Year’s resolution you set for yourself last year, or in previous years, you’re not alone. Some research shows that only 8% of people who set their resolutions actually achieve them.

Now, some experts will tell you that you achieving a resolution is hard because it’s easier to set smaller goals and work toward them daily.  Well, I’m not gonna argue with that, daily improvement is something we should all work toward.  But it’s a load of…well, you know what…to think that we shouldn’t set big goals every year and then come up with a plan to achieve them.

After all, man’s greatest achievements come from setting big goals and then working on them day in, day out, until the goal is realized.

There’s lots of things you can do to increase the chances that you’ll achieve the resolution you set for yourself, or any goal for that matter. But there’s also things you’ve probably been doing that you don’t even realize, keeps you from fulfilling your New Year’s resolution.

Here’s 7 reasons people don’t achieve their new year’s resolution. Avoid these at all costs if you want to accomplish your big goal this year.

1. They don’t really want to achieve it

If you’ve had a goal you’ve sort-of-wanted to achieve for years, but haven’t made much progress on it yet, ask yourself how bad you want to achieve it.  Achieving a big goal requires dedication, hard work, and discipline. If you don’t want to achieve it with every ounce of your being, it’s not likely you’re going to put in the time and effort needed to achieve it.

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So if you want to achieve a big goal, make sure it’s something you’re passionate about, and something you’re ready to put your heart and soul into.

2. They don’t set it, the right way

Most people set goals the wrong way. If your resolution over the years was something like “be healthier” or “make more money” or “have more energy,” you’ve set yourself up for failure.

Goals need to be structured correctly so that you’ll be able to:

  • create a specific plan
  • understand clearly whether you’re making the progress you need to get to your goal
  • know exactly when you’ve achieved it

One way to do this is to use the acronym SMART to set your resolution. Make it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

If you’ve been frustrated because you haven’t made progress on a goal, or resolution, you set for yourself in the past, and your goal wasn’t ‘SMART,’ go back to the beginning and structure your goal the right way. Skip this step at your own peril.

3. They don’t create a plan

While life would be a whole lot easier if we could just ask a genie in a bottle to grant us our wishes, life doesn’t work that way.

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In order to achieve your resolution, you’ll want to set a concrete plan of action that will guide you to your goal. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or rigid, but it does need to have set steps you can take that will get you in the right direction.

4. They don’t track their progress

New Year’s resolutions aren’t meant to be set in January and reviewed again in December. Nope, if you want to achieve your resolution, you’ll want to track your progress throughout the year so you’ll know whether you’re on target to achieve your goal.

It’s a good idea to set up daily, weekly and monthly tracking so you’ll see whether you’re on target to achieve your resolution, or whether you need to adjust your plan.

5. They don’t adjust their plan

Tracking your progress is pointless unless you adjust your plan so you’ll make the progress you need. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds this year, and you’ve only lost 5 pounds after 3 months, it’s time to adjust your plan…otherwise you’re going to fall short of your big goal.

6. They make excuses

“I hurt my knee so I couldn’t exercise”.

“My boss promoted someone else, so I couldn’t make any more money.”

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“I would quit smoking if I wasn’t so stressed”.

We all make excuses. Heck, making excuses is the easy thing to do when we’re falling short of our target. But excuses are toxic on our path to achieving our goals.

If you want to achieve your resolution, kick excuses to the curb. Instead of telling yourself why you’re not making the progress you should be making, ask yourself how you can get to your goal faster.

Your brain is a brilliant machine and you’ll get the right answer no matter what question you ask it. Make sure you’re asking the right questions.

7. They don’t believe they can achieve it

Belief is a funny thing. Give two similar people the same goal, and it’s the person who believes they can achieve it, who will.  If you don’t believe you’ll achieve your resolution, no advice or tools are going to help you.

But if you do believe in yourself, and that you’ll achieve your New Year’s resolution, there’s nothing that can stop you.

So, Happy New Year and here’s to achieving the goals you set for yourself in 2014!

More by this author

Dan Cassidy

Dan is the CEO & Founder of Inspiyr, aspiring to help people live a happy and successful life.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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