If you think, right now, of your New Year’s resolutions, what would you say about them? Would you jump up on your feet and enthusiastically start talking about your progress? Or would you barely remember them, thinking that this is yet another year you didn’t keep up with your promises?
If you don’t fire out all your goals straight away, or if you don’t feel really great about your progress, then I encourage you to read some tips on how to achieve your New Year’s resolutions. They really improved my progress, and I hope they will inspire you to make a new, fresh start.
Years ago, I was all excited when the New Year came, talking to my spouse about what I am going to accomplish that year. But a few months passed, and I had already forgotten more than half of my New Year’s resolutions, while the other half had not been even remotely achieved. One day, I stopped, thought about all my goal-setting strategy, and completely changed my approach. I became much more systematic, and the results showed very quickly: now I achieve more than 90% of all my New Year’s resolutions! So what have I changed?
1. Write down your resolutions
When I first wrote all my New Year’s resolutions down on paper, I felt a little bit foolish, thinking, “I know them all anyway, why bother writing them down?” It took me more than half a day! But it was worth doing. Why?
Writing your resolutions down on paper makes you far more committed and far less likely to forget them. Just think of what happens when you go shopping without your list. You forget to bring home half of the things you need.
Statistics show that people who write their goals down are 80% more likely to achieve them than the people who don’t.
2. Put your emotions into your resolutions
There is a way to empower your goal setting: when writing goals down, put all of your emotions into them. Imagine the happiness when you pass the exam, imagine how you feel when you put your hands on the leather steering wheel of your new car, smell the fresh color of your newly renovated apartment.
I found out that if I can’t feel my goals when writing them down, then those goals are not really what I deeply wish to happen. So, whenever you write your goals, imagine how you will feel once you reach them.
3. Break it down
Have you ever tried to eat a whole apple in just one bite?
It works the same way with your goals. Break them down into small, managable pieces. See what you can achieve in the first 3 months, then what you can achieve in 6 months, 9 months, and finally in a year.
The feeling of succeeding at each step on your way to your New Year’s resolutions is so rewarding that you will enjoy the journey, not just the final victory.
4. Set up specific days
Last year I decided to gain some muscle mass. I knew I had to do my exercises regularly (apart from taking great care with my diet), not allowing myself to make any excuses. So I set up specific days when I would go to work out.
I highly encourage you to set specific days or specific hours when you do the things which will bring you closer to your goals. You might set up half an hour every morning to read a motivational book, or go jogging 3 times per week.
Stick to your routine, no matter what. Once you get into a habit, the habit becomes part of you, and suddenly you start to do it naturally.
5. Measure your progress regularly
I do my body scan at least once a month to measure my progress in gaining muscle mass so that I can do some minor corrections in my exercise and nutrition routine, if necessary. Measure your progress on your way: how much weight you lost last week, what is the progress of your sales skills, how much money you saved this month, etc.
6. Show your New Year’s resolutions to your spouse/best friend
When you show your resolutions to your close friend, it automatically makes you feel much more committed. I show my New Year resolutions to my spouse and my children, and if you have children, you know that they can be really tough judges!
You can even take it a step further: write some of your goals on your Facebook profile!
7. Use the rule BE, DO, HAVE
We usually think of what we want to HAVE: more money, more freedom, more love, etc.
When writing my goals I always ask myself what kind of a person I have to BE first, in order to DO things in a certain way which will lead me to HAVE a desired thing. Start thinking in the “BE, DO, HAVE” way, and your effectiveness will significantly improve.
8. Put just a little pressure on yourself
We all procrastinate, sometimes. How can we avoid it?
Pay some cash to your spouse/best friend/your children when you don’t keep up with your promises. If you don’t want to be broke, you better keep doing what is necessary to reach your New Year’s resolutions. I keep my “procrastination money” well in control.
9. Make a dream board
Go to Google, find out all the nice things you want to be, want to do, and want to have. Cut out a perfect body you want to have and stick the photo of your face on it, find a beautiful car you wish to have, whatever you wish. Place your dream board somewhere so that you can see it every day.
My dream board is hanging on the wall of my bedroom so it always reminds me where I want to be heading towards.
10. Reward yourself
Whenever I reach a significant step on my way to my New Year’s resolutions, I take my family to a nice restaurant. (My children always remind me if there is too much time between celebrations).
Never forget to reward yourself when you reach a milestone on your way. It will make you proud of yourself and will increase your confidence.
11. Use visualisation every day
Every morning, I wake up half an hour earlier just to visualise all my New Year’s resolutions. I see them one after the other and I try to see all the details. I repeat the process when I go to bed.
Tip: When visualizing your goals, don’t make only static pictures, like a car and nothing else. See yourself moving in your pictures, see yourself driving that car. This technique was developed years ago by Russian athletic teams, and it is really powerful.
12. And finally: Find a mentor
If you have really high goals, you need some guidance. There is no better way to achieve your goals than to have a mentor who has already walked the way you are on.
This doesn’t mean that you need to have your mentor in person. I have a mentor for online marketing, but I have never spoken to him in person. I take advice from him via webinars and newsletters. You can even find your mentor in books or YouTube videos.
Put these things into practice, and I am sure that in a short period of time, you will notice significant progress on your way to accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions like I did. And when somebody asks you about your resolutions, you will jump up on your feet and excitedly talk about your great progress.
Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com