The beginning of every new year is the perfect time to set new goals and promise to make positive lifestyle changes. Such goals can help keep us motivated, focused and excited about life.
In order to achieve your goals in 2020, experts recommend setting small and attainable goals that can act throughout the year instead of extraordinary ones at the beginning. By making resolutions realistic and personal, there is a greater chance that you will keep them.
Despite the best of intentions, few people succeed in keeping all their new year’s resolutions. So, if you want to create lasting resolutions, the key is to build them around positive and genuine commitments to self-knowledge and personal development.
Here are some simple ways to help you become a resolution achiever.
Write down your goals: Once you’ve decided on your resolutions for the year, write them down in a way that clarifies why they are important to you and position them in a place where you can see them regularly.
Set up a plan: According to a study in the European Journal of Psychology, developing new habits take around 66 days. So, develop a plan for your resolutions and make your goals part of your daily routine.
Circulate your energy: New year is also a time to eliminate anything or anyone who is making you unhappy. Declutter your space by recycling, repurposing or throwing stuff away. Unsubscribe from advertising emails you no longer wish to receive.
Be specific: Make concrete resolutions that you think you can keep and express them positively. Be logical and clearly define the direction you are going to take. Pick three goals as priorities, as this will help you to keep track of what’s most important. Stick with one main resolution that you believe is really important and two secondary ones.
Set realistic expectations: Consider goals that are possible and ground them in reality. Change just one habit at a time and remember that replacing unhealthy behaviour with healthy habits requires time. There is nothing wrong in dreaming big, but if you don’t have the resources required to reach a goal, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
Eradicate negative emotions: You can’t focus on positive goals when you’re filled with self-doubt and fear. Release negative emotions that will sabotage your hopes and try to let them go. Write down your fears and anything that causes you anxiety on a piece of paper and then try ripping it up to let your fears go.
Turn a goal into a habit: Working on your resolutions on a daily basis can be very effective. Set a goal that you can do every day to work towards achieving it. When you do something on a daily basis, it becomes a habit and you’ll just do it naturally.
Think relevantly: Identify what’s important to you, and then figure out reasonable ways to make that into reality. Decide if a resolution matches your skills set and set goals that are relevant to your lifestyle. Then develop the attitudes, abilities and skills to reach them.
Set dates on resolutions: Link your goals to reasonable and specific time periods. Setting a deadline can create a sense of urgency that inspires action.
Don’t give up: Be okay with less. Perfection is unachievable. Minor mistakes in reaching your goals are normal and acceptable. Everyone has ups and downs, so decide to recover and get back on track.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 16 January 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly