Up until a few years ago, I was somewhat of a flake when it came to New Years resolutions. Every January, I’d start off with good intentions, but come March my attention would wane and my efforts would peter out.
This time last year, I’d just entered 2019 with another long list of goals: what with it looking to be a busy year for travel, having plans to start job hunting, and already having a lot of commitments outside of work, I wasn’t positive that I’d cross them all off. But I wanted to try.
And try I did! A year later, not only did I manage to cross them off, but I’ve entered this new year on a high with another list of goals I want to focus on.
As it seems I’ve finally found a routine that works for me when it comes to getting my New Years resolutions done, I’ve decided to share it.
1. Set goals that are attainable
Take a look at each of your goals individually. Can you imagine yourself achieving them over the course of a year? If so, then great! If not, then perhaps you need to break it down into a more manageable chunk.
2. Make sure your goals are measurable
As an example, setting a goal to “improve my French” isn’t really measurable because in a year’s time, how can I really tell if I’ve achieved it or not? It would make more sense to set a goal where I “take a French intermediate class and achieve 80% on a French GCSE practice exam”. Here I’ve given myself two things to clear things to aim for, rather than a goal that could technically be crossed off by me vaguely learning one more French word!
Having measurable goals allows you to split them down further into more sizeable tasks that you can attempt throughout the year. So our previous goal to “take a French intermediate class and achieve 80% on a French GCSE practice exam” can be broken down to: – “Take a French intermediate class in February” – “Find some French GCSE practice exams in April” – ”Attempt to achieve a mark of 80% by the end of September”
3. Keep an eye on your goals and review your progress regularly
This was something I did last year and the year before in the form of monthly blog posts. At the beginning of every month, I’d take a look at my goals for the year, split them into monthly ones, and then at the end of each month I would check to see if I’d achieved them.
It helped me to keep focus, and during months where I’d fallen behind it allowed me to take a step back and think about where my priorities should lie for the next month. This year I’m not going to do the monthly blog posts as they’ll likely clutter up my blog page, but I will continue with this habit regardless.
4. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall behind
I think the best thing I did was remind myself every time I set a goal that it really doesn’t matter if I don’t get it done. The world is not depending on me to write a book, or become fluent in Italian, or save up a certain amount of money: these are all things I want for myself, so in the end if I don’t achieve them, I’m likely the only person who will be affected by it.
I’m not going to lie though, not achieving something can really suck. You can easily lose confidence in yourself and therefore feel less productive and less likely to want to do it in future.
It happens though. You’re going to get busy and focus on different things throughout the year, but when you notice you’re not quite on track, all you can do is try your best to catch up. And if you do reach the end of the year without having done so, don’t beat yourself up! It’s not the end of the world.
In a nutshell, the best thing you can do when it comes to achieving your resolutions is to set yourself realistic goals where you can easily measure your progress, and to review them regularly.
Have you set yourself any New Years resolutions this year? ♥