3 Steps to Success With Your New Year’s Resolution

Stand out from the New Year's resolution crowd this year and create goals that you can actually sustain.

Photo: GettyImages

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Here we are again; a new year and endless opportunities to better ourselves. As we warm up to 2022, it’s the perfect opportunity to refocus priorities and commit to new goals. You may have set resolutions to become healthier, better your nutrition and/or commit to a higher level of fitness. While these are great goals, it’s important for you to make them specific, attainable and sustainable.

Here are a few common mistakes we make when it comes to resolutions, thus leading to failure:

  1. Sharing vague goals
  2. Lacking a solid timeline
  3. Forgetting to outline your plan step by step

Creating sustainable goals may just be the most crucial step to your success. When setting resolutions, you must be realistic about the overall outcome and timeline. The No. 1 reason individuals never fulfill their goals is because of frustration when their expectations are not met.

I always like to remind my clients that change takes time. The habit you are looking to shift most likely took years to develop and will take more than days or even weeks to resolve or improve.

This year, focus on investing in yourself. Instead of your resolutions being all about removing and cutting out everything, add more into your life. For example, more nutrient-filled foods. More time for family. More sleep. More mindfulness. Here are three important steps that can lead you to rock your resolutions:

1. Uncover Your “WHY”

When setting goals, it’s important to reflect on WHY you want to succeed. This should be the driving force behind your long-term success. Let’s begin the process.

Once you determine your goal, write it down in a journal and set an appropriate timeline. Next, write out your reason for wanting to succeed. This is called your “why.” Do not make this primarily based on appearance. Your “why” should come from within, a motivator that will not allow you to fail. It could be for your health, children or spouse, but whatever you choose, it should have true meaning. Keep your journal close by and reflect on this whenever you are having doubts.

2. Create Goal-Based Milestones to Help You Stay Motivated

Setting a goal for the entire year may seem daunting. Overtime, sticking to resolutions becomes more challenging as you become less motivated. While this is understandable, there are ways to stay on track.

A great trick to maintain focus is setting milestones throughout the year. Plan special occasions to work toward. For example, if you are looking to drop three pant sizes over the course of a year, work toward dropping one pant size by spring break, then another by summer vacation and another by Thanksgiving. Setting these three timelines will help push you toward your next milestone and ultimately your final goal.

Take out your journal and write down your milestone dates and what you wish to achieve. These should focus on your overall goal and keep you moving in the right direction. Another fun way to stay on track is by creating a vision board with motivating photos and reminders as you move through each milestone.

3. Write Out a Week-by-Week Plan

One of the biggest mistakes we make when setting goals is attempting to change everything at once. This typically causes stress and leads to failure. Whenever a resolution is set, then a plan should be put in place. By doing so, there are step-by-step changes, which can be made at incremental stages.

Change takes time, and shifting everything “cold turkey” is not necessarily going to help. For example, if your goal is to drop 5 percent body fat in six months, then the best way to start is by making small changes to your nutrition. Cut soda, increase your vegetable intake or drop fast food. The next steps may involve fitness, such as increasing or switching up your workouts two to three days per week.

By making these step-by-step changes, you have time to embrace and master the plan. When the next step comes, the newly added change will not seem as overwhelming. Use a calendar. Write out each week’s plan to keep a visual cue of what needs to be done next. Have fun with this by decorating the dates and keeping it in an accessible location.

Set yourself up for success. Create sustainable goals. Find your motivating “why.” Establish attainable milestones. A clear vision and plan will make your path much easier. Let this be the year you truly achieve your goals!