How to set New Year’s resolutions in 2017 and stick to them

At the start of every new year, many people set New Year’s resolutions but only a few actually go on to achieve these. Goal setting is one of the most effective skills an individual can learn to do, yet so many do it incorrectly.

The biggest mistake is that many people identify what they want to achieve but do not think about how to do it. People who develop action plans experience less anxiety, more confidence, improved concentration and greater satisfaction about achieving their goals and are more likely to succeed.

 

Six keys steps to take in ensuring you create an effective New Year’s resolution plan:

 

Step 1- Make it Specific

Bad goal: I want to save more money this year

Good goal: I will save £6,000 this year

Goals need to be specific, as humans we work better when we have a clear goal in mind. The ‘want to do my best’ goal can be great for motivation but being specific can help give you a clear focus on what needs to be done.

Step 2- Can it be Measured?

Bad Goal: I want to lose weight

Good Goal: I will lose 2 stone by my son’s wedding

As you can see in the above goal, it’s specific but it also allows us to measure it and see progression as time passes. This helps with keeping you motivated as you can see how far you have come.

Step 3- Is it Achievable or Attainable?

Bad Goal: I want to speak to my friends on the phone each week

Good Goal: I will use the bus journey home to talk with my friends every week on the phone.

This is a key component of the action plan. Is the goal I am setting attainable? You want a balance of challenge, to keep you motivated, but not too hard as you might lose focus and experience feelings of anxiety and stress.

You shouldn’t increase your goal by more than 5% of your current performance or ability.

Step 4-Is it Realistic?

Bad Goal: I want to fit into my old jeans

Good Goal: I am going to get into my old jeans by June 1, 2017

Make sure your goal can be achieved realistically in the time frame you are looking to achieve them in. Setting a timeline for when you want to achieve your goal is important.

This is the part where you need to make use of setting goals that are both long and short term; our main goal may be 6-8 months away but by setting short term goals you will always have an upcoming goal to works towards.

Step 5- Time-bound

Bad Goal: I want to fit into my old jeans

Good Goal: I am going to get into my old jeans by June 1, 2017

Setting a timeline for when you want to achieve your goal is important. This allows you to develop a goal attainment attitude.

This is the part where you need to make use of setting goals that are both long and short term. Your main goal may be 6-8 months away but by setting short term goals you will always have an upcoming goal to works towards, that is inevitably (if planned well) taking you closer to your long-term objective.

Step 6- Exciting

Bad Goal: I want to save money

Good Goal: I will save money so I can take my children on holiday to Disneyland

Your goal needs to be exciting. If planned correctly, this can help you stay motivated when you are experiencing a particularly tough decision that takes you away from your goal. Try coming up with different and interesting ways of making your goals exciting.

Step 7-Recorded

We make many goals in our head that we end up forgetting so “ink it, don’t think it”. By recording your goal, you make a conscious commitment that this is what you want to achieve. Once you have made this commitment, put it in places that can easily be seen. Put it in your gym bag, put it on your bathroom mirror or your kitchen fridge.

As you can see all the good goals are in a positive assertive fashion. This type of mindset will help you stay motivated for achieving those goals.

 

Five top tips to help you stick to your New Year resolutions:

 

Tip 1- Monitor and re-evaluate

The setting of a goal should be the starting place but definitely not the end. You need to ensure you monitor and evaluate your goals based on your current situation and then based on your original goal. This will allow you make them more difficult if things are easy, or easier if you’re struggling to keep the goals realistic and challenging.

Tip 2- Planning for the unpredictable

Life is never easy and predictable. We may get unexpected bills one month, or family need to be away for longer than expected so try and put things in place that are in your control to be ready for these.

Tip 3– Develop goal achievement strategies

Come up with ways in which you can overcome any barriers to your goals. Ask yourself how are you going to achieve it? What things in your life are taking up your time that are necessary? Can I get rid of some?

Tip 4- Prioritise your goals- don’t set too many

Don’t set too many goals too soon. When we set a goal this allows you to focus your attention on that goal. If you set too many goals you will not be able to commit 100% to each one of them.

Tip 5- Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve it

Finally, if you do come across some barriers and fail to meet a few of your short term goals, it is not the end of the world. Try and learn from the situation and make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice. This will help with tip three as you will have more experience to help develop new achievement strategies.

For further press information please contact the News Team on 01332 592032, pressoffice@derby.ac.uk or @derbyunipress

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