New Year Resolutions: How to set realistic goals

As the year begins, we look to start afresh. The universe has finally gifted you a new beginning. We often hear people make affirmation such as “New Year. New me” , “This year we go harder”, “I will do more this year”. Many people believe such affirmations or New Year resolutions are just social media clout, not realisable and can only last a couple of weeks after the year begins. In reality, having a New Year Resolution(s) may be a good way to start your year and here is why.

A new year resolution is an affirmation one makes to start something new (usually something good), cultivate new habits or stop a bad habit. A new year is a good time to pick up the pieces from the past years and make new plans to make them better. New year resolutions are statements one makes to support such intent.

However, a resolution is a generalistic statement of what one wishes to achieve. Thousands of people make new year resolutions across the world and it may interest you to know that over 80% of such resolutions fail according to an article published by Forbes. New Year resolutions may seem like a child’s play to many but with the right approach you are on your way to achieving everything you always want. Here are simple steps to transform your new year resolutions into results.

  1. Transform your resolutions into goals. 

Remember, resolutions are general statements.  They lack the specificity necessary to turn them to result. Without transforming your resolutions into SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely) goal, you have just made a mare statement and your new year resolution is yet another cliche. To transform your resolutions into goals, you need to break it down into actionable steps (goals). For example, if your new year resolution is to make more money. You can start by asking yourself, how do I make more money this new year? What do I need? Do I need to learn a new skill? If yes,you can decide to use the months of January and February to acquire that skill. What next after learning the skills? By outlining actionable steps to take,you can achieve good results in the timing of your choice.

  1. Write it down 

GET A JOURNAL. Writing is a very powerful tool to add emphasis to your affirmations and allow you to track your progress.  Write down your resolutions in a place where you can see it often. Over your reading table, beside your bed and in front of your daily journal are good places to do so. You can also document your progress by making a list and ticking them off when achieved. Ticking off from a list gives great satisfaction.  You should try it.

  1. Get an accountability partner.

It takes a lot of discipline to follow through on a year long goal plan. Sometimes, we need someone to report our progress to. Someone to hold us accountable and motivate us towards achieving that goal. A friend, colleague or family member who shares similar values, goals and is trustworthy  can be an accountability partner. 

New Year Resolutions are only unrealisable without a clear cut strategy to turn them to result. So instead of merely saying “This year I want to be a better person”, go deeper than that. Write out the things that can make you a better person in simple actionable steps and then follow those steps. Be accountable to yourself or a close pal. With these three easy steps, you can confidently make a new year resolution knowing you have what it takes to see it through. 

By Nwabuba Nnamani

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About Our Founder
Father-Godswill-Agbagwa
Fr. Godswill Agbagwa

Godswill Uchenna Agbagwa is a Catholic priest and a social ethicist. He was born in Umueze Amaimo, a small village in Ikeduru LGA of Imo State to Mr. Charlyman Chikamnele Agbagwa and Mrs. Evelyn Chinyere Agbagwa of blessed memory.

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