It’s that time of year again. Whether you’re praying about it, wishing about it, or just speaking it into the atmosphere, you’re probably planning on making a resolution or few before reaching 2017. But are you going to stick to your resolutions?… Really? According to Statisticbrain.com, only 8% of people in the United States actually achieve their resolution. Truth is, a resolution is nothing without an action plan. And an action plan is nothing without action! Here is how we suggest you pursue your resolutioning for the coming year.
Start by thinking about who you are. Pick some words that describe you. Go with the good, the bad and the ugly. We’ve all got our flaws. Now, how can you improve or grow in some weak areas? Maybe you want to weigh less or have a larger vocabulary. Then ask yourself who you want to be by the end of the year. Maybe you want to have healthier hair or be more confident in a certain area.
Now brainstorming resolutions should always be accompanied by motivations. If you do not have a valid reason for making a change, you may not want to make that change. Words of wisdom, you won’t change until you want to change for yourself, not anyone else. Finally, figure out how you will accomplish your resolution. How do you plan to get where you want to be?
The best way to document your resolution is by making it a SMART goal. Once you figure out your general goal, use these requirements to check it:
- Make it specific. Don’t just say you want to lose weight. That leaves room for you to lose the weight then, gain it back or only lose one pound or not lose any weight at all until the end of the year. Where exactly on your body do you want to lose the weight? Do you want to build muscle in the area that you lose weight in? These are the kind of questions you must ask yourself to make your goal smarter.
- Make it measurable. Being able to measure your goal ties into being specific. Do you want to make more money this year? If so, how much? Do you want to spend more time with family? If so, how much time? Whether it’s hour, inches, miles or pounds, if you can quantify it, apply it.
- Make it achievable. You can apply a measurement all you want, but if it is not feasible, then it likely will not be achieved. Become familiar with your limits and challenge them, but do not set yourself up to be overextended in anyway. Or, if the goal involves factors outside of yourself, do not rely too heavily on other people or things coming through for you.
- Make it relevant. Is this goal something you really need to focus on right now? Is it worth your time? Does it relate to or affect other aspects of your life so much that it must be done soon? If there are other, more pressing matters, you may want to direct your attention to those first.
- Make it timely. Time can fit into the measurable category, but it deserves its own explanation simply because it is so valuable. Once you waste it, it’s gone, so make the most of it. Try buying a planner and documenting deadlines for when you want steps in your goal to be done by. Giving yourself a timeframe to achieve a goal adds pressure and can give you a sense of urgency and motivation.
To read more of our holiday inspired articles click here!
Now that you’ve got your goal, don’t forget it! One big reason why resolutions are not met is because we forget! Make your resolution visible to yourself every day. Try putting it on the bathroom mirror or the kitchen refrigerator. Put it in your most used book or at the bottom of the television.
We all know it can be easy to get distracted. Therefore, we suggest you check in on your progress every now-and-then. How close are you to your goal? Ask yourself this every 2 or 3 months at least. Put it in your phone that you’re up for evaluation, so you do not get off track so easily. Not close to your goal? Try adjusting your plan before adjusting your goal. It may just take a little more effort than you first figured.
It is said that faith is nothing without work. Well, the same goes for the reverse of that statement. You’ve declared your resolution, now believe in it. Believe in yourself. If you know you’ll need help staying on the path, share your resolution with a friend. Ask them to help hold you accountable. Or, keep it to yourself if that motivates you more. The choice is yours; the goal is yours; and the victory can be yours too. Be confident in yourself. Be resolute.
This piece comes to us from one of our talented content contributors, Cynthia Sharpe. Her bio is below and if you would like to work with us you can email us here!
Cynthia M. Sharpe, is a May 2015 graduate of NC State University. Cynthia graduated with a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing and currently aspires to pursue an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. “As I let my own light shine, I unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” -Cynthia M. Sharpe, inspired by Marianne Williamson