The New Year often is a time to set new goals. However, statistics show that very few people are successful in keeping their resolutions.
Likely, because they don’t have a realistic, long-term plan. And, as Ben Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
This year, create SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
Here are a few ideas on how to set yourself up for success with some of the most common New Year’s resolutions:
Focus on fitness
According to a survey of adults who made a New Year’s resolution, the most popular goal (48%) was to exercise more. The best way to stick to it is to do something you enjoy.
Whether it’s running, biking or yoga, find a way to make it fun. That might mean purchasing new workout clothes or equipment or finding a friend to socialize with and to keep you going. Just remember to start slow, track your progress and you’ll soon be getting fit in your favorite way.
Connect with family and friends
With busy schedules, staying connected with friends and family can be difficult. But resolving to keep in touch can be easy.
Subscription services allow you to send digital greetings. To ensure you keep in touch, the personalized greeting cards can be pre-scheduled for delivery by email up to one year in advance or can be sent via text or social media. You can even include a gift card.
If improving your finances is one of your goals, the best place to start is to track your previous year’s expenses and categorize them. You might be shocked how those daily lattes or online impulse buys add up. Then, find a financial system that works for you. This could be as simple as a spreadsheet outlining and recording your set expenses and discretionary funds or syncing your data to your online accounts using a budget-tracking app.
Once your system is in place, you’ll be able to find areas for improvement and set new financial goals for the future.
Getting organized often is a top resolution for the new year, and managing your schedule is a simple way to relieve stress and improve productivity.
Start by outlining your daily, weekly or monthly commitments with a planner or online calendar. By recording and prioritizing your responsibilities, you’ll also be able to see your free time, so you can schedule things you enjoy.
Make time for mental health
According to Mental Health First Aid, Americans cited enhanced self-confidence (64%), increased productivity (67%) and increased happiness (71%) as the top benefits of mental self-care.
Start your year by adding “mental break” moments to your daily and weekly schedule. Self-care can be anything from meditation and sleep, to cooking or reading, as long as it helps you decompress, unwind and find your mental zen.