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7 Tips For Setting And Achieving New Years Resolutions & Goals

Making One New Year’s Goal Sets You Up For Success

Have you ever written New Year’s Goals? Many people write them but have a hard time following through so I suggest having one goal so you will be less likely to quit. I made a list of goals one year, and after a month I became too annoyed by them; I find a list too difficult. If you are going to make more than one goal, then these goals must be extremely manageable.

Common Goals For The New Year

Some areas in which people make New Year’s Resolutions have to do with weight, finances, relationships or maybe even being nicer. The good thing about New Year’s Resolutions is that nothing is off limits. You can be as creative as you want. Your one goal could be to stop forgetting to take your dog out at your lunch break or to stop biting your nails or something similar that annoyed you all of last year. Some common relationship goals are to make more friends or to be in a serious relationship. Some common financial goals are to stop spending as much or to get a better job.

More Goal Ideas

Some of the goals gurus will tell you to create a goal in each of these areas, but as I said, unless you make extremely manageable goals of things you were thinking you needed to do anyway in the next year, you may burn yourself out or overdo it. A good goal would be “to get along with my boss” or “make a friend to eat lunch with” or “to potty train my child.” Goals do not have to be impossible sounding, but they do need to be significant. “Getting in shape” is a good goal but of course it depends on how out of shape the goal writer is as to how likely they are to quit. If someone needs to lose over fifty pounds to get into shape, the goal for the year should be twenty or something more realistic. If someone needs to lose over fifty pounds to get into shape the goal for the year should be twenty I believe. I don’t think New Year’s Goals should consume you or be painful. They should just push you a little to think forward about what is essential in your life that you need.

My Experience

I remember the first year that I wrote New Year’s Resolutions and took it very seriously. I think each goal was three lines long and had details of how it should be done. I hated my life and quit them all. Another year someone showed me how to choose five goals from the five areas of friends, fitness, finances, family, and faith. I found that goal setting year to be more enjoyable and most of my goals were simple one line goals. I probably accomplished most of them, or at least made huge strides in each area; I definitely made it halfway through the year working on these. I am a laid back person though and so this idea of making one goal fits for me because I like to be successful; one goal, no matter how difficult, is easy to stick with.

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Goal Ideas Continued

The person who is too intense and goal driven, who needs to read my article on workaholics, the goal for the year could be to slow down and smell the roses. If another person wants to learn to cook, their goal for the year could be not ordering pizza or takeout. If someone is new in a big city trying to get situated and make friends their goal could be to find a place to get plugged in, even if they have to try out a few first to get there. If your goal is in regards to exercise it could be to run once a week if you have never been a runner; this could even be a mile.

Simple Goals Are More Likely To Be Reached

I am not saying you should not make harder and more complicated goals than those I have listed as ideas, but these should only be chosen if they are something you have already been working on for a while. For example, if you are into exercise, but just want to bring it to a new level, I think it’s great to have a far-out goal. If you have already lost twenty pounds and want to make a goal of looking like a supermodel, go for it. The goals we burn out on and just have a lousy goal setting experience, are usually when we are obese and say we want to look like a supermodel in twelve months. No one in their right mind could keep that up without an unhealthy amount of frustration. Just like no one who is in a lot of debt should set the goal of being a millionaire in a year. That is just asking for a horrible year.

Tangible and simpler and easier goals make me happy; after a month working three to four jobs at a time to make money, it’s easy to burn out. A more doable goal is to eat out less and instead cut expenses so that your debt does not grow.

Kind Goals

I believe in being kind to yourself. Goals are not supposed to beat you up. They may make you have to be more disciplined for a time or be creative and make sacrifices, but they are not supposed to make your life a living hell. Maybe there’s a time and place for a more difficult goal in your life like getting out of debt, completely transforming your body or mastering a skill, but I don’t think these goals are a New Year’s Goal because they often take multiple years. You have to take baby steps instead of cramming lifelong changes into a single year.

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Grace Faison, M.S. Counseling
Grace Faison, M.S. Counseling

Grace has her Masters in counseling and has specialized in trauma therapy. She lives in Atlanta, GA and enjoys playing tennis. She pursues peace and enjoys helping others do so through Life Coaching and Counseling.

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