The New Year offers a blank slate — an opportunity to get things right. When we set New Year’s resolutions, we are utilizing a very important concept called self-efficacy, which means that by virtue of aspiring to a goal and following through on it, I have a sense of control over what’s happening in my life.

However most mistakes are made when the goals or resolutions are set high with ambiguity that easily impedes the course of achieving our goals

1. Pick something you actually want to do

How many times have you resolved to lose weight, save money, or eat better? Instead of selecting resolutions you think others like to hear, pick something genuinely important to you.

Below are a few considerations to make resolutions you’ll keep:

    Will a new meditation regimen be more meaningful to you than a new gym membership?

    Will you be happier giving something up?

    Will giving back to your community by volunteering mean a lot to you?

Resolve to do things that are both meaningful and personal.

2. Be specific in your resolutions

Making a New Year’s resolution is merely setting a goal. Be very specific about what you want to do to increase your chances of measurable success.

Instead of “I’ll eat healthier,” which isn’t specific, try “I’ll cook an average of 3 healthy recipes a week between January and March.” Being specific forces you to think about the how not just the what—and increases your chances of sticking to your goals.

3. Break down your resolutions to smaller, more achievable goals

A great way to stick to your New Year’s resolution is to break it down into smaller steps. Instead of planning to lose 20 kg, instead try to lose 4 kg a month.

If you’re hoping to save money, revisit your budget and alter your daily routine with tasks that will help you achieve that goal. Try bringing lunch from home, carpooling to work, or focusing your free time on inexpensive hobbies and social activities. It’s easier to reach these smaller benchmarks on an ongoing basis, which adds up to something more significant in the long run.

4. Stay the course

Find ways to remind yourself of your goals any chance you get. Write your resolution on sticky notes and hang them where you’ll see it most often — mirrors, doors, inside the fridge. Consider sharing your resolutions with others to find an accountability partner — this way, you can tackle similar goals with a buddy.

5. Don’t punish yourself for setbacks

Don’t fall off track if you’re unable to meet smaller, daily goals once in a while. If you oversleep one day and miss a workout, don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t give up. Enjoy the extra rest — then work extra hard the next morning to get your workout in. And, if you succeed in sticking to your routine schedule for an entire week, reward yourself. Even something as small as buying a coffee can be the perfect way to reflect on your success and celebrate hard work.

6. Stay inspired

A final tip on how to keep your New Year’s resolution: remind yourself of the bigger picture. Making a lifestyle change can be difficult, so seek out ideas and advice from others who have successfully reached similar goals. Books, films, online forums, and like-minded friends or coworkers can spark the motivation you’ll need to keep yourself on track.

Set yourself up for success this year by choosing meaningful, actionable goals that will improve your overall well-being. Stay committed to smaller, attainable benchmarks throughout the year to bring about real change in your life.

By Rodgers Oduor

December 29, 2022

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