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Connections - Wellness Blog

New year’s resolutions and how to keep them

Posted by Theresa Wanninger | Posted on December 24, 2018 | See all Connections posts | Latest Wellness Blog posts

Finals are over, and we are all trying to figure out what to do on New Year’s Eve. 2018 is almost over and I feel ready for the new year, new challenges, new beginnings, and new resolutions.

It is sad, but not surprising that most people don’t even expect to reach their New Year’s resolutions. It has become such a habit to set yourself a goal for the next year, try to implement changes over the first three weeks or so, and then fall back into your same old routine. By the end of March people barely remember what their resolutions were in the first place. The three most common resolutions are: exercise more, love weight, and eat healthier. Eight of the ten most common goals center around physical and mental well being, but people fail to work on their New Year’s resolutions long-term.

I too set myself goals without having an action plan in place. This year I am trying to set myself SMART goals and if you have taken any sort of management classes you will have heard about this method before. To reach your goals you want to ensure that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. People who set themselves smart goals experience less anxiety, more confidence, improved concentration, and greater satisfaction. So how do I make my New Year’s Resolutions achievable? I am going to make myself an action plan and invite you to do the same.

To stay organized, I a use a weekly planner that I always carry with me. I like to keep my to do lists and appointments in one place to have a tangible overview of my days. My New Year’s resolutions will go into my calendar and I will set up a weekly reminder at the beginning of the year, so I won’t forget about keeping track of my goals. I highly recommend keeping track in some way or another. If a weekly planner doesn’t work for you, use your phone, a poster on the fridge, or a note pad on your desk – make sure you will frequently see your goals. I find motivational quotes in my calendar are a great positive push if I am feeling lazy. Make a collection of your favorite quotes on Pinterest and print them out, it will add colour and positivity to your goal tracker.

Now actually start setting SMART goals is the tricky part. I know that I want to read more, exercise regularly, eat healthy, reduce sugar, and meditate. Setting a specific goal can be hard because I need to stay realistic and think about which changes or action plans I can implement in my life. Below are some examples on how my goals for 2019 could look like.

Is it specific?

  • Bad goal: I want to reduce sugar
  • Good goal: I will reduce my treats to a piece of dark chocolate per day during the week and one dessert on the weekend

Can it be measured?

  • Bad goal: I want to exercise regularly
  • Good goal: I will go to yoga 2 classes a week

Is it achievable?

  • Bad goal: I want to meditate
  • Good goal: I will use my calm app for 10 minutes a day (on days I don’t go to yoga)

Is it realistic?

  • Bad goal: I want to read more
  • Good goal: I am going to read one new book a month

Is it time-bound?

  • Bad goal: I want to eat healthy
  • Good goal: I will eat

This exercise was very helpful to me and I will do this again before the New Year to set my goals for 2019. I hope this motivated you to make your New Year’s Resolutions come true. If you have any other tips and tricks around how to achieve your resolutions, contact me.

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