Step-by-Step Guide on How to Set New Year Intentions (Goals) that You Will Actually Stick To
A new year is upon us, which means it’s time to reflect on the past year and bid the last 12 months adieu. With 2019 comes the promise of a fresh start whether it be personal or professional. But, how many of us get really excited for a new year and set lofty goals only for them to fall by the wayside by mid-January? Setting new year resolutions has been a long time tradition but statistics show that only about 10% of people actually stick to their new year resolutions past the month of January - that’s pretty low, but we can change that.
I am a huge proponent of self improvement and and an even bigger proponent of setting goals that are actually measurable and attainable. So how exactly do you set intentions that you will actually stick to? Be SMART about it.
Before you set a goal, first figure out your “why.” By figuring out and articulating the reason you want to achieve something you are more likely to remain motivated to stick to it, rather than it being something you think you should do.
S - Small and Specific: Break your goals into smaller, more specific ones. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier in 2019, be more specific by making it about adding 1 fresh fruit or vegetable and a bottle of water per day for the month of January.
M - Measurable : All your goals must be measurable, that means you should be able to describe the physical manifestation of the outcome of your goal. Example, losing 2lbs per week by adding one fruit or vegetable and a bottle of water to our diet each day.
A - Attainable and Accountability: Is your goal attainable? Can you realistically achieve your goal? Another great way to stay on track is to find someone you trust to keep you accountable. Example, someone who will check in to make sure you had your fruit/vegetable each day or someone who will ensure you meal prep.
R - Relevant and Realistic: Is this goal relevant to you or even realistic? Ensure you’re not setting a goal that you really don’t care about and hence not realistic. Example, I dislike running. If i make it a goal of mine to incorporate running 1 mile/day I know I will fail. Instead, I ensure I get my cardio in by getting on the elliptical or bike each day.
T - Timely: Make a tentative plan for everything you do. Don’t just make it a goal to exercise once per day. You know your schedule, you know if you’re a morning or late night person. Instead of saying you will work out once per day, say you will work out at 5:30 each morning for 1 hour before work/school.
In all of this, a sure way to make things happen is to write it down. It sounds strange, but there is enormous power in putting things down on paper, and according to research you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams when it’s written.
Bonus: Be your own D**n Cheerleader and eliminate self doubt. Figure out what keeps you motivated and inspired. I love quotes! I keep them everywhere - my phone’s wallpaper, sticky notes around the house, on my desk at work, I listen to music, books and podcasts that are uplifting. I tolerate no negativity and try to stay away from it at all costs.
Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish. By breaking down your goals into bite-sized, manageable actions and writing them down,setting goals and intentions for the new year that you can actually stick to becomes a much easier process. Happy New Year!