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3 Things to Do RIGHT NOW Toward Your New Year’s Resolutions

In the thick of the holiday season, it’s easy to make promises to yourself about the New Year. In January, I’ll eat healthily / stop smoking / cut back on drinking / exercise regularly / start studying for that qualification …

Some experts might tell you to get started on your goals straight away (“there’s no time like the present!”) – but that’s not necessarily realistic advice. If you know that December is going to be hectic, you don’t want to set yourself up for failure.

So, instead of making a start on your big goal right now, here are three things you can do to make your New Year’s resolution much more likely to succeed.

#1: Decide What You Want to Accomplish

This might seem like a very basic step – but we don’t always follow it.

Rather than figuring out your goals on December 31st, start considering them now. Don’t pick too many things, either: one big goal or two – three smaller ones will be much more likely to succeed than a dozen self-improvement projects.

If you’re struggling to decide, write down all your possible goals and ask yourself which of these would make the biggest difference to my life?

#2: Ask for Gifts That Will Help

Once you’ve picked a goal (or a couple), you’ve almost certainly got a few potential items to put on your Christmas list.

For instance, if your goal is “lose 50lbs”, you might want:

  • Recipe books with healthy, low-fat meals
  • A subscription to a health/fitness magazine
  • Sports kit (comfy workout clothes, trainers)
  • Sports equipment (exercise machine) – or gym membership
  • Some yummy but healthy snacks

These gifts will help you to keep your goal in mind during Christmas. They can also be a good way to let friends and relatives know about your resolution: these people can keep you accountable and encourage you towards your goal.

#3: Pave the Way with Small Steps

You might not want to begin outright just yet, but you can still take some small steps towards your goal. For instance:

  • If you want to exercise more, check out local gyms during December (when things are quieter!) rather than in January.
  • If you want to get a new qualification or learn a new skill, look into courses and fees. If you want to start on a course in January, you may need to sign up several weeks before.
  • If you want to write a book, set aside a space in your home and get any necessary supplies (e.g. index cards for planning, a spare USB pen for backing up your work).

 

Right now, you can gather information, look into different options and decide how best to move forward. Don’t wait until January – otherwise you might end up dithering for weeks, without starting on your goal.

Depending on your resolution, you might need to avoid backsliding before January 1st. If you want to lose weight next year, for instance, it’s clearly not a great idea to gorge during December: finding that you need to lose 60lbs not 50lbs isn’t going to make for a good start to January!

 

All of these steps are simple and don’t need to take up much time – but they could make the difference between success and failure next year. Which of them could you do today?

If you’ve got another tip to add to this list, let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

  • http://thelast3reps.com/ Brandon

    number 3 is so crucial to remember. 

    all accomplishments are done by visualizing the process, the incremental steps it takes to achieve that certain goal. 

    always focusing on the outcome leads to burnout and usually is what leads to people losing sight of the new years resolutions within 6 months or so. 

    I’m in no way an exception to that point. 

    thanks for this post Ali…needed it

  • http://www.yousaytoo.com/ Blogger

    I really like #2. Sometimes it is hard to reach your goal without the things you need. My goal for 2012 is to being blogging for money. In order to do this, I asked for books on blogging for Christmas. The best part was that I convinced them to take a trip with me to Europe so I can blog the whole vacation!

  • http://educationalperformancetours.org/destination-los-angeles-california/ Band Trip

    This is great advice! My resolution is to travel to LA for a band trip during the summer. In order to do this, I have to raise a certain amount of money so I’ve asked for the money to build a website that will raise the money for me!

  • Carissa Lucas

    Great tips! These are all so important! I also find that it’s important to set clear goals or intentions. Instead of saying something like, “Lose weight,” it’s important to narrow it down to “lost 15 lbs.”

    The more specific, the better!
    http://www.effectiveedge.com

  • Ed McBeth

    Hold onto your shorts because here are the statistics based on research…

    92% of Americans don’t achieve their New Year’s Resolutions!   YIKES…..makes me wonder if its worth even trying.

    But wait there’s more…..those who reach their goals are NO happier than those that don’t.

    The most common goals are;   weight loss, money and career.

    Researchers also tell us that what makes us happiest are experiences and not things.   So I have an idea.  

    Instead of trying to sell 10,000 copies of my book or make a million….  my resolution is to increase the fun that my clients, readers and I have.   How can I lose?    I’m going to be a winner no matter what and so will my readers and clients.  

    Here are some more ideas under consideration;

    1.  Spend more quality time with my friends and family
    2.  Take more vacation time
    3.  Increase my proficiency in spanish
    4.  Spend more time in nature

    well you get the idea, I’m going to set myself up so that I can’t be one of the 92% that fail. 

  • http://meanttobehappy.com/ Ken Wert

    What a great and timely addition to goal setting: to ask Santa for gifts that will help us get to those New Year resolutions! You mean I shouldn’t ask Santa for a super-sized bucket of Almond Roca this year?

    It’s true, though. The more of our lives that are lined up with our goals, the more likely our goals will be kept.

    Thanks for the insight!

  • http://www.pristineperception.com/ Suzanne

     As a Hypnotherapist, a great tip to remember is 5 seconds before you are about to fall asleep and  first thing as you awake is a very suggestible time to set intentions.Make them in the present, positive and with emotion. Also to lose weight for ex. declare You have released the weight, as the subconscious takes things literally and when it loses something, tries to find it again…hence weight gain.

  • http://www.peppervirtualassistant.com/ Agatha Tefora

    I did not think of asking gifts that can help me reach my goal. Instead, I asked for gifts I wanted to have because I just wanted to have. I hope I’m not too late to change my wish list. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  • Chrissy

    I have been having much better luck choosing mini goals for each month. eg getting up earlier, exercising, cleaning a particular area each day.it is much easier to build up from smaller things that have just become good habits. This month I an making sure I take my contact lenses out earlier, and making sure my kitchen is clean each night. My eyes are much less tired and I get a jump start on my day now! Next month is taking a short walk every day and eating an extra serving of veggies each day.

  • Chrissy

    I have been having much better luck choosing mini goals for each month. eg getting up earlier, exercising, cleaning a particular area each day.it is much easier to build up from smaller things that have just become good habits. This month I an making sure I take my contact lenses out earlier, and making sure my kitchen is clean each night. My eyes are much less tired and I get a jump start on my day now! Next month is taking a short walk every day and eating an extra serving of veggies each day.

  • Chrissy

    I have been having much better luck choosing mini goals for each month. eg getting up earlier, exercising, cleaning a particular area each day.it is much easier to build up from smaller things that have just become good habits. This month I an making sure I take my contact lenses out earlier, and making sure my kitchen is clean each night. My eyes are much less tired and I get a jump start on my day now! Next month is taking a short walk every day and eating an extra serving of veggies each day.

  • Pingback: Small Changes Will Boost The Success Of Your New Year’s Resolutions | Lifehacker Australia

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