“New Year, new me.” I bet you’ve read this—or a variation of this—as a hashtag, caption, or meme more times than you can count in the past couple of days.
Commence eye roll.
While technically we don’t need a new year to bring positive changes into our lives, the idea of a fresh start with the New Year is so attractive that Forbes reported about 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.
How many people actually wind up following through with them is a different story altogether—research from the University of Scranton says just 8% of people do, while Business Insider reported 80% fail by FEBRUARY. Let that sink in.
While at times it may seem like the universe wants you to fail, it’s much better to use that feeling as motivation to fuel your own ambitions.
We often have more trouble holding ourselves accountable than the people around us, so how do we turn that around?
Don’t stress out, here we give you some tips:
- Start small. We try so hard to make several big life changes happen immediately and don’t realize that trying to juggle so much at once, makes us more vulnerable to dropping the ball. Start by setting smaller goals, or by taking small steps to achieve one big goal.
- Be specific when setting your goals. Instead of “exercise more,” create a weekly workout plan. Instead of “study harder,” plan out your study sessions. Create steps to the goals you’re trying to reach. Don’t just plan to do something, plan how you’re going to do it and set checkpoints for yourself.
- Talk about your goals—maybe even post them on social media or on a blog. Let others keep you accountable and vice versa. While none of us share an identical list of goals, if you compare resolutions, you may have more in common with your neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family than you think. Think about it: who wouldn’t want to save money, snag a promotion, earn a degree, or get started on building that summer beach body? Find people with common goals to cheer each other on, but also remember your own motivations to keep yourself going with or without them.
- This one is important: Write. Them. Down. Bullet Journals are a great way to get creative on paper, reflect, and visually see how your resolutions can get you back on track. For example, a log of debt along with a monthly payoff plan can show you the dent you’re making on those student loans and credit cards. According to psychologist and performance coach Elizabeth Ward, Ph.D., “People who write down their goals feel a greater sense of accountability and have a much higher chance of accomplishing them.”
- And finally, applaud your victories. You’re putting in hard work and deserve to be celebrated. Replacing bad habits with good ones is not an easy feat, so pat yourself on the back!
The bottom line is: Be the person your 10-year-old self would be proud of becoming and whatever happens, just keep swimming—your resolutions are definitely within your reach. (And seriously, invest in a bullet journal. Pinterest will tell you everything you need to know.)
Happy goal-setting and goal-reaching!
By Aura Altamiranda