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3 simple tips to make your new year's goals work

First of all, Happy New Year! I hope this year brings you lots of happiness and satisfaction.

In the beginning of the year, we are all enthusiastic about our new year goals and ambitions for the year.

Here are 3 common goal categories:

  • Health Goals - to exercise, eat healthy, stay fit.
  • Professional Goals - save money, or get a better job.
  • Wholesome life Goals - travel more, spend more time with family and friends.

On the one hand, setting goals is very useful; in fact, studies have shown that setting new year resolutions increases the chances of you achieving the same by 10 folds. It is indeed positive to set goals and have ambitions. However, on the other hand, according to U.S. News, around 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the 2nd week of February.

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Why is this statistical figure so miserable? How do you make sure you stick to your resolution?

For this article I've compiled the 3 very simple and actionable tips that will help you do just that!


NO. 1 Commit to things that YOU control

It's natural for us to wish for results that we dream about. Therefore, we often set the goals based around the results. For example, we may set a goal to earn a certain amount of money or to lose a certain amount of weight. However, the reality is that the final outcome is determined by many different factors, and not all of these factors are in your control.

Having goals that are outside of your full scope of control will actually make you feel less enthused and powerful. A better approach is to commit to something that you control fully. For example, instead of setting a goal to lose 20 pounds of weight you can set the goal to be exercise 3 times per week.

Another such example – instead of setting a goal to master a certain new skill, you can commit to a certain action that you can guarantee; for instance, you can commit to attending a certain class or allocating a certain amount of time per week for practicing the new skill.

Commit to things that YOU actually have a control on will make you will feel committed, powerful and inspired to stick to your resolution.


NO. 2 Incorporate your goals in your daily schedule.

Often times we set “good sounding” goals, but in reality, we seldom incorporate them in our busy lives. It is similar to the “good sounding” slogans used by the politician during election campaigns – they sound good, but seldom translate into action.

So, how can you turn the situation around for yourself?

Instead of setting “general sounding” goals such as ‘spending more time with friends and family,’ you can make it a lot more achievable by making it specific and measurable. For example, specifying the exact time you will be spending it, you will be able to incorporate your goal-oriented actions into your daily life.

For example, the internet marketer Gary V wanted to dedicate more time for this friends and family. Therefore, he made a daily routine to call to his relatives when he's in his car on the way to work.

Here's one more example, instead of setting a generic goal to “spend less money” or to “save more money,” you can think about the exact actions will be taking on a regular basis in order to achieve this goal. For instance, you may decide to reduce the number of times you eat outside and instead cook at home; for this, you can specify the maximum number of times you will allow yourself to eat outside. Such an approach will ensure that you consistently work on your resolutions from day one.


NO. 3 Commit to a fewer goals

Have you heard of Murphy's laws?

In contrast to popular positive psychology, these laws (in almost a humorous way) present how things actually work in reality.

Here are 2 Murphy's laws:

  • Nothing is as easy as it looks.
  • Everything takes longer than you think.

Researches about productivity and time management the above to statements. It was found that, on average, a task usually takes 2 times longer than what we expect when planning. In light of this, it's really funny to see people creating a long list of goals on top of their already busy schedule!

This is why 92% of the people fail to achieve their new year resolutions by the end of the year.

So how can you do it differently?

Instead of overloading yourself with too many goals that make you feel guilty (for not following through) and stressed out, it's a lot better to commit to fewer things and actually make them happen.

Imagine a magic genie pops out of the bottle and asks you, “what are your 3 wishes?”

So, what are the 3 things, if achieved, would have the greatest positive impact on your life and significantly improve your lifestyle and happiness?

Step 1 - Write them down.
Step 2 - Think about how can you incorporate them in your daily and weekly schedule.

This approach will ensure that you are a part of the 8% who live their dreams.


P.S. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and relatives. They too will benefit from it and be grateful to you.

Igor Smirnov

Igor Smirnov

Psychologist, blogger, chess Grandmaster, Internet entrepreneur. Follow Igor on Facebook

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