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How to Make Smart and Realistic New Year Resolutions

by Roveen Anyango
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The turn of the year is often a time that brings newer and higher expectations to us, both from ourselves and others.

These higher expectations will often be the guide to us making New Year resolutions. Yet, as studies have shown, about 8 of every 10 New Year resolutions fail. Why is that?

Well, often, the resolutions are unrealistic, almost as though the flip of the calendar flips a switch, which it doesn’t. Below, we look at ways to make new year resolutions more realistic and achievable.

Pick one goal at a time

We often want to change several things at once and this can be overwhelming, especially when you come to the realization that you need to actually put in the effort to achieve these things.

So, rather than trying to change many things at once, when making your new year resolution, choose one goal at a time. This allows you to lay down concrete plans on how you will achieve that goal, making you more likely to stick to it.

Make small changes

The New Year, unfortunately, will often not necessarily mean that we will suddenly be filled with inspiration to do big changes that we have often wanted to do. Even if the inspiration strikes, chances are it will last for a few weeks, maybe months, and you are back to default settings.

So, rather than focusing on large changes, how about beginning with small changes.

For example, if your desire is to lose weight over the new year, how about beginning by resolving to walk more first. Walking is a small change that will introduce physical exercise into your routine, which can then transition into joining the gym rather easily later on in the year if that’s what you want.

Anticipate problems

When making new year resolutions, we are often too excited by the prospects that we forget reality still carries over to the new year.

So, to ensure that you stick to your new year resolutions, anticipate problems that could stop you from achieving your goals in the new year. If possible, write down problems that you could face alongside your goals. Doing this helps you plan ahead and will keep you going once the problems inevitably crop up.

Pick a start date

You don’t need to start pursuing all our goals in January. So, rather than rushing to start your goals as soon as the year starts, settle on a date where you will be well-rested, calmer, and less anxious to begin your goal pursuit.

Remember, beginning your goal in September when you are well prepared to face it is much better than rushing to begin it in January and losing steam a few weeks later.

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