How many times did you achieve all the goals on your New Year’s resolutions list? Yeah, I know, tough question. 2014 has finally arrived and it’s that time when many of us get started on our nice fresh list of New Year’s resolutions! Every year, I too make a list for myself and my family of all the things I’d like to accomplish the upcoming year. Rarely, however, do we actually look back on the year that passed to see how many of the previous year’s resolutions were actually achieved. Most people actively try their best to reach their newly set goals in the first couple of months, but enthusiasm soon fades and the New Year’s resolutions become forgotten or abandoned.
To avoid burning out or simply forgetting about my goals, here’s what I will do this year to keep myself and my family on track:
1. Set realistic goals.
It’s important to recognize that some resolutions may be more challenging and time consuming than others. For instance, if you’re expecting to learn a new language and become fluent in a year, you’re likely setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, I try to come up with realistic goals, like learning how to introduce myself and be able to have basic conversations in the new language. If you just had a baby and your resolution is to get back to your “pre-baby” figure in a couple of months, keep in mind that it will be tough. Not impossible, but tough. It took me over year to get back to my pre-baby weight. For some of you it will be faster, for others it will be longer. Just set a goal that’s right for you.
2. Take note of the resolutions.
Every year, I write down my resolutions in the same place. It allows me to keep a history log that I can review to compare how I have progressed over the year, or even from year to year. That way, I am able to build on my resolutions and achieve longer terms goals, like my goal of becoming fluent in a new language. I also use the log throughout the year to remind myself of what I had set out to do and to note down my accomplishments. Yes, it feels good to check things off the New Year’s resolutions list 🙂
3. Break big tasks into smaller ones.
Even realistic goals may seem big and overwhelming; breaking them down into even smaller more attainable actions makes the task seem more doable. Depending on what I hope to achieve, whether it’s an ongoing habit I’d like to change or a one-time trip somewhere with the family I’d like to happen, I try to break it down into smaller actionable items. Instead of noting down “take a one week family vacation in France,” I write “find a week for vacation”, “save $5,000,” “plan our week in France,” etc.
4. Schedule it in the calendar.
Do it. Seriously. I know it sounds silly but life as a parent is rather hectic, so if I don’t actually write down the task in the calendar, I might never get to it. So I schedule in all the things I’d like to do and accomplish. It also takes time to change a habit, so consistently reminding myself of it using a calendar really helps.
5. Use an app.
This year I decided to try using an app to help me keep my resolutions. Here are a few top rated apps to keep you on track that you might want to explore:
- iPro Habit Tracker – allows you to follow progress on establishing a new habit or getting rid of an old one.
- Goal Tracker – allows you to keep your resolutions by setting goals for the upcoming week, month or even a longer period.
- Any.do – makes sure you write down your tasks and complete them.
- Way of Life – is a habit maker and breaker. It helps you cease unhealthy habits like eating too much junk, not sleeping enough, or not exercising while helping you develop other healthy ones.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If so, how do you keep yourself on track and make sure you keep them?