Plan for a Successful Year Ahead: How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

Plan for a Successful Year Ahead: How to Keep New Year's Resolutions

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The Best Version of Yourself Is Waiting in 2017

As the year draws to a close, a myriad of emotions often swirl in our heads. We look back on the good and bad parts of our year, appreciating all the experiences and thinking of what we could have done differently.

We also look to the future, full of both hope and uncertainty for what the new year will bring. Resolutions are made concerning food, fitness, health, spirituality and more as we try to maintain some manner of control over our lives.

When it comes to the actual planning part, ensuring resolutions stick, bad habits are broken, and goals are met, it can seem difficult to know where to start. Making a fresh start in the new year doesn’t have to feel like pulling teeth as long as you take things step by step, day by day, committing to the end result.

Reviewing the Past Year

Before you can look ahead, it’s important to review where you’ve been and all that you accomplished or didn’t accomplish in the past year. If you made resolutions or had an action plan last year, go over it now and note how far you came.

Did you keep your resolutions or fall off somewhere during the middle of the year? What about habits? Were you successful in quitting smoking or eliminating sugar from your diet?

If you weren’t able to keep up the momentum for the entire year, ask yourself why. Did other things become more of a priority? Couldn’t find the time? You didn’t truly believe it was possible?

Being honest with yourself opens you up to accepting the self-imposed limitations you’ve put in place and allows you to work toward breaking them down.

Reevaluate Your Environment

Sometimes we’re more influenced by our environment then we think. Both the people we surround ourselves with and the situations we place ourselves in have a huge impact on our success or failure when it comes to making a change and sticking with it.

Think about the people closest to you and their habits or dispositions. Are they shining examples of your own potential success?

Have they conquered their bad habits and replaced them with new ones that help, not hurt, them? Or are they stuck in a loop of negativity and defeat, dragging you down with them?

If the people and situations you’ve associated yourself with aren’t aligning with the habits you want to drop and the person you want to become, it’s time to reevaluate. Spend time with like minded people who support your goals and take part in activities and work that encourage your growth.

Setting New Goals

Even if you met all your goals from this last year, don’t stop there! With a new year comes new goals, hopes and aspirations. Setting new goals ensures you continue on the right track to accomplish everything you’ve ever wanted.

The best way to stay on track to meet a goal or resolution is by picking one area of your life to focus on. Are you determined to lose weight and stay fit in the new year? Then stick with health and fitness goals.

Do you want to work fewer hours and become your own boss? Choose to focus on work goals.

Once you know what to focus on you can write down specific goals and begin to take baby steps toward achieving them.

Aside from recognizing specific things you need to do, take note of how you want to feel as well. That way, as you go along during the year, if you find yourself in situations that aren’t making you feel how you want to feel when that goal is in sight, reevaluate the situation and adjust as necessary.

Creating a Habit Plan

Maintaining good habits will help you on your way to success in the new year. If there are specific things you’re doing that are preventing you from achieving your goals and sticking to your resolutions, become aware of them right away.

When you look at your bad habits dead on, you’ll begin to notice them more and adjust your thinking to counter them.

Take smoking for example. If you want to focus on health and fitness goals for the new year, smoking is most certainly getting in your way. In order to accomplish your goal of running a 10 km race or lowering your blood pressure, you first have to address the bad habit that’s preventing it from becoming a reality.

Aside from something as glaringly obvious as smoking, there may be other bad habits you’re unaware of or that you haven’t taken seriously until now. Perhaps you procrastinate, lack discipline, or haven’t really had a plan before.

If you’re serious about breaking bad habits and achieving your goals, create a realistic plan of action to get things done. Break down every goal into smaller ones that will help you reach the larger one.

It’s not necessary to track every bit of progress you make, but do pay attention to the milestone achievements.

Get Things Done

Once you have your plan in place, begin to take action, rewarding yourself as you go along and surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people. Join a running club to keep you on track.

Quit smoking with a friend. Take a yoga class. Find someone who will keep you accountable and return the favor however you can.

Although goals often feel somewhere out in the future, try not to get ahead of yourself. Remember to focus on the here and work on yourself in the moment.

Really, that’s all we have as the past is gone and the future is yet to come.

Resources

A Life of Productivity (4 More Things to Include in Your Plan)

New Year’s Resolution Action Plan)

Lifehack (7 Steps for Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It)