How to Actually Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Pick a goal (or goals) that really matters to you.

All of us want to look better, make more money and generally improve our lives. However, there’s a difference between a desire and a deep-rooted yearning for something in our lives. Your New Year’s Resolution should be something that you really want, to the point where you’re willing to devote yourself to whatever it takes to bring it to fruition.

  • Declutter my life
  • Lose weight
  • Eat better
  • Get back into shape
  • Get my writing mojo back
  • Disconnect more often
  • Start writing my next book
  • Get healthy
  • Write for myself more
  • Declutter my life

Refine your goals into something clear and actionable.

“Get healthy,” “write for myself,” and “declutter my life” all sound like great goals, but what do they really mean? Take away the abstract nature of your goals by narrowing them down into a clear objective you can put into action.

  • Get healthy: lose 20lbs and get into shape through exercise and adopting healthier eating habits
  • Start writing for myself more: blog and journal regularly about life and things that matter to me until the desire to write returns
  • Declutter my life: go through my belongings one room at a time and donate unnecessary items to goodwill, and cut back on how much I take on at once.

Make a step-by-step plan that will guide you from start to finish.

You want to set SMART goals. You’ve likely heard of this acronym before. It stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timebound
  • Download the Couchto5K app’s 8-week training program (Specific, Measurable and Relevant)
  • Research tips and advice for training to run a 5k
  • Purchase running shoes and clothes suited for the exercise
  • Create a meal plan, complete with recipes, shopping lists and when/how to prep
  • Put training days and meal planning tasks in calendar
  • Create a high-energy running playlist
  • Research and sign up for a 5k three months down the road — the extra five weeks leaves wiggle room for setbacks like shin splints, busy weeks, etc! (Achievable and Timebound)
  • Get started!

Set a practical deadline.

As I noted in the second-to-last bullet, it’s important to plan for the unexpected. Be practical about your deadline and make sure you create enough flexibility to ensure you succeed, even if there are setbacks.

Be kind to yourself as you work toward your goal.

Last but certainly not least: be kind to yourself as you work toward your goals. Don’t set the bar too high only to scold yourself when things don’t go as planned.



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Elizabeth Carlton

Elizabeth Carlton

Consumers, Culture, and Marketing Research Writer | Fiction Author | SEO Copywriter |