New Year, New You?

It’s a new year, & not only a new year, but a new decade too! What about a new “you”? If you said it, “new year, new me,” we want to encourage you with helpful tips to achieve your goals this year… & hey, why not this decade too!

First, it’s important to acknowledge that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, with 22% of Americans admitting that their 2019 resolutions were the same as their 2018 goals. Ouch. We are not trying to discourage you with this statistic, but realizing it’s a fact, you must plan to succeed & make this year different! Whether your resolution was focused on health, wealth, or happiness, it needs to be a smart goal. What we mean by that is that it is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.

Let’s break it down to be sure you are on track for success. Below are a few questions from the basic categories that most resolutions stem from. Answer these questions to help you simplify your resolution & make it SMART!

Health-Related Resolutions:

  • SPECIFIC: Do you want to lose weight, take better care of yourself, or improve a health-related area of concern?
  • MEASURABLE: If you want to lose weight, how many pounds do you want to lose? If you’re going to take better care of yourself, what are some ways you will notice a difference? (I.E., number hours of sleep per night, less alcoholic beverages, healthier meals, etc.) If you want to improve a health related-area of concern, what is a healthy level or range, etc. that will confirm you have improved? (I.E., lower blood sugar or cholesterol levels)
  • ACHIEVABLE: This is one of the most critical aspects of ensuring you are setting yourself up for success. Make sure whatever your resolution is – it is something that is logically possible. For health-related goals, we suggest speaking with your doctor or wellness advisor to help set your intention to an achievable level.
  • RELEVANT: Is this the right time to implement this resolution? While most health-related goals are ultimately priority… if you are a student in nursing school, for example, getting 8-hours of sleep every night might not be the best resolution for you at this time. A couple of hours of sleep might be the sacrifice you are making to succeed in nursing school. Make sense?
  • TIME-BOUND: Obviously, you are hoping to succeed at your resolution over the year. This is so important to acknowledge because many people expect to “succeed” when they are only a few days in, which is why they give up! The point is you have the entire year to reach your goal’s measure! If you have multiple health-focused resolutions, you may want to break them up into micro-goals & set corresponding time frames, such as quarterly, so over the year, you can achieve your overall resolutions.

Money-Related Resolutions:

  • SPECIFIC: Are you looking to eliminate debt, save money, or increase your income?
  • MEASURABLE: If you want to eliminate debt, how much debt do you have & how much do you want to eliminate this year? If you want to save money, set a goal of how much you want to save over the year, & then break it up into daily, weekly, or quarterly goals to help make it easier to save over time. If you want to increase your income, how much more do you want to earn this year?
  • ACHIEVABLE: This is one of the most critical aspects of ensuring you are setting yourself up for success. Make sure whatever your resolution is – it is something that is logically possible — for money-related goals, being real with yourself based on your current income, necessary expenses, & overall budget. If this is where you struggle, it may be time to find someone to help! There are multiple resources available to help, so head on over to Google & find resources to help.
  • RELEVANT: Is your money-related resolution applicable in the current socio-economic environment? For example, if you want to save money, be sure that you are logically making enough to save; meaning you may need to focus on increasing your income before saving if you are living below your means & still barely breaking even.
  • TIME-BOUND: Obviously, you are hoping to succeed at your resolution over the year. This is so important to acknowledge because many people expect to “succeed” when they are only a few days in, which is why they give up! The point is you have the entire year to reach your goal’s measure! With money, break your goals down – daily, weekly, monthly, &/or quarterly so you can stay on track.

Happiness-Related Resolutions:

  • SPECIFIC: What do you feel would make you happier? Possibly traveling, reading more, being outdoors, volunteering, etc.?
  • MEASURABLE: If traveling is the key to your happiness, set a number of trips you would like to take this year. Reading = how many books? Outdoors… maybe make a goal for 1-2 hours per day or a weekend outdoor activity. If volunteering makes your “clock tick,” set a number of hours (or organizations) each month/quarter that you would like to volunteer.
  • ACHIEVABLE: This is one of the most critical aspects of ensuring you are setting yourself up for success. Make sure whatever your resolution is – it is something that is logically possible. Happiness resolutions need to be able to fit within your income & schedule. This will mean you need to prioritize this over that, so you may need to re-work your budget or calendar if you want to succeed.
  • RELEVANT: For happiness-related goals, ask yourself, “Am I the right person to reach this goal?” “Is now the right time?” Obviously, if you just, for instance, had a baby, traveling more may not be a feasible goal for this year, or if you suffer severe outdoor allergies, you may want to re-think spending a significant amount of time outdoors this year.
  • TIME-BOUND: Obviously, you are hoping to succeed at your resolution over the year. This is so important to acknowledge because many people expect to “succeed” when they are only a few days in, which is why they give up! The point is you have the entire year to reach your goal’s measure!

Last, but not least… you GOT THIS! Don’t get discouraged & quit or even worse, not begin! Just think, a year from now you’ll wish you had started today, & by starting today, just think where you will be this time next year! Remember… iCan!


References:

Kiernan, J. S. (2019, December 10). 50 New Year’s Facts – Traditions, Spending & More. Retrieved December 30, 2019, from https://wallethub.com/blog/new-year-facts/29706/.
Michele, RaajSoni, Mind Tools Content Team, Mind Tools Content Team, & Mind Tools Content Team. (n.d.). SMART Goals: – How to Make Your Goals Achievable. Retrieved January 5, 2020, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm.