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How to make resolutions that you can keep

new-year-resolutions

It is that time of the year again when you look back in the year and it hits you that you haven’t achieved what you set out to do in 2014. Heck, you don’t even remember the resolutions you made. It has become an annual routine: You resolve to start exercising, read more books, work harder, be more spiritual or spend quality time with family and friends, but you quickly go back to your previous year routine that you are aiming to escape from. Many have resolved not to make new year resolutions as a result of broken resolutions.

Here are five tips you can try this year to turn around your poor resolution-keeping track record:

1. Be SMART

The long held SMART principle of goal-setting holds true to resolution making. If you are looking to make 2015 resolutions work for you, make sure they are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. Lets say you want to start reading more and widely. You want to be specific about which books or material you want to focus on. Start with reading material that actually interests you, a book every month, and determine how many pages or chapters you need to read everyday to achieve your target. The more details you have on your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.

2. Get a Performance Partner

Once you have written (emphasis on written) your resolutions, share the list with a sibling, better half or your pal to keep you accountable. It will be better to get someone who is also aiming to achieve something in the coming year so that you keep each other on toes. You can set specific dates where you meet to track the progress of the achievable goals. An effective performance partner will call you out if you are slacking or giving up on your goals.

3. Price to Pay

If you skip a month in your money-saving goal, no lunch for you the next two weeks. In other words, put in place the cost of not following through with your resolutions. There will be times when you will not be motivated enough to action on a goal (like morning run), but the cost of not doing it just pushes you out of the bed to the road.

4. Start small, grow daily

Looking to cut your junk intake? Sudden withdrawal of your usual diet of chips, burgers, soda, ice-cream, cake, chocolate won’t cut it, especially coming from a festive season. It is better to cut back slowly and track your progress with time. You will find it hard to run 10KM if you haven’t been running at all.

5. Don’t give up

You have fallen off the track a few times, so what? Pick yourself up and get going. If there is an area where most people fail to achieve their goals, its in the ‘never giving up’ zone. Getting desired results will push you to the limits and some sacrifices have to be made. You haven’t really failed until you give up.

All the best as you plan for 2015!

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