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An Effective Way to Make New Year Resolutions Stick

An Effective Way to Make New Year Resolutions Stick

This is it! I will definitely lose weight and get fit this year! I will quit smoking, drink less and I will save a lot of money!

Sounds familiar? I bet it does. 

For many people in the world, January means a fresh start to make new opportunities and create new beginnings. We forge a new path and change the things that didn’t work and we list down our shining, shimmering, splendid New Year’s Resolutions!

But let’s be honest, who among us really follows their New Year’s resolutions to the letter and feels super accomplished by the end of the year?

My psychic power tells me that only about 8% of those who made resolutions last year attained their goals by December 31 while the rest of the world failed and felt lazy not even halfway through.

So why do we create a list of New Year’s resolutions only to end up not doing them in the first place? What seems to be the problem? How can we improve this?

The Problems

Based on my personal observation, here are some factors that are considered “problems” when making your promises to yourself at the start of the year.

Nonrealistic New Year’s Resolutions

Aiming to save up Php 10 million in cash when your income can’t even support Php 20,000 of your monthly expenses is not a goal but a delusion!

Having Too Many Plans

So, you’ve written out this massive long list of things you want to do that you ended up having a full plate and you've got no room to breathe! Good luck, my friend!

Lack of Commitment

You can create all the goals you have in the world, but if you lack the commitment to see it through, hey, I've got news for you… you've just earned a free ticket to FAILURE-la-land!

The Solutions

Sharing those problems might sound like I'm shoving my opinions down your throat but hear me out, my friend. That's not my purpose. I just wanted to lay the issues on the table so we can get them out of our way. Let’s look at the solutions to those problems! Shall we?

As freelancers, we don’t have a specific schedule every day that we end up becoming nonrealistic with our to-do lists. Hence, for the sake of completing our freelance projects, following a process is no longer optional but necessary!

We plan. We strategize. We execute. We assess.

Similarly, following a method in creating resolutions would be a good idea.

To make your goals as realistic as possible. I recommend following the most well-known goal-setting technique, the S.M.A.R.T. method which has the following variations:

S – Specific, Simple, Sensible, Stretching
M – Measurable, Manageable, Meaningful, Motivational
A – Agreed upon, Achievable, Attainable, Ambitious
R – Realistic, Relevant, Recorded, Rewarding
T – Time-based, Trackable, Timely, Tangible

In order for you to realize your goals with ease, create resolutions that are:

SPECIFIC – your plans must be well defined that they would be clear to anyone. Ask yourself “what exactly do I want to achieve?”

MEASURABLE – make it quantifiable which means you must know how far the completion is and how do you know you’ve achieved it.

AGREED UPON – Involve your friends and/or family so you’ll be held accountable for the actions you need to take.

REALISTIC – ensure that you work within the availability of your resources, skills, talent and time.

TIME-BASED – check whether you have enough or too much time to accomplish them. Give yourself a deadline.

Here's an example you can gain inspiration from:

Goal: I want to save money. 

This a good start. But, we need to tweak this further to make it a SMART goal.

Now here’s a modified version:

SMART Goal: I want to save up a total of Php50,000 for our “family vacation fund” within the next 12 months.

Now let’s examine if this has followed the SMART methodology:

You want to save up Php50,000 – SPECIFIC & MEASURABLE ✓

Assuming that you are financially capable of meeting the amount, then this would definitely be possible for you. ATTAINABLE ✓

Check if this goal is something important to you on a personal level. In this case, it’s for your family vacation fund. If you love your family, then it's RELEVANT ✓

Lastly, by setting a timeframe of 12 months, you’re now aware of how much you need to save each month. – TIME-BASED ✓

Did you see the huge difference? I'm sure you did. ?

Let's move on to the second problem we mentioned earlier, having too many on the list. Instead of having way too many New Year’s Resolutions in 2019, why not stick to 3 or even less?

As for me, my goal for last year was to have 8 clients by June 2018. And that's it! That was my one and only goal. And boy did I hustle just to achieve that!

By having that one single target, I was able to achieve that number way before the stated month and, to my surprise, I even exceeded the number of clients I wanted to gain!

So what’s my point here?

My point is that since I only had 1 objective in mind, I was deeply focused and was able to concentrate all of my efforts towards achieving it. 

The lesser goals you have, the sooner you can complete it, As a result, you’ll have the option to create another list of 3s or less if you wish to do so. 

While the above tips would help you stick to your resolutions, they’re not enough. In order to be successful, you must use a not so secret ingredient called “UNSHAKEABLE COMMITMENT”

After writing down your goals for the year, you must take ownership and give your 100% effort. Otherwise, you will fail or at the very least you’ll receive mediocre results.

What I have found to be effective is by having an accountability buddy or even more than one. Remember the “A” from the SMART method? A stands for “Agreed Upon” which means to involve your family or friends.

This is where it comes in. When you set out goals for yourself, you should have someone or a group of people who are willing to check your progress. Ideally but not necessarily, they should have the same goals as yours so that you can do it together. This way, you’d feel more inclined to stick to your commitment plan because you’re surrounded by people who will encourage, support and kick your butt to take action once you feel like quitting.

What's Your Goal or New Year's resolution this year?

Now that you’ve seen an effective way of making your New Year’s Resolutions stick, comment below what your personal targets are for 2019 and let’s be accountable for each other’s goals!

” This cannot be the year of talking. Of wishing. Of wanting. This has to be the year, you get it done!”

– Eric Thomas

2 thoughts on “An Effective Way to Make New Year Resolutions Stick

  1. 1 full time and part time client
    200k savings from my freelancer salary
    I want to learn more about amazon, to land job from amazon.

    1. Hi Beth, nice to see your NYRs here. Quick question, so I can hold you accountable for your NYRs, what’s the timeline for each of these goals? Eg. When do you intend to learn more about Amazon and how long do you think the learning will take before you land a job from Amazon? etc.

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