New Year’s Resolutions: How to Set Your Self Up for Success

Yes, it is that time when we begin to imagine and make a list of the things we hope to accomplish in the coming year, all while having that nagging feeling that whatever we choose has a good chance to end up on the flaming pile of previous resolution failures. The following are some ideas to help you set yourself up for success in the coming year.

1. Realistic Goals – Come on now, we all know couch to marathon is a possibility, but if you have never run and don’t like running, this may be an unrealistic goal. Now, to have a long term goal of running a marathon is appropriate, but a year may be a bit much. Set realistic objectives that you can meet on the way to your goal(s). If you don’t run, then start by setting the objective to walk three times a week. Then, add some jogging to finish off these walks. Then, stretch those jogs out for a mile or two. Finally, you may be able to sign up for that crazy 5K with the mud and silly people in the Autumn. If so, then perhaps your resolution for next year is to get to that 10K or half marathon. Goals are great, but they are made up of smaller parts. Focusing on these smaller parts/objectives will help an individual stay focused and increase the chances of success by achieving smaller victories along the way.

2. Change Your Point of View – We often set goals for ourselves, but put the blame or reason for failure on other people, places or things. Changing your point of view can dramatically alter how we define an event. Begin your resolutions by identifying what YOU will do to achieve YOUR resolution. Then, when met with a hiccup or stumbling block, work to identify how YOU will work through it. By focusing on YOUR role in the process, YOU can adjust to the external factors working against the goal. Life happens, chaos happens, but oftentimes we are the reason we stopped moving forward.

3. Admit That You Have Failed . . . Not That You are a Failure –By realizing that we fail quite a lot, we open ourselves up to the reality of goals and resolutions . . . They are hard to achieve! We truly fail when we begin to identify ourselves as “failures.” Admitting you have failed is not the definition of a failure, in fact it is usually the identifying feature of those whom we label as “successes.” Failure is oftentimes viewed as a choice and is usually identified by a decision to not put forth effort when able to do so. In order to avoid being a “failure,” one should only think about another word for success . . . triumph. Why you ask, well because you cannot create the word without your desire to “try” and a whole lot of “umph.” These two things will often increase your chances of success quite dramatically.

These are just a few ideas to put into place as you set those resolutions for the upcoming year. However, it is often the case that a little accountability and realistic goal setting can be an asset in the process.