For the rest of us, don’t worry. Making resolutions — and sticking to them — is tough. That’s why we’ve rounded up a few strategies to help you start the year strong and continue the trend through all of 2017. Whether your goal is to get in shape or get your finances in order, take note of these helpful tips.
Set S.M.A.R.T goals.
Before January 1st rolls around, take stock of what you’d like to do in the next year. For example, do you want to save up for a big trip? That’s awesome, but as a goal, it’s pretty vague. Instead, try to make your resolutions specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive (SMART). So what would that look like? If you’ve got a tropical vacation on your mind, maybe one of your goals would be to save a certain amount each week. Need help writing your own S.M.A.R.T. goals? This site has a helpful downloadable template.
You’ve heard the saying, “Teamwork makes the dream work,” right? Well, it’s true. If you’ve got a family member, coworker, or friend whose goals line up with yours, you’re more likely to cheer each other on to the finish line. And even if no one shares your goals, simply asking someone to help hold you accountable is helpful. For example, if you’re looking to work out daily, ask a coworker to join you for a lunch-hour sweat session.
Make your goals visible.
Having a constant visual reminder of your goals is helpful when it comes to sticking to your resolutions — especially as you move later into the year. Some recommend re-writing your goals down every day to keep them fresh in your mind. If that’s too much work, consider writing your goals on a piece of paper and posting it in places you know you’ll see it every day like your bathroom mirror, fridge, your computer at work, or on your nightstand. You can even make a phone alarm reminder that goes off at a specific time during the day. These daily reminders should help you stay focused and consistent.
This is a fun one. After all, who doesn’t love being rewarded for their hard work? If you build rewards into your plan, you might find some extra motivation. Just make sure it’s a treat that doesn’t derail your progress. For example, if part of your goal includes daily meal prep, rewarding yourself with a cheat day might knock you off your game. Instead, indulge in massage or maybe a new pair of workout shoes using the money you’ve saved cooking at home!
Obstacles will inevitably come up. That’s where being prepared can help you stay on track. Maybe you’ve got a lot of birthdays and social outings in April and you think it will be hard to save a certain amount of money that month. Saving a little extra in January, February, and March can help you reach your goal — and put less strain on your wallet come April. Start strategizing ways to overcome potential obstacles now.
But, cut yourself some slack if things don’t go as planned.
Keep this in mind: sometimes, near enough IS good enough. Don’t expect perfection
24/7, 365 days a year when it comes to achieving your resolutions. Things happen and slip-ups are part of the process. What’s important is that you don’t let those slip-ups
prevent you from making progress.
… and remember there’s an app (or several) for this sort of thing.
Technololgy is a beautiful thing. Whether you want to work out more, declutter your life, or sock away more money, there's a ton of free-to-cheap apps that’ll help you finally crush that resolution!