Get In Gear For The New Year: 5 Tips For Making Resolutions

By Thursday Bram on 16 December 2008 5 comments

The New Year is infamous when it comes to resolutions — not because most people manage to turn over a new leaf but because we declare big goals, work towards them for a few months and then forget about them. This situation didn't come about because we don't want to achieve those goals, but because the system is more than a bit arbitrary. If you want to complete your New Year's resolutions this year, going about it a little differently may make things easier. The tips below can help you reach a goal with a little less struggle.

  1. Decide what you can do by Feb. 1. Most resolutions don't lend themselves to being completed in a month. But if you can set a goal to reach by the end of January, you'll have some absolutely concrete and obtainable that you can work towards, you've got a better chances of completing 1/12 of your resolution in that first month. Maybe your resolution is to build up an emergency fund containing several months worth of expenses. If you try to save every penny you can during January, you're likely to burn out about the time the end of the month rolls around. But if you set a goal of getting just $400 into your savings account, you'll be able to see the end — and you'll get a buzz when you actually complete that first step. 
  2. Consider the underlying causes of your resolution. Many resolutions aren't as simple as deciding that you just aren't going to do a particular something anymore. If, for instance, you want to stop going out to eat in 2009 and work on eating at home more, think about why you go out to eat. Maybe the way your schedule is currently set up leaves no time for grocery shopping or cooking — and without a few changes to your schedule, you'll be back at the restaurant in a few weeks.
  3. Talk to your loved ones, and make sure they understand your resolution. For most people, having someone who simply knows about your goal is enough to motivate you — after all, no one wants to fail to achieve a goal and then have to tell someone about it. Furthermore, you can often get a little help. Resolutions like working out more often are easier when you have someone else to do the work with.
  4. Write down your resolution. If you've written down your resolution, it's just that much harder to forget about. Adding milestones or incentives and placing your resolution somewhere you'll see it regularly can help you keep your goals in mind. You might consider keeping a note about your resolution in your wallet or on your computer — somewhere you'll be inspired to take actions that will move you towards your ambition.
  5. Think about your resolution now. Sure, you've still got time before the month ends, but I've heard a few New Year's resolutions decided at literally the last moment. Those are the ones that typically don't make it to the next morning — let alone the next month. But spending a little time thinking about your resolutions can help you commit yourself to carrying though, and give you a chance to think about why you want to work toward a particular goal. Incentives can be a great thing, whether you're working towards a little piece of mind or towards a big vacation.
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Guest's picture

I am a self-saboteur when it comes to resolutions. Now, instead of writing out resolutions each December, I look back and write out all the lessons I learned and things I discovered throughout the previous 12 months. It's much more satisfying.

Guest's picture

It sounds pretty interesting.An introspection do add to life.Well all that is needed is to live in present.Wish you all a Happy n Joyful New Year

Guest's picture

what would ya recommend to aid a quit smoking cigarettes resolution???

Finance Trail

Guest's picture

I know it's such a hard habit to break! I've tried everything (patch, gum, pills, etc) and I finally stumbled upon a great aid. Electronic cigarettes, yes, electronic cigarettes. I know it sounds strange, but they really do work! They supply nicotine in vapor form like a little nebulizer - no tar, no carcinogens, but all the nicotine. Plus they come in different nicotine levels, so you can reduce your nicotine intake over time. For me, fighting the urge to smoke socially was my breaking point. But electronic cigarettes allowed me to keep smoking while I quit smoking. Check out these sites for some more info:

Guest's picture

The E-Cigarette is one of the newest and most successful alternatives to traditional tobacco cigarettes on the market today. Thanks to brand new technology, smokers can finally enjoy smoking whenever they want and wherever they want. The electronic cigarette looks and acts like a real cigarette in every way except that it does not burn any tobacco. Since the e-cigarette is a non-flammable and non-tobacco product this means it has none of the harmful effects that are found with smoking traditional cigarettes.

The electronic cigarette is the tobacco alternative that smokers all over the world have been waiting for. No more putting up with increased taxes and prices that make smoking nearly impossible. Smokers can finally smoke in places where traditional tobacco cigarettes are banned, giving them back their freedom to enjoy their habit wherever they want. The electronic cigarette is sweeping accross nations all around the world!