It’s a New Year and a New You. You’ve already come up with a list of the things you want to achieve this year. The dust has settled. Your New Year Resolutions are set and you’re already working on some.

One of the most common things that happen at this time is a feeling of overwhelm. I guess this feeling will be even larger with all the hope we’ve placed on 2021 being a better year than 2020.

Making New Year’s resolutions is very easy. Dropping them is even easier. More than likely, the excitement of starting a New Year wanes away and you find yourself back into your old routines.

So how do you stick to your resolutions this year?

With proper motivation and the will to change, you can be the exception to this trend.

In the previous post, I outlined how you can make your New Year resolutions SMARTer. Once you’ve done that, the simple trick that makes all the difference is to turn your optimism for the New Year into concrete actions. Once you start a routine, it becomes easier to follow through.

Whether you’re making multiple resolutions or wanting to work towards one bigger goal, be sure to pick something that’s achievable within the year’s time frame.

Read on to find out…

How to keep your SMART New Year Resolutions

Step 1. Set Achievable and Clear Goals

To start with, make your goals achievable so you don’t set yourself up for failure. For example, let’s say your goal is to lose weight. Determine where you stand currently, and then give yourself a goal that can be achieved by aiming to shed off 1-2 kg per week. This is easier to achieve than if you set a goal to lose 4kg a week.

You’ll also benefit from setting clear goals. Rather than saying that you want to be thinner, say how many kilos you want to lose.

Finally, define the “how” as well.

  • How are you going to cut calories?
  • Are you going to follow a specific diet?
  • Are you going to start a moderate exercise routine?
  • How often will you exercise?
  • Or maybe you need more motivation…so will you sign up to work with a weight loss coach or hire a personal trainer?

With a clear, achievable goal and a set plan of tasks you know you can complete, you virtually guarantee your success! You know exactly what you want and how you’re going to get there. All you need to do now is take action.

Step 2. Take Action

This is where many people tend to run into trouble. It’s easy to get pumped up about an idea, but when it comes down to executing your plan, you might be tempted to fall short.

In this situation, you only need to muster up the energy to start. Tell yourself that you’re going to stick to your new plan for one week and then evaluate how it went.

On the other hand, if you take everything in all at once, you’ll be less likely to begin in the first place. So if your goal looks overwhelming, just focus on the short term.

Step 3. Form a Routine

Taking baby steps works because once you form a new routine, it’s actually easy to hold yourself to it. Some experts say that it takes as little as two weeks to get a new routine ingrained in your brain. The more you stick to this routine, the more natural it becomes for you.

For example, in the weight loss scenario, starting an exercise routine can be especially gruelling if you’re out of shape. The first two days leave you tired, sore, and weak. That doesn’t sound like fun at all! However, those first two days are the worst you’ll endure. After your routine is built over time, you’ll find yourself looking forward to your exercise sessions.

Step 4. Reward Yourself

Reward yourself often for your excellent efforts. You deserve the rewards for working hard to change yourself for the better. The good thing is that you don’t need to wait until the end of the year to treat yourself.

Break up your goals into smaller pieces or milestones. Every time you achieve a milestone, give yourself something that you enjoy. It could be an item you’ve been wanting or maybe a night out on the town.

To motive yourself more, plan your rewards in advance. Going back to the weight loss example, you can set a reward each month for sticking to your goals for every 2kg you lose.

Rewarding yourself for a job well done motivates you to keep going!

Step 5. Rinse and Repeat

This step is very simple: just Do It Again!

Congratulations on completing your first successful year of bettering yourself through committing to your SMART New Year resolutions.

You can now repeat the process and work on another aspect of your life. Before you know it, you’ll be a perfectly happy and healthy person because of your awareness, perseverance, and hard work!

Do you need help with your goals?

Goal setting is a core part of coaching. I had never set goals until I became a coach in 2011. Before that, I just breezed through life and had loads of dreams. Some dreams materialized. Most didn’t.

Over the years, I’ve come up with a system that has helped me and my clients hit our goals every year. Sometimes we even surprise ourselves by achieving more than we expected. And in 2020, this system saved our businesses when everything went down the drain.

I updated the system and now use it to run a quarterly challenge where I help women stay focused and take action on their main goals for the year.

I’d love to help you start and finish strong each year through the quarterly Finish Strong Challenge.

In this 3-month program, I’ll work with you and other women in your cohort and help you achieve your goals without creating unnecessary stress, overwork, or overwhelm!

Don’t take a chance on your goals. Click here to join the next Challenge.

(Image credit: Unsplash)

    2 replies to "How to Keep Your SMART New Year Resolutions"

    • Hellene Otieno

      Great article with very timely & relevant content. I pray to be consistent in achieving my goals this year! Thank you

      • Caroline Gikonyo

        Thank you Hellene. Wish you all the best with your goals for 2021!

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