Make Resolutions you can keep

We have been making the same mistake for thousands of years. While we are not making such intense promises such as sacrificing to Roman gods, we tend to get carried away with our lofty New Year’s resolutions that we continue to fail at keeping. In fact, most of our resolutions get abandoned by mid-February. Realistically speaking, New Year’s resolutions do not work. There are many reasons why including how vague the resolution is, or unrealistic and overwhelming the plans we make can be. When something seems so daunting and overwhelming, we are ultimately discouraged at even trying to make it happen.

This year, instead of waisting your time writing down unrealistic resolutions, give these alternatives a shot.

Write a List of Things you are Excited about for the New Year

They say we look forward to holiday’s and special events and it brings greater happiness to us than looking back or reflecting. And let’s face it, we have all felt more optimism and excitement about talking about what we are going to do versus talking about what has already happened. This is a great and simple way to map out your year and make sure you leave time open for things that do make you happy like vacations, time with friends, and special events. Just like the anticipation of Christmas morning on Christmas Eve, the anticipation of things to come can be very motivating.

Compile SMART goals

If the main reason that resolutions fail is because they are unachievable and unrealistic, let’s focus our goals this year to be SMART. The S in SMART stands for Specific. Be specific with your goal to avoid having something so abstract that you do not know how to start. The M stands for Measurable. Make your goal measurable in the sense that you can see the progress you are making. The A is Achievable. You know yourself better than anyone, so make your goals something that you know you can achieve. R stands for Realistic. Say you want to start running more next year but you have never run a race in your life. Your goal should not be to win a triathlon by the end of the year but rather participate in a local 5K. And finally, the T stands for Time. Give yourself a timeframe in which to complete your goals to keep yourself focused and on track.

Try Gratitude Exercises

Instead of only focusing on the things you want to have or do in the next year, take some time as well to focus on the things you already have. This can become a daily or weekly challenge for your next year to keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write down at least one thing that you are grateful for. By the end of the next year, you will have an entire book of wonderful things that you have or that have happened to you that year. What a great way to reflect on all that we are grateful for and to boost our optimism about the world around us. It can be a great challenge that will allow you to see the silver-lining especially on those days that nothing seems to be going our way. 

Bringing in the New Year does not mean that you have to completely reinvent yourself in order to have a successful year. It should be a time of excitement, gratitude and realistic goals that pushes you to be a better version of yourself every day. Creating a mantra like “keep moving forward” can be a simple reminder that you don’t need to aim for perfection all the time. Instead, try to keep moving forward every day and work towards your SMART goals. 

Posted by The Cobb Group on


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