Are you chasing your goals this year? If you have been kicking around the idea of a few resolutions for the new year, it’s time to take the next step and make a solid plan to achieve them. Why? Because resolutions without a plan will remain unrealized.
But, don’t worry! We’re here to help you create a plan based on tried and true techniques. With this plan in hand, you’ll make steady progress towards achieving your new year’s resolutions.
So, what do you have to do? Like most things in life, there are many paths that can be taken. Here are 5 recommended steps you can take that will help you achieve your goals for the new year:
1. Make SMART Goals
One of the first things you need to do with your new year resolutions is make sure they’re goals you’ll be able to track and achieve. You can use the acronym SMART to make sure your goals meet standards that will increase your chances of achieving them.
S – Specific – This means your goal shouldn’t be general. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, specify how much weight you’d like to lose.
M – Measurable – You should be able to measure whether or not you’re meeting your goal. For example, if your goal is to spend more time with your kids, how much time does that mean? How will you be able to tell if you’ve achieved the goal or not? In this case, you could specify that your goal is to spend 15 minutes of fun with your kids every day. That way it’s easy to measure when the goal has been achieved or not.
A – Achievable – Nothing is quite as deflating as setting a goal you can’t reach. It’s better to set a modest goal that you can achieve than a big one that you’ll never reach. Make sure you consider the time, energy and financial investment your goal requires and choose a goal you really have a chance of achieving.
R – Relevant – Does your goal fit in with the rest of your life? While it’s ok to have a goal to develop a new hobby or take steps to begin a new profession, you should be sure your goal is relevant to you and your upcoming plans. You should have a good answer to the question “Why did you set this goal?” If not, you might want to reconsider the goal.
T – Timely – Your goals need to be measurable over a certain period of time. In the example of weight loss, you can break down your yearly weight loss goal into how much you should be losing per month and per week. This will help keep you on track. You can use the same strategy to help you break down other year-long goals into bite sized steps.
With a SMART goal, you’ll be able to see your clear progress over time, motivating you to continue! But, that’s not all you need. You need more in your plan.
2. Get Picniic
Management and organization of your goals is another important step in your plan.
The Picniic app is your perfect partner for reaching your new year resolutions. Using our range of features such as the calendar, to-do lists, recipes and meal planner, you’ll be able to organize your life so that you give yourself the best chance to achieve your goals. With the Picniic app, everything is streamlined so that you can keep track of your whole family’s schedule which helps you choose optimal times to work on your goals.
Share your progress with your family on the app through photos, events and lists. You can also enlist the help of family members through the calendar and to-do lists. Picniic is versatile and all-encompassing for everything that is family life; which helps incorporate your goals into your life fully. Your goals must become a real part of your life to achieve them. Get organized and give your goals a chance with Picniic.
3. Get a Buddy
A friend who’s hoping to achieve a similar goal can serve as accountability. Make gym dates if you’re hoping to get in shape or share notes on how you’re progressing over coffee. Having to report to someone might boost your motivation and help you stick to your plans.
Not sure who could help? You can also track your progress through social media and online forums. You’ll enjoy the positive feedback while also holding yourself accountable to others.
4. Change Your Mindset
Rather than think of your new year resolutions as goals that you’ll reach in the future, think of them as your year-long plan. Think of them as habits you’re forming that will lead you into a better future. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal suggests asking yourself what small actions you can take each day that will help you reach your goal.
With this shift in your mindset, you’ll think of your resolutions not as lofty wishful thinking, but as concrete changes you’re making in your everyday life. This change will make you much more likely to work towards achieving your resolutions.
5. Use the Morning Advantage
Making changes is hard work. However, you can use biology to your advantage and turn the steps you’re taking to reach your resolutions into habits quickly.
Research says that first thing in the morning, your cortisol levels are highest. Cortisol is a hormone associated with stress that can be used to your advantage to make habits. A study found that participants who engaged in a new activity first thing in the morning were able to make it automatic sooner than participants who practised the new activity in the evening. By taking time first thing in the morning to dedicate to your resolutions, you’ll turn it into a habit. Order in your life through habits makes the grunt work of achieving goals automatic.
And guess what? Working towards your goals first thing in the morning will also leave you feeling great for the rest of the day! You’ll have accomplished something that’s important to you, setting you up for more success all day long.
Each year, we have the chance to reflect on our lives and choose to make improvements in the coming year. Our potential for growth and change is impossible to measure. So, go out there and make changes in your life that will make you happier and healthier!
Do you have a few new year resolutions this year? Tell us about them and your plans to achieve them! We’d love to hear from you!