New Year’s Resolutions – How to Set and Achieve your Goals

All around the world, people are planning to make (and try to keep) new year’s resolutions for 2019. What isn’t too surprising is how many of the top goals remain the same from region to region. Usually, you’ll see at least 2 of the following in the top 3:

  1. Improved fitness regimen
  2. Better finance management
  3. Travel more
  4. Eat/drink/live healthier
  5. Learn something new

What is surprising, however, is the 4th most popular resolution (or non-resolution, I guess you could say), reported by a YouGov survey from the United States:

New Year's Resolutions U.S.

32% of respondents said they didn’t intend on making resolutions.

With Entrepreneur reporting that only 9.2% of resolutions are ever realised, is it really that surprising that such a large chunk of people have given up on them altogether?

Actually, it is. There are easy ways to not only set realistic new year’s resolutions for oneself but to see them through. Thanks to the Agency Mavericks team, I have some examples to show you how to do this.

What You Can Learn from the WPE Team’s New Year’s Resolutions

Tip #1: Keep Your List of Resolutions to a Minimum

Before you do anything else, review Adam Jelic’s tips for choosing and structuring new goals. If you approach New Year’s resolutions in a similar manner, you’ll have an easier time narrowing down your list of resolutions.

As we learned last year about open loops, the more of them you open, the harder it is to get anything done. So, don’t be afraid to put aside goals that you’re not super enthusiastic about or that aren’t realistic.

Focus on the ones you’re ready to take action on.

I would definitely say that Troy Dean has done a fantastic job narrowing down his list of resolutions:

“I aim to be more present in my everyday life and less concerned with the past or the future.”

He then backs up this proclamation with a clear statement of how he intends to achieve this:

“I plan to make meditation, affirmations and visualisations part of my daily routine.”

Tip #2: Make Resolutions That Make You Feel Good

“Psychology Today” suggests that it’s not enough to make resolutions. Part of the reason why so many resolutions fail is that people hate the work involved in getting there.

That’s why I’ve stopped trying to set resolutions like “go to the gym more” or “eat healthier”.

I set resolutions like these because, ultimately, I want to live a more fulfilling and happier life.

I used to think that if I did what others did to make themselves feel better and healthier and happier, that it would work for me. But we’re all different and should embrace our unique approaches to happiness and success.

I think, once you figure that out, you can develop a resolution that accomplishes the same thing as your original goal and that you can be excited about. For instance, this is mine:

“I’m going to take a 5-day personal trip every quarter in 2019.”

There’s nothing that makes me happier than going to new places, meeting new people and trying new things. Oh, and I love planning trips. For me, this resolution is more likely to be fulfilled than forcing myself to go to the gym every week.

Tip #3: Write Them Down

Saying out loud “this is my resolution” won’t get you very far. If you’re serious about accomplishing something in your personal or professional life, you have to write it down.

George Leis’ resolution to create a healthier lifestyle for him and his family would be perfect for this. He says:

“I’m going to be more proactive and get my family on track to eat healthy and exercise every week in 2019.”

At the end of last year, Troy and Simon dished on goal setting in a live Facebook webinar. During which, they mentioned this tool: YearCompass.

Gin McInneny ended up using it in 2018 to set a routine that would help her reach her New Year’s resolutions. Then, at the end of December, she was able to use it to reflect on everything she had to help her plan for the coming year.

And what exactly does she have planned for 2019?

“Each year, I set a theme and aim to remain conscious of that theme in everything I do. In 2019, it will be ‘Be Kind to Yourself’.”

She’s already begun working on it, which I imagine is due in part to how easy YearCompass made it to document, plan and adhere to her resolutions last year.

Tip #4: Get Specific

Just as you’d do in goal-setting, it’s important to set clear and specific resolutions.

So, rather than say, “I want to take time off of work”, you can follow my lead and add scheduled trips to your calendar at regular intervals.

Or, if a healthier lifestyle is on the docket for you, take a page out of Ray Milidoni’s book:

“Health and fitness are a priority. I will be doing the Tough Mudder in November 2019.”

This is a good one because he has a locked in an event with a specific date to work towards. It gives you that extra motivation to get off the couch.

Michelle Trono is another Agency Mavericks team member with specific resolutions she can take action on:

“I want to shed at least 4.4 pounds a month, bring more meaning to my life and implement a ‘Listen More, Talk Less’ approach.”

Charmaine Castillo has one that I think would be an attractive option for a lot of you out there:

“I want to learn new skills and plan to watch tutorials throughout the year to do so.”

Which reminds me… If you have a similar goal and want to learn a new skill as it pertains to your business, you should probably check out this free online workshop that teaches you how to charge higher fees.

Tip #5: Break Up Big Goals

It’s a lot easier to tackle a big goal if you break it up into smaller chunks. That’s part of what a resource like YearCompass helps you do. Your project management tool and personal calendar can help as well.

I also think it’s important to create a clear division within your own mind of what it will take to accomplish your resolution.

Take, for instance, Simon Kelly’s New Year’s resolution “to intentionally live”.

He’s broken this resolution down into smaller chunks that he can actively take steps towards in his daily life. For example:

“I'm going to spend time working on my mindset around allowing myself to be, experience and have what I want and that makes me feel great!

I also plan to spend time with people that are doing things I want to do, that inspire me and that I'm free to be myself around.

I would also like to focus on taking care of myself, so I can be the best version of me that can help others.”

This should give you an idea of how to take a bigger vision and chunk it down into more manageable bits.

Tip #6: Remove All Obstacles

I saw a great example about how so many gym memberships go unused in the new year because of the choices people have made. In this particular example, people compromised on distance, so they could get a better price. But think about that:

You buy a gym membership that’s 20 minutes out of the way and costs $30 a month. You only go once a week, so that equates to about $7 per visit.

Instead, you could’ve bought the membership to the gym across the street that’s $50 a month. You go three times a week, which equates to $4 per visit.

That compromise may have cost you the ability to truly fulfil your New Year’s resolution.

That said, there are a number of ways to remove obstacles in your resolutions. The resolution itself might be a way to get obstacles out of the way so you can live a more satisfying life.

Pat Mayo says:

“I want to spend more time with my family, so I plan on cutting down my outdoor activities every weekend.”

This is one of the 4 D’s of better time management.

Maddie Keogh is doing something similar with her resolutions. Because hers revolves around prioritising self-care, one of the ways she intends on accomplishing this is by weeding out the negative stuff:

“I’m going to stick to a weekly routine of exercise, yoga, meditation, positive affirmations and daily gratitude practice (but be kind to myself when I don't)! But I’m also planning to create better boundaries with people and feel confident saying ‘no’ whenever I need to put myself first.”

Tip #7: Share Your Resolutions with Others

Accountability is huge at Agency Mavericks and, if you’ve been through the Blueprint Program, you know how well it works.

That said, don’t keep your New Year’s resolutions to yourself. Share them with others! Friends, family, colleagues, your Agency Mavericks accountability partner… whoever!

We’re all working towards a better “me”.

If you want to stay on track to hit your goals, clue others into your plan, so they can help keep you accountable.

Now that we’ve shared our personal and professional resolutions with you, let’s hear more about yours in the comments below!

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Suzanne Scacca

Suzanne Scacca

Suzanne Scacca is a freelance copywriter whose work has been featured on WordPress and web design blogs like Elegant Themes, Pagely, and A List Apart. She believes in the power of good quotes, timely statistics, and simple, easy-to-follow language that speaks directly to the pain of the audience.

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