If you feel the way I do at the end of 2016, you’re ready to give this year a big send-off and welcome the new with open arms. I’m talking gold, confetti, the whole nine yards — and, of course, the opportunity for a fresh start. Over the course of my 20’s, goal setting has changed from a major yawn to something I get really excited about! Follow these steps to make your 2017 resolutions last — and succeed.
Make it Minimal
If resolutions feel like a self-induced guilt trip, you’re probably focusing on too many things. Of course, we could all come up with 15-20 things we can or should do better, but when it comes to goals, look at the big picture and let the little stuff go. Focus on between 1-3 areas you want to improve in the New Year; the fewer you focus on, the more progress you’ll be able to make in each area.
Make it Achievable
Setting achievable goals begins with knowing where you already are, and knowing what’s possible. If you set a goal that’s too ambitious, it will feel like a mountain you’ll never be able to climb. However, if you set a goal you know you can achieve, you’ll have more motivation to keep going when times get tough. For example, “work out every day” is going to get tough when work or school is extra busy, but “work out 5 days a week” leaves some room for grace.
Make it Measurable
It’s hard to assess your progress on a resolution if your goal is vague — lots of us might resolve to “eat right”, but often, that looks different for each of us. If you determine what eating right means to you, put more specific, measurable goals on your list instead. Maybe it means having a “meatless Monday” or cooking at home 4 nights per week — whatever your goal, you’ll want to be able to track progress with measurable results.
Make it Memorable
According to Forbes, those who write down their goals are much more likely to achieve them. Consider writing down your 1-3 big-picture goals and tape them to your mirror, or somewhere you’ll see them every day. If you keep your goals front-of-mind, you’re more likely to keep them going in March when the New Year motivation has dwindled. By keeping your goals achievable and in a visible location, you’ll make real progress on things you’ve hoped to accomplish — making 2017 your most memorable year yet!