New Year, New Me?

“This year is going to be my year.

We have all heard it before. But, is it really? Don’t we say this at the start of every year? How can you make this year your year before it becomes just another year you hope you forget by the time you’re 30?

According to Forbes Magazine, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s Resolutions each year. If you’re setting New Year’s Resolutions for yourself, or even just a few basic goals you want to achieve in 2017, there’s a good way to make sure you actually attain some of them before you find yourself saying the exact same thing at the start of next year

My first and most simple piece of advice is to make goals that are attainable. This may seem obvious, but people seem to stray from this rule the most at the start of each year. You aren’t going to lose 20 pounds in a week – not only is this illogical, but just plain unhealthy.

You most likely won’t be traveling to 12 different foreign countries this year, and that is okay. However, you can strive to lose 1 or 2 pounds in the first week, just as you can strive to travel to 2 different foreign countries this year. These things are much easier to achieve and if you do happen to visit 12 foreign countries, you’ll feel happier that you did because you never imagined you’d get to that number in the first place. Lower expectations (which are not always a bad thing) can lead to less disappointment in the end.

Don’t expect to achieve each and every single goal, and don’t expect to achieve any goal flawlessly. From what I’ve noticed, people either set no resolutions at all or they set a crazy amount; that’s fine to do, but don’t be too hard on yourself if by the end of the year you haven’t achieved all of them.

Furthermore, don’t obsessively gauge yourself on how much you’re accomplishing them. You’ll end up enjoying life less if you do this; you’ll be mad at yourself for eating that one piece of cake or spending that extra twenty dollars when this self-criticism is completely unnecessary. You are allowed to make exceptions to your resolutions – some believe that these are what leads to their goals failing, but in reality they actually help you be more successful and practical in the long-run. Avoid obsessing over your goals and know that not all of them will be perfectly achieved – rather than achieving each goal perfectly, work hard to achieve a few goals as best as you can and you will ultimately feel more accomplished.

If you really want to be successful with your resolutions, set specific arrangements on how you plan to achieve them. For example, if you want to learn a new language this year, make a schedule at the beginning of each month on how much you will study that language each day. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll probably continually push off the goal until it’s halfway through the year and you’ll consider it too late to even begin the process, and push it off until the next year (and so on). Your plan does not need to be time-consuming or harsh; don’t overwork yourself and understand that there is only a certain amount of time in each day; however, it’s important to have some idea of how you’re going to work towards your achievement so you can know you’re making progress.

Finally, though this is not the most important piece of advice and not necessary to be successful, it can sometimes be helpful to tell other people about the resolutions you’ve set for yourself. If other people know about your goals, you are forced to be more accountable – especially if the people you tell are your friends or family. Friends and family will (hopefully) encourage you to keep up with your goals and it’s much more difficult to lie to them when they ask you about the progress you’re making. They may even ask to join in on the goals with you, and then you’ve got more opportunities to make your achievement not only rewarding, but the process itself fun.

2017 can be your year if you simply understand that as a human, you can only do so much. Try to have fun with your New Year’s Resolutions and don’t stress yourself out over them…you got this!