The Key to Making New Year’s Resolutions Last

“A man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” Robert Browning

Keeping with New Year’s traditions, I’ve been thinking about goals this past week, assessing and dreaming. Planning and organizing. My lists have lists these days. With a New Year comes the hope of a clean slate. However, as the year progresses, most resolutions fall flat, so much so they become the butt of every January joke. Most people no longer even try to make resolutions because they’ve had little success with them.

Call me the cock-eyed optimist if you want, but I keep making plans. I have learned over the years how much I benefit from having specific goals in mind. Do I meet every goal and challenge I set out to accomplish? Of course not.

Challenging myself with tangible goals, breaking those goals into smaller bites, and focusing on the goals a few at a time adds significant growth over the course of a year. 

When I make my list of goals for the New Year, I know I have an entire year to make my goals happen. For instance, I haven’t started my food journal or keeping track of my water consumption. Does that mean I’m not following my New Year’s goals? No. I’m just not focusing on all of my goals all at once. I’ve spent the past few days working on the vision for my blog, planning posts, writing, reading books I need to read. I’ve put together a general plan for school. I’ve started thinking about ways my husband and I can bring in some extra cash. All of these are goals I’m pursuing this year. I will start keeping track of how much water I drink and keeping a food journal soon, once our normal routine starts again.

I want my days to be intentional, but I also need them to be realistic. Making a list of goals can be a worthy pursuit, but I also need to remember that I have an entire year to reach them.

  1. #1 by Nina on January 7, 2013 - 12:05 pm

    I’m a big fan of breaking down goals into smaller, achievable goals, even if it means having one goal for the day/week/month. Doing so pushes us to action more than vague, 12-month goals. After all, hardly anyone is asking themselves whether they’re meeting their new year’s goals come October or November.

  2. #2 by kellywiggains on January 7, 2013 - 12:47 pm

    I agree. I used to make the typical “lose weight, exercise more, eat better, read more…” resolutions. Then, a few years ago, I started making goals and breaking them down into “Plan of Action” steps. I’ve also started giving myself a timeline for things: in 3 months, I want to be here, in 12 months, I want to be here. Thanks for stopping by Nina!

  3. #3 by buy pinterest followers on July 10, 2013 - 4:54 pm

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all
    that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

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