On New Year’s Day or shortly afterward, people make resolutions. Yet according to some statistics only about eight percent of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions for the whole year. Yet people are optimistic and make them anyway.
Psychologist Lynn Bufka suggests that most people fail at keeping their resolutions because January should be a time of reflection rather than a time for sweeping changes.
“Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on Jan. 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” says the PhD. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working towards it, one step at a time.”
Lynn Bufka makes an excellent point. To make your resolution habit more efficient and likely to succeed, try to
Use all of January not just Jan. 1 as a reflective month to think about resolutions that you can keep. Write them down and share your ideas with others.
Keep From Feeling Overwhelmed
Keep from feeling overwhelmed, by picking one change at a time to work on and writing it as a SMART goal resolution. After success, go on to your next SMART goal resolution. Take the whole year to complete them. There is an old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
SMART is an acronym to use to make your goals crystal clear:
- Specific. A good goal is a specific goal. It indicates the who, what, when, where, and why of your lofty vision for the future. It tells you not only what you eventually hope to accomplish, but also the steps you must take to get there.
- Measurable. Effective goals also specify what success looks like, and they do so
- Attainable. You can set ambitious goals, but they have to be attainable.
- Realistic. Goals can’t just be attainable—they must also be realistic. Realistic goals aren’t just those goals that you’re able to attain; rather, they’re the goals that you’re willing to attain.
- Timely. Finally, a good goal is one that is time-limited. A finish date or event has to be set to boost your motivation.
Talk to people who might be involved with the changes you are hoping to make or purchase books that match your goals. It’s good to have a visual reminder to stop you from faltering.
Venture unto paths you may not have tried before. The resolutions we keep are those that make us happier!
Here are 18 smart goal resolutions that you might consider for 2018 and books that may inspire you to keep them:
- I will adhere to Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” I will go to bed no later than 9:30 p.m. and rise no later than 6:30 a.m.
“Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to A Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success” by Shawn Stevenson
- I will drink more water. I’ll drink eight fluid ounces of water when I wake up, eight fluid ounces of water when I go to sleep, and keep a water bottle next to my computer.
“Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” by F. Batmanghelidj
- I will cook a new healthy recipe at least once a week.
Choosing a cookbook is a personal but look for books with photos, easy to follow recipes, sound nutrition information, and wholesome ingredients.
- When I have several tasks to do, I will do the most essential ones first and then go from hardest to easiest.
“Cluttered Mess to Organized Success Workbook: Declutter and Organize your Home and Life with over 100 Checklists and Worksheets” by Cassandra Aarssen
- I will create and follow a budget.
- I will identity and eliminate unnecessary expenses throughout the year.
- I will learn something new each day.
- I will read a different genre of books each month.
“Learning: steps to becoming a passionate lifelong learner” by Russell Sarder
- I will take every opportunity to expand my social circle as much as possible starting with reaching out to one person a month to initiate plans to get together.
- I will practice attentive listening: really listening to what others have to say, asking clarifying questions, and not trying to talk over them.
- I will spend less time on social media and more time talking to people in person.
“Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction” by Adam S. McHugh.
- I will take every opportunity to step out of my zone of comfort at least once a week and do something that is not in my normal routine.
- I will develop a new hobby or look into ways to expand an old hobby at least twice a year.
- I will discover the joy of going to new places in person, through books, and the internet.
- I will pay a compliment or give a word of encouragement to someone every day.
- I will do a random act of kindness at least twice a month.
- I will make a daily habit of writing down whatever spiritual thoughts or inspirational thoughts inspire me.
- I will seek inner peace and serenity through meditation and being in touch with nature every day.
“The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael A. Singer
My SMART GOAL RESOLUTION: I will use all my columns in 2018 to write about ideas that will contribute to my readers living a rich, fulfilling life.
I wish my readers all the best in the coming year!
Linda Wiegenfeld is a retired teacher. She would like to hear about any unusual smart goal resolutions that her readers make and/or the books that inspire them. She can be reached for comments or suggestions at [email protected]