Happy 2021! We hope your new year has been off to a fantastic start. One surefire way to usher in a new era is to stick to your New Year's Resolutions. Generally speaking, this isn’t easy: resolutions can often be arduous, life-changing endeavors, so it’s no surprise that resolutioners give up sometimes. So how do you really make this “your year” and actually accomplish your resolutions? Here are six strategies to ensure you’ll start 2021 right:
1. Identify clear, actionable steps.
Think about what feasible steps you can take to achieve the resolution. If you’re looking to exercise more, how will you do it? What home workout YouTube channels will you be watching? What home equipment will you use? How many times do you want to get a workout in each week? Don’t forget to consider how realistic these steps are and what measures you’ll need to stick to them. If one of your resources requires a heavy financial investment, carefully budget for it.
2. Set your environment up for success.
Subtle differences in your surroundings can make them more conducive to your goals. If your resolution is to learn another language, have your language books lying face-up on your desk rather than tucked away in your closet. If you’re using language-learning software, open it on a tab first thing when you start up your computer, even if you won’t be able to get to it until a couple hours later.
3. Plan how you’ll handle obstacles.
What will you do when you experience setbacks, restrictions, and discouraging circumstances? How will you stick to your clean eating plan when restaurants open up again and your friends are inviting you out for dinner every other night to mouth-watering steakhouses? How will you quit smoking if a heavy smoker enters your life as a good friend who listens to all your problems?Even if the way your life is going right now seems to be conducive to your goals, have a plan for a significant change such as resource depletion. You can’t predict how your life will change, so at least acknowledge and anticipate that it can happen.
4. Share your resolutions with others.
Post whichever resolutions are appropriate on social media and see what reactions you get. Chances there’s someone who’s in the same boat -- and might be even facing the same storm, sea monsters, and crashing waves. They might reach out and offer useful insights on how to reach those common goals, such as online communities to find other language learners. You might find yourself making a valuable new connection along the way.
5. Keep in mind that losing a battle doesn’t mean you’ll lose the whole war.
Did you go a week or two without practicing your new skill? For some, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “wow, maybe this really isn’t for me” and give up on the entire journey forever. Lengthy delays can be discouraging, but they’re only a portion of the entire year and your overall life.
6. Get some really, really good sleep every night.