There is nothing more refreshing than having a clean slate to start the year and set goals to achieve.  Unfortunately, like so many other things, we often set our goals so high that they are essentially unattainable.  Here are some guidelines and suggestions for writing resolutions that you will be able to practically keep.

  1. Set crystal clear expectations
    •  “Lose weight” is not going to accomplish anything.  “Lose 2 pounds a month” is much more likely to generate results.
  2.  Follow through
    •  “Create a $1,000 buffer in my savings account” won’t happen naturally.  If available through your workplace, create a direct deposit account to automatically deposit the funds into a savings account you do not regularly access.
  3.  Quantify your results
    •  Is your resolution measurable?  Quantifiable?  If not, you need to change it.  “Be more involved in the community” is not a good resolution.  “Volunteer at the soup kitchen a minimum of two times a year” is.
  4. Be realistic
    •  Set no more than 5-10 goals.
    • When you do set goals, make sure they allow failure.  For example, while “Quit drinking soda” may be an achievable goal, sometimes quitting cold turkey is too difficult at first and needs to be achieved in stages.  “Reduce soda intake, maximum of two sodas a week” allows you to have a moment of weakness without completely foregoing your resolution.
  5. Variety is the spice of life
    •  Create an achievable resolution for each sub section of your life: Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, Social, etc.
  6. Reward yourself
    •  Don’t make every resolution a reward based on punishment.  Dieting, saving money, exercising, etc. is great, but allowing yourself to carve out “me” time is essential for mental health.

Example List:

  •  Lose 2 pounds a month.  Start weight 140, goal weight 125-130.
  •  Read one book a month.  Three months allowed for classic novels (Le Miserables, Jane Eyre, etc.)
  • Save $1,000 in emergency savings.  Set up direct deposit for $20 a week.
  • Go to church a minimum of twice a month.  Read 3 chapters of the Bible on days you do not attend church.
  •  Enjoy one formal date night a month with spouse.  Must include meal and activity (film, game, etc.). Needs to be planned a minimum of one week in advance to count.

While the above are just examples, with careful planning you can create resolutions that will generate actual results.  Looking forward to hearing about your results in 2021!