It can be depressing to contemplate, but 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. On January 1st we all want to start off the New Year with a clean slate, and typically resolve to eat less, exercise more and lose weight, but a month later you’re back, stuck in a rut.
New Year’s resolutions fail for a variety of reason, typically because they’re too ambitious or too vague. However, there are ways to successfully change your behavior and reach goals. Here are some tips for starting of the New Year right.
1. Do a yearly review
If you want to move forward, it’s important to understand where you’ve been. So, the first step to meeting your new goals is to take stock of where you’ve been and recognize the accomplishments you’ve made in the previous year.
To perform a yearly review, answer the following questions:
- What went well for me last year?
- What accomplishments did I have?
- How did I improve my life?
- How did I improve my relationships?
- What did I remove from my life that is now making me happier?
- What do I wish I had taken more time for?
2. Finish what you started
To start out right, it’s also important to close off loose ends. So, what general list of to-do items do you have left over from the previous year? If you can identify tasks that you can complete 2 hours or less, do them first thing in January to clear your mind for new projects.
3. Set achievable goals
Identify where you are now and where you want to be at this time next year. Keep in mind: if you don’t know where you’re going, it will be tough to get there.
If you want to be in a different position next year, plan how you’re going to make a change.
4. Take note of — and celebrate — your successes
Take stock of your accomplishments. For example, if you you achieved success at work in the previous year, make a list of what you did and create a forward-focused resume and online profile to highlight your new skills.
5. Figure out what new skills you’re going to need
If you have career plans, you’ll likely going to need new skills to move ahead–strategize about how you can get them. If you want to get in shape, do a little reading or YouTube research about how to best exercise.
6. Keep an eye on the future
Believe it or not, January 1st is a good time to start thinking about the outlook for the next year (one year from now) and beyond. Be realistic and consider what action you should take if prospects aren’t promising.
7. Get active in a group
Join a book club or a running group. Volunteer for a community association. Professional organizations provide many opportunities to volunteer, or to learn new skills. What’s important is making human connections, with the chance to give back to your community.
Look for a small job to start,
8. Keep an eye on the important things
If you’ve been neglecting your health, your family or friends, make a point to address those concerns in the new year and you’ll be more likely to be successful in your work life as well.
9. Be flexible
It’s difficult to go very far at work if you aren’t flexible. Try your best to be open to new ideas and new ways to do things and make a goal to try to say “yes” more than “no” at work when it comes to suggestions from your colleagues and supervisors.
10. Plan to take a vacation
Relaxation is also the key to success. Taking a break from work (or just the general effort of sticking to your New Year’s resolutions) allows you to reenergize, refocus and hit a reset button… kind of the same effect as New Year’s Day.
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