It’s that time of the year again. Everyone’s busy coming up with a new year’s resolution, only to fail to keep up with it after a month or two. This does not have to be the case for you though. You can effectively create positive new year habits.
First, you must be aware of the primary reasons people fail to stick to their resolution. Studies show that the reason for this failure has nothing to do with people’s strength of character, but it’s mostly due to an ineffective planning of goals. Learn more about the common new year mistakes and how you can address them.
Setting too many goals
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You set yourself up for failure when you impose too many goals on yourself. You have to be realistic about the efforts and time every major endeavor will require. And yes, that’s what your New Year’s resolution is supposed to be made of — big goals. Leave the smaller and often more fun things to your bucket list.
Start this year with 2 to 3 things you are determined to achieve, and which you can willingly focus on. Make sure they are life-changing and are tied to attractive rewards. This way, you can easily stay motivated. We are creatures of habits. Breaking away from your old ways will prove to be a struggle. But with a strong drive, anything is possible. So keep your eyes glued to the prize and keep creating healthy habits. You’ll do wonders.
Having vague resolutions
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It’s hard to work toward a goal that is not clearly defined. This will leave you wandering aimlessly, wasting time and resources in the process. To avoid this, make sure you set goals this year that are specific and measurable. For instance, a resolution “to lose weight” will most probably take you nowhere, but setting a clear benchmark of “working out 30 minutes a day, three times a week” is sure to keep you going. You will know when you are detracting from your resolution, and can resolve to get back on track.
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To succeed in achieving goals, you must make sure you set realistic and attainable targets. Although they should be big enough to stretch your abilities, they must remain doable. Take stock of where you are at the start of the year. Weigh the costs, time, and effort your goal will require, taking into consideration other priorities and obligations you have in your life. This does not mean that you should keep yourself from shooting for the stars. Simply make sure that you inject smart planning into your dreams, so they can go beyond just wishful thinking. If you are grappling with your finances, aiming to have one million pesos in your bank account by the end of the year would most likely set you up for failure, and could undermine the relatively small wins you achieve along the way. Aim instead to, say, save 20% of all your monthly earnings. Commit to paying yourself first. This will motivate you to keep your eyes open for more earning opportunities, as this would increase the value of your 20%. You may even be able to capture an earning opportunity that could easily amount to your coveted one million pesos!
Going for a quick fix
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Quick fixes can only take you so far. And this is especially true when it comes to your diet. Sure, one of those diet fads may actually work, but our body has a way of making up for what it perceives to be extreme deprivation. If you starve yourself long enough, it will adjust to preserve “available resources.” This ultimately results to a slower metabolism, which then leads to an uncontrollable weight gain. Think twice before you join the next diet bandwagon or pop magic pills that could wreak havoc on your liver. The best way is always to put in the hard work. This goes true for any big goal you have. Taking a shortcut hardly ever pays in the long run.
Being too hard on yourself
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Take it easy. Your life should not be about just drudgery and struggles. Many people fall into the trap of thinking that the best way they could improve their finances is by working as much as they could. Remember that one of the main reasons we’d like to earn money is so we could improve the quality of our life. Condemning yourself to a life of non-stop tedious work is simply not the way to live. Aim for a healthy work-life balance. You owe it to yourself. Moreover, you can improve your finances without devoting all your time to work. Simply learn to work smarter, not harder. Explore opportunities for passive income, or look for a job that will provide more value for your time (i.e. it pays higher salary!). The world is your oyster!
Making social comparisons
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One of the ways people unnecessarily punish themselves is by making social comparisons. Do not expect yourself to measure up to a fitness guru. You have to realize that that person has been putting in the hard work for many years. Nor should you compare yourself to a CEO who appears to have achieved his success overnight. More often than not, behind every success are years of toil and failures. Work at your own pace. Strive only to outdo yourself. This way, you become a better version of yourself without the unnecessary bitterness. Your journey then becomes one of positivity and peace with yourself and others.
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Tough times will come. New year fails will happen. Resolve to keep going anyway. Everytime you feel discouraged, take stock of the successes you’ve achieved, no matter how small. It’s not a race to the finish line. Slow down if you have to, but never give up. One way you can ensure continued success is by making sure your environment is conducive to positive development. Understand that you do not live in a bubble. Your environment is influencing you more than you may realize. There is only so much your willpower can take, so make sure you do not surround yourself with things that will deplete it. Move your television out of your bedroom, avoid storing junk food in your home, and lock your phone in a drawer when you have work that needs to get done. Keep all sorts of temptations out of sight and out of mind. Design your environment so that it motivates you to achieve your goals. Surround your workstation with photos and trinkets that remind you of the things that you desire most — your goals. Take advantage of the many benefits of living in a condo community: your well-equipped gym, the scenic jogging path, and the swimming pool just waiting to keep you active.
Your resolutions and the road to achieving your goals can only be as fun as you make them. In any case, make sure to keep moving forward!