Make Successful New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year Hat Times Square New YorkJust like that another year is coming to a close. As we prepare to bid 2015 farewell, many people are busy coming up with their 2016 New Year’s resolutions.

Ah New Year’s resolutions—those lofty goals we set to start the New Year right but often see ourselves failing to maintain as early as February. This year, however, just maybe we can all stick to our resolutions with some better planning.

By adhering to the following tips you might be able to make and KEEP your New Year’s resolutions for 2016:

1. Keep your resolution within reach. A common mistake that results in failed New Year’s resolutions is setting the bar too high. For example, someone who rarely exercises and decides their resolution is to “workout every day” is likely setting themselves up for failure. Instead, set a more obtainable goal and one you know you can stick with. Perhaps instead of “workout every day” change it to “workout three times a week.” If you find yourself keeping the goal of exercising three times a week, increase the number of days as the year progresses. Don’t fall into an impossible trap, but instead allow yourself to step into success.

2. Set realistic goals. Setting the bar too high with your resolutions also goes hand in hand with unrealistic expectations. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, but when we make New Year’s resolutions that we physically and mentally cannot keep we have already failed. Instead, set your goal to be something you know you can achieve with hard work. Keep your resolution realistic to you as a person. By doing so, you will enable yourself to stay with it the whole year.

3. Make a specific plan. Being too general with your New Year’s resolutions can set you up to fail. The key to keeping your resolution is all in the details. For example, one popular resolution is to save more money. Often money is on our minds at the start of each year. However, by the end of the year and after holiday expenses it seems our money goals don’t pan out as we hoped. This failure is usually due to lack of detail. By coming up with a specific plan, such as depositing a small portion of each paycheck into your savings account or simply limiting your gourmet coffee purchase to once a week, you just might find yourself with more money than you started with at the year’s end. When you add details to your resolutions you automatically create a guide to see them through.

4. Stay organized. To coincide with detailed plans, organization is another essential key to sticking with your New Year’s resolutions. Consider writing your detailed goals for the year in a journal or planner. Make sure to actually schedule time to fulfill each goal. For example, if your resolution is to hit the gym or workout three times a week, pencil in an allotted time in your planner to help you remember to do so. Schedule yourself a block of time for such activities so that you are sure to do them. Organizing your time and sticking with your goals will make them easier to achieve.

5. Make yourself accountable. Social media can be a great way to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Once you’ve come up with realistic goals for the year consider announcing them on social media. This public declaration can help you hold yourself accountable as well as motivate you. In addition, you can join online groups who have similar ambitions for the New Year. Talking with others about shared goals not only offers support but can encourage you.

6. Don’t quit at the first road block. Despite our efforts to set a realistic goal as well as keep a detailed and organized plan, life is still unpredictable. Sometimes things just happen and can create road blocks that make our resolutions harder to stick with. However, don’t sweat the small stuff and learn to give yourself a break. Maybe you caught a cold and your workout resolution had to be temporarily put on the back burner. Realize that these things happen and simply try again. Don’t let the road blocks that pop up throughout the year stop you in your tracks. Simply adjust your plan to your current situation and proceed from there.

As we say goodbye to 2015, we hope these tips give you the confidence to make 2016 the best year yet. Happy New Year!


Written by Hope Roush, OVB Financial Literacy Leader. Congratulations to Roush on earning one of only five Honorable Mentions bestowed across the nation from the American Bankers Association in the category of Financial Literacy. The honor was received for the OVB Classroom Adventures Program featuring The Centsables.

 

 

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