For me, and many others, the New Year is a promise of fresh beginnings, of renewed hope and of chasing after new dreams and goals. Which is why one of my favorite holiday rituals is writing a new year’s resolution. It’s something many people do around the holidays, hoping to find purpose and a sense of direction from the resolutions they write down. However, only 8% of all the people who do so are successful in achieving and realizing their resolutions. One of the main reason why that happens is because too many people dream too big and do too little. In fact, no dream is too big or too difficult if consistent steps are taken to turn it into reality.

Following are several tips you can follow while making this year’s resolutions to make sure they stick and you are able to turn to reality your dreams and aspirations for the coming year:

Stick to one thing at a time

One problem with most New Year’s resolutions is that we set too many goals, and not enough ways to achieve them. Yes, there may be multiple things you want to work on, but focusing on one at a time will improve your chances of achieving them. So for example, you want to lose weight, be more social and work on your confidence. Pick one first and try to incorporate the other goals wherever possible. So you might join the gym to lose weight. Working out and feeling good about yourself may help with your self-confidence. Also, interacting with people at the gym can help you further your goal of being more social. And that’s how you should work with all your goals.

Break it down

Instead of having big, overarching goals, break them into further smaller ones. So for example, if your goal is to work on your self-confidence, identify the steps you will follow to achieve the goal. You might identify where your insecurities stem from; may be your self-image, your weight, or your smile. There will be some things that you can work on and change, like may be your weight. But not your smile. So for things that you can’t change, you not only need to accept them, but also embrace them. They make you who you are, and you should love yourself first, to be able to become self-confident.

Be specific

This point is a continuation of the previous one. Being specific is very important when it comes to setting and realizing your goals. Some of the biggest mistakes people make are setting goals that are too broad. Making a resolution to lose weight, for example, is too general and does not give you something specific to work towards or a well-defined path to follow. So be specific and precise with regard to what you want to achieve.

Write them down

According to research, 25 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week and 60 percent abandon them within six months. In fact, the average person makes the same New Year’s resolution ten separate times without success. Why is it that there is so much talk about new year’s resolution but so little of walking the talk? One reason is that these resolutions are made in the moment and long forgotten very soon. One of the best tips to help you follow through with your resolutions is to write them down. According to research you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. Writing down your goals will help to clarify what you want to achieve and will motivate you to take action.

Chart your progress

It is important to track your progress and is one of the easiest, and effective ways to make your resolutions stick. A study conducted at the University of Washington concluded, that tracking your performance increases the likelihood of achieving your goals. Charting progress gives you frequent feedback, which encourages you to do better. Also, checking things off to-do lists is a rewarding experience. Having a visual picture of your progress like a calendar marking off days that you’ve taken steps to achieve your goals can also be helpful because it is aesthetically pleasing to the human eye to have consistency in tracking.

Reward yourself

Last, but not the least is rewarding yourself. If you’ve achieved what you hoped to earlier than the timeline you set for yourself, it is important to give yourself a pat on the back to keep yourself motivated. However, if you’ve fallen short, or slipped up, it’s equally important to give yourself a break and not to be too hard on yourself. Realizing that tomorrow is a new day, where you can start afresh will keep you from feeling depressed and demotivated about missed timelines. In fact, you can always readjust and realign your goals to suit yourself without becoming too lax.

So for this New Years, while writing down your resolutions, keep these points in mind, to make sure they stick and you are able to become the better, healthier and happier version of yourself. We wish you all a very happy holidays. May your days be filled with love, laughter and happiness. And have a great New Year!

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