I would like to express my gratitude to you this New Year’s Day! Many people are starting off with a set of new resolutions that they want to follow today. Perhaps you have some yourself!
New Year’s resolutions can be a powerful goal-setting tool when you have specific aspirations that you’re hoping to fulfill. (In fact, your mind will like it better if you call it Goal Achieving – this is more powerful than just setting goals! No one really wants to only set goals – you want to achieve them! Many people go about setting their resolutions incorrectly, which leads to disastrous results and disappointment along the way. Learning effective resolution-setting strategies can ensure that, this year, you will accomplish what you set out to and ensure you have a more gratitude filled life.
Try these techniques to set successful New Year’s resolutions:
1. Brainstorm how you want to increase your gratitude levels by determining what you want to achieve. Start by looking at what you actually want to get done this year. Do you want to improve your financial situation? Do you want to obtain a degree? You can look beyond this current year as well, if you have greater aspirations. Do you want to buy a new home in 2 years, or change careers before you turn 30?
Start by mapping out the achievements you wish to accomplish. Brainstorm everything – write down every detail that really matters to you. Ask yourself if this will bring more gratitude to you, or actually push it away? Put this information down on paper so you can review it on a daily basis.
2. The next step is to turn these aspirations into long-term goals. Now that you know where you want to be, you can derive s
ome measurable goals accordingly. These will be your resolutions. If you want to buy a home in two years, what can you achieve this year? An example may be to “Put $5,000 into savings towards a down payment.” It might be stopping a bad habit like smoking in order to save bus money.
3. Long-term goals are um, a little too long term for your brain to handle! To make it more manageable, break your long-term goals into monthly goals. Break each of your resolutions into specific monthly achievements. For example, if your resolution is to put $5,000 into your savings account for a down payment on a home, a monthly goal may be to put $400 away each month or $200 from each paycheck. If you are a pack-a-day smoker, you may want to bring that down by a cigarette a day until you are smoke free!
It is important to choose monthly goals that are easy to obtain and help you work your way toward you’re your resolution goals. Try not to set your monthly goals beyond your capabilities. Setting savings goals beyond what you can reasonably afford, for example, will not help you achieve your goal. Since I am not a smoker, cutting down a cigarette a day may not be feasible! Seek help when you need it. Do not make it a struggle achieving what you want! Remember to be grateful during the process. This is something that you want to do! It will take some work if it is work achieving! If you find yourself struggling, ask yourself, “How is this affecting my gratitude? What is the goodness in this struggle?”
Another tip for goal reaching is to use the SMART system when setting your goals. These are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Rather than set a vague goal to “save money this year,” you’ll want to have specific and measurable goals with time limits or deadlines in place. “Put $200 into my savings account every pay period this year” is a much more obtainable goal.
As I mentioned before, create stepping stone goals. Trust me – it is easier to express your gratitude when you accomplish smaller goals (which will help develop momentum)! These are enabling goals that help you obtain your longer-term objectives. Some long-term goals lend themselves better to short-term goals than others. Following the savings example resolution as before, an enabling goal may be to “Work 40 hours every week in January” or “Cut my entertainment budget by $50 in January and put this money into my savings account.” For the smoking example, you may want to cut down 4 cigarettes a day for 7 days. After that first week, you may want to increase the number to 6 or 7. Having a detailed plan will provide a road map to know if you are on track.
5. Today is 1/1/11 – Get started today! The sooner you begin to plan out your New Year’s resolutions, the sooner you’ll be able to start reaching goals and achieving objectives. Get started on your goal-reaching strategy today.
You can set New
Year’s resolutions that drive results and you can benefit from them in each day of your year. These techniques will help you get the most out of your goal reaching strategy so you can attain the life you desire. Remember to have fun along the way, get some help if you need it, and always express your gratitude for where you are in the process!
The Gratitude Guru