We’re officially 2 weeks into the New Year and if you’ve had the courage to start a New Year’s Resolution, I hope it’s going well for you and you’re sticking with it. Sadly, research has shown that most people abandon their New Year’s Resolution around the 3rd week of January because it becomes too much effort and they are not seeing the results as quickly as they’d hoped. My goal though is not to discourage you. I want to help you beat the odds and accomplish what you set out to do with a few simple tips!

On the other hand, if you haven’t started a New Year’s resolution because you don’t believe in it – as long as you’re happy and fulfilled, I’m happy for you. But if you’re avoiding change just because it’s January, I want to encourage you to forget the month and focus on what really matters; you!

Regardless of whether you’ve started that resolution already, or are still contemplating if you should make one, here are My Top 6 Tips for Planning a Successful Any-Time-of-Year New Resolution!

Set a Realistic, Attainable Goal and to Attach a Date to it.

One of the reasons people abandon their New Year’s resolutions is because they want to change too much all at once. So you want to lose weight, be better organized, spend more time with your family, save for that vacation and get a promotion. While that all sounds wonderful, trying to get it all done at once can be overwhelming. My advice, pick just one goal to focus on and attach a date of “completion” to it. If it’s a short-term goal, let’s say you want to lose weight, have an idea in mind of how much you want to lose (pounds, dress sizes, or some other way to measure), and aim for a date. If your goal is more of a goal that doesn’t co-inside with a date, like spending more time with your family, (I’m assuming that’s an on-going goal), consider how you are going to do this. What day of the week can you commit to seeing your family? What time is realistic and works for everyone involved? What might you have to change in your schedule to accommodate for this and can you keep this commitment for let’s say 3 or 6 months? By setting a realistic, attainable goal and attaching a date to it, you are accomplishing two things. First, you want to set yourself up for success. Having just one goal is much easier to achieve because you can dedicate your time and energy to just that one thing. It makes it easier to achieve knowing you don’t have to spread yourself too thin. Second, your goal has to be realistic for you to accomplish it. You can’t lose 50 pounds in a month – that’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself and frankly it’s just not attainable. But 50 pounds over the course of 6 months could be possible.

Create an Action Plan with smaller Goals that Add up.

A goal without a plan will only put you on the road to failure; and nobody wants that! Once you’ve set a goal, create a plan for how you will achieve it! That means that if you want to be better organized in your home, how do you plan to do it? Home organization can be very overwhelming – especially if you’ve got some storage areas that haven’t been touched in years! Again – set a realistic, attainable goal by breaking it down in chunks. So your whole house needs an overhaul from kitchen cupboards and closets to the basement and the garage? Pick one area to focus on and attach a date to it. Maybe one room is still too much? Pick that closet or junk drawer first. Create a realistic plan that maps out what you are going to do and when. That way you can check off what you accomplish week-by-week or month-by-month.

Get Help and or Support.

It’s great to have a goal that focuses on you achieving it. But sometimes we are our best selves when we can ask for guidance, training or support. Maybe someone you know has accomplished the very goal you are setting your mind to. Could they offer you any advice or training to help you? Maybe you’re training for that marathon and you need to hire a personal trainer. Or maybe you work best by running with a friend. Maybe what you need is support from your spouse or family by way of just encouraging you. However you choose to get help/support, know that when you have people who can mentor you or lend an encouraging word it goes a long way.

Be Consistent and Exercise some Discipline.

One reason people don’t reach their goals is that they start off strong and lose consistency. A skipped workout here, a sweet indulgence there and soon those pounds aren’t melting off the way they used to. The key to reaching any goal is to be consistent in your actions. I know this is a tough one – especially if you have a long-term goal. But remember that when you set a realistic, attainable goal and break it down in chunks, you’re actually setting smaller goals to reach along the way to the big one. These smaller goals rely on consistency because the little things add up in the end. So if cleaning out your junk drawer is the smaller goal, it can lead to cleaning the whole den, which can lead to cleaning another room in the house until voila – the whole house is done. Being consistent helps us exercise our “will/discipline” muscles too. We might not always want to do the task at hand – even if it’s something we love like spending time with family, but when we’re consistent with it, it becomes a habit and helps us reach the big goal.

Visualize the End Result to Stay Focused.

No goal is complete without visualizing the end result. So you want to go on that dream vacation? What does that look like? Where is it? What does it feel like if you imagine yourself there? What does it smell like? Taste like? Is anyone there with you? What emotions are you experiencing? When you have a clear picture of what the end result can look like, it can help you during those times when working towards your goal seems hard. It can help motivate you to go the extra mile for that promotion or skip the Starbucks coffee to save for that holiday. Visualizing the end result will keep you on track with the bigger picture result you’re looking for.

Do your Best, and Don’t let Setbacks Crush your Goals.

Setbacks – you’ll most likely encounter some along the way. Maybe they’re big, maybe they’re small. Whatever you do, don’t let that setback define you. You’re NOT a failure. Maybe the setbacks help you think differently about your goal. Maybe it was too big, unrealistic or just not the right time in your life to be striving for that specific thing. Maybe…there’s something even bigger and better waiting for you. Regardless of what happens, you are not defined by the goal you didn’t accomplish (yet), or are taking a detour to, or realized that you need to be focusing on something else. Try your best, but if at first you don’t succeed, take some time to evaluate and be kind to yourself anyways.

So go ahead, start your New Year’s Resolution now – it’s never too late to make a positive change in your life!

About the Author

Bianca Schaefer is a 360 Holistic Health who inspires a global community to take charge of their lives through nourishing their body, mind and spirit with delicious healthy foods, an active lifestyle and a mindset that believes anything is possible! Her mission is to help others realize their greatest potential and use their unique talents to be an inspiration to others. Find out more about Bianca on her personal website, www.BiancaSchaefer.com