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This New Year will be Different!


The New Year is right around the corner and with the New Year comes a sense of rebirth and the feeling of a fresh start. It is during the euphoric feeling of renewal and holiday bliss, we vow, sometimes with three fingers in the air and right hand over our hearts, scouts honour, to be better. We make promises to ourselves to do better and feel better about some aspect of our lives. We make resolutions to get fit or save money or break a long time habit or even learn a new skill. And EVERY, SINGLE, YEAR, we forget about our resolutions and revert to our old ways. The guitar we purchased sits in the corner gathering dust or Rosetta Stone has long been forgotten. This year is going to be different. Let’s actually try to achieve those goals we set year after year. Here are some tips to help you stick with your resolutions beyond March and become a better version of yourself for 2017.

Write down your goals- Way before December 31st, start making your plan of attack. Start thinking of the areas of your life, within your control, that you are unhappy with. Do some soul searching and think deeply about these areas of your life. Once you have an emotional connection to your resolutions, you stand a better chance at accomplishing them. Visualize yourself actually accomplishing your goals and keep that mental picture in your mind as you pursue them. Place your list of goals somewhere visible that you could be constantly reminded of them.

Make sure that your goals are SMART.

  1. Specific- Don’t just write that you want to save money. Write down the specific amount of money you aim to save.
  2. Measurable- Make sure that you can track your progress. For example, you can take before and after pictures, if you are trying to get fit or keep your money in a savings account that you can easily monitor if your goal is to save money.
  3. Attainable- Make sure that your goals can be achieved within the time limit you set for yourself. If you don’t make ten figures in a year, make your goal of saving a million dollars just a little smaller or else, you may get discouraged if you do not achieve such a huge goal. This does not in any way mean that you should not have big goals, just be absolutely sure that you are committed to working harder and more diligently to achieve a bigger goal.
  4. Realistic- If your goal is not realistic, it may be easier for you to quit if you are not seeing any progress. Remember a big goal is not necessarily always an unrealistic goal.
  5. Time Sensitive- You want to make sure that you can make great progress with your goals by next December. You may have to break down a bigger goal into different time frames. Just set smaller goals and work on them over time.

Make a Plan- Create a plan of attack for tackling your resolutions. This should be done way before you want to start working on those resolutions. Write down the exact changes you are going to make to be able to accomplish your goal. If your goal is fitness, what are you going to do to change your eating habits or your level of physical activity? If you are trying to save more, are you going to eat out less or skip a few clothing purchases? If you have a clear plan you would be even more successful in accomplishing those resolutions.

Plan mini rewards to motivate you along the way- If your goal is physical fitness, make a small reward for every few pounds you lose or every extra mile you are able to run. This will give you something to look forward to and motivate you every step of the way.

Monitor your progress – For example, take progress pictures of yourself to see the changes in your body. If you are trying to stop a bad habit, make a calendar and tick off each day that you do not indulge in this habit. You can also download a smartphone app to help you track your progress. Review your goal list daily to make sure you are staying on track with your goals.

Have accountability- Tell someone about your goals. This way you would have someone to “give an account to” on the progress of your goals. Also, you can buy an item of clothing two or three sizes too small. Or commit to an event or a vacation and work towards that. Accountability gives power to your goals.

Achieve those goals- Once you are disciplined and committed to accomplishing your goals, on December 31st, 2017, you will be able to look back over the year and be proud of the progress you have made towards becoming an even better version of yourself.

The year 2017 will be a journey, but with a clear plan, it does not have to end in regret like every previous year. So this year work on a new skill, or save a few bucks, or transform your body, or all of the above. Do not break another promise to yourself! Whatever you decide to work on, I wish you much success on accomplishing those resolutions and make this upcoming year your best year ever!

By Abigail Harewood

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