The psychological satisfaction of New Years Resolutions – 7 Tips to achieve your 2020 goals

POSTED BY:
Debra Rutherford
CATEGORY:
DATE:
3 January 2020
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Happy New Year! As we enter a whole new decade it seems fitting that we discuss new years resolutions and goals.

New years resolutions may seem a little cliche but did you know that people who set new years resolutions are 10 times more likely to make changes than those who don’t set themselves these goals? (Journal of Clinical Psychology). So it is little wonder that we feel compelled to set ourselves targets come the 1st of January.

Of course, goals can be set at any time, however, there is something psychologically satisfying about tying in changes and achievements to the fresh new start of a new year. New year, new beginnings.

Here we share a few tips to make your self appointed challenges for 2020 a success.

  1. Personalise your goals

Travel to a place you have always wanted to visit, spend more time with family, save money, secure an internship, make more time for you, join the gym, eat healthily, run 10k, lose weight whatever your goal make sure that it is something that you truly want to achieve. It’s no good picking a resolution from a generic list because it sounds like a good one if your heart’s not in it chances of success are pretty minimal!

Think about what will make you happy and go from there. No matter how big or small your goal is, it’s your goal, it’s for you and it is unique.

  1. Always have a reason

Whatever your goals are when you set them you will have had a reason. For example, “I want to join the gym to exercise more and lose weight.”  Always remember why you are doing what you are doing. When you feel like giving up, reminding yourself why you started in the first place is often enough to get you back on track.

  1. Write them down

Documenting what you would like to achieve is proven to improve the chances of success. When we document something we feel more accountable, plus we can remind ourselves of what we hoped for and why.

  1. Focus and plan

Strive for progress, don’t overwhelm yourself with a long list of changes and challenges. You will only be disappointed when you can’t keep on top of them all. Instead, choose one or two goals to work on at a time and plan out how you intend to achieve them.

  1. Make them SMART

Okay so applying the SMART philosophy seems a bit much for a personal goal but it is really important!

S – Specific. A generic goal is inviting failure. For example, “I would like to save money” is pretty generic. “I would like to save money to pay for a trip” is better.

M – Measurable. If you can’t measure it how do you know if you have achieved it? “I would like to save £50 a month towards a trip.”

A – Achievable. Don’t be tempted to set yourself unattainable targets because it will only lead to frustration. Goals should always be within reach with a bit of work. If saving £50 a month is too much, set your sights lower, equally if saving £50 is not a challenge then increase it!

R – Relevant. Your goals should be relevant to you and often form part of a larger life goal so should be relevant to this. “I would like to travel to experience different cultures. I would like to save £50 a month towards a trip.

T – Time Based. A goal with no expiration is not likely to light a fire under you to work to achieve it. Setting yourself a time in which to complete the goal is imperative to success. “I would like to travel to experience different cultures. I would like to save £50 a month towards a trip that I will take in summer 2021.”

  1. Don’t be hard on yourself

There will be blips, you may not save your desired amount every month, healthy eating might go out of the window, you might not be able to make the gym as often as you like. Life happens, the important thing is not to dwell on things and get back into it as soon as you can.

  1. Finally, celebrate your wins!

No matter how small it may seem, celebrate your progress and reward yourself. You will feel far more motivated to keep going.

We hope that 2020 is a great year, set your goals and keep focused – You got this!

Articles of interest:

https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting/

https://psychcentral.com/blog/why-we-make-new-years-resolutions/

http://thepeakperformancecenter.com/development-series/skill-builder/personal-effectiveness/goal-setting/

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