5 secrets to success for your New Year's resolutions

November 3, 2015

Although New Year's resolutions are intended to help you better yourself either physically, emotionally or financially, the people who make them often fail because their expectations are unrealistic. The result? You feel worse off than before. Here are five proven strategies to help you stick with your resolutions.

5 secrets to success for your New Year's resolutions

1. Save money: focus on small changes

Saving money is something we all would like to do more often. Unfortunately, life can get in the way sometimes. It's good to have an overall target, but don't get bogged down in specific amounts or strict weekly goals.

  • Something as easy as placing a change bank on your bedroom dresser can help you begin a routine of saving extra money. At the end of the day, simply empty the change from your pockets or purse into your piggy bank. Then, every six months roll the change and deposit it into the bank. You'll be surprised at how much money you've accumulated!

Generally speaking, because finances are difficult to control and plan in advance it's important to focus on small daily changes.

  • Instead of that fancy coffee that costs you five dollars each morning in the coffee shop, make your own gourmet coffee at home. Multiplied by five days per week and 12 months a year, that morning hit of caffeine could wind up potentially costing you $100 per month or roughly $1,200 per year!

2. Lose weight: look at the big picture

Perhaps the most popular resolution of all, weight loss is a common concern for many who hope to end the year a little thinner. Although weight loss is a healthy idea if you're packing extra pounds, in many cases it can also be very unhealthy.

  • The speed and manner in which weight is lost will affect how long you can keep it off and your general level of health. Lose it too fast and you'll likely regain it soon enough. Moreover, drastic weight loss puts your health at risk.

When we eat healthily and exercise regularly, weight loss is a natural byproduct.

  • Instead of stressing about the numbers on your bathroom scale and restricting yourself to an unpleasant diet, try to lead an overall healthier lifestyle in the new year by looking at the big picture. The weight will melt away on its own and you'll start feeling better about yourself before you know it.

3. Go back to school: follow your passion

Continuing your education can be both rewarding and overwhelming, but doing it for the right reason is essential.

  • If your reasons for returning to school involve wanting to make more money or feeling inadequate in your career, this applies negative pressure to the situation. You'll soon succumb to the negative pressure and give up.

Be sure you know exactly where your passion lies and have a general direction in mind. Then, follow your passion.

  • Just the act of earning a degree won't necessarily make you feel more accomplished. However, if it's something you truly love doing then you're more likely to carry through with it.

The best way to succeed is by resolving to pursue learning for the sake of learning, not simply for a better salary.

4. Get a better job: aim for the stars

Much like returning to school, the desire to find a better job often springs from dissatisfaction with your current circumstances. However, it's important to not abandon one career and hop to the next. You could end up in the same situation a year later.

  • Instead of simply "job hunting," aim for the stars and make a list of your top five dream jobs. Then, do some research and be sure that you really would enjoy them. After you've set your goals, work towards getting the right qualifications so you can actually land the job of your dreams!

5. Meet new people: know what you want

It's only natural that anyone who has recently moved or transitioned into a new stage of life would want to get out and meet new people. The question is How?

  • It's important to know what you want before diving into a new social scene: are you looking for BFF friendships, social acquaintances with whom you can chit-chat, or are you seeking a deeper one-on-one connection?

Instead of simply vowing to "meet new people," figure out what specific kinds of relationships you're looking to find and where they might blossom.

  • Ask colleagues at work or neighbours for advice about opportunities, clubs or groups for meeting new people. Then, go to these locations and strike up a conversation. You might just meet a kindred spirit who shares your interests.
  • Be open about the opportunities you seek out, but don't go with the specific objective of "meeting someone." Be yourself and friendships will blossom on their own.

When it comes to New Year's resolutions, we often jump the gun and fail to consider which changes are truly sustainable. Being more deliberate about your resolutions will help you stick with them. To stay on track with your New Year's resolutions, set specific goals that are easily attainable, but also personally satisfying for you.

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