How to Make Achievable Resolutions This New Year

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How to Make Achievable Resolutions This New Year

Most people have experienced the discouraging act of breaking new years' resolutions. At one time or another, most people have felt motivated to change their lives for the better only to quickly lose energy and ambition, a day, a week or a month into the new year. Others simply refuse to make any resolutions because they understand the pointlessness of making resolutions that simply won't be kept. The reason why there are so many broken New Years' resolutions is because most people are making resolutions that are simply not achievable. However, with a little planning and determination, it is possible to make resolutions that you will actually keep during the next year.

Before embarking on your new years' resolutions, you should be sure that these are goals and achievements that are really important to you. For example, is your goal to run a marathon this year just something that sounds like a good idea, or do you really desire to run a marathon? If this achievement is truly important to you, you are much more likely to stick with those grueling training runs on raining mornings. Or if your resolution is career-related, first ask yourself why that particular goal or achievement is important? Why is that new job, promotion, or business development goal so important? What is the motivation behind it? When you are able to analyze the desire behind your resolution, you'll be better prepared to make resolutions that are attainable, realistic and worthwhile.

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Many people make the mistake of making resolutions that are not specific. Things like "eat healthier," "watch less television" or "exercise more" are goals that are impossible to measure. When will you know you've actually changed your eating habits? How will you determine how much television is too much? How often will you exercise to meet your goal? Rather than making a general statement, try planning a specific goal that can be measured. For example, instead of resolving to eat healthy, try planning to eat five servings of fruit and vegetables, or to cut potato chips out of your diet. You might plan to cut your sugar intake down to a specific number of grams, or cut out your daily can of soda. While things like counting sugar grams and vegetable servings may seem tedious, it will allow you to actually measure your progress. If your goal is to exercise more, set a specific amount of time that you want to exercise each day or week. Say, you want to exercise for half an hour three times per week. Or maybe your goal could be a specific number of miles to walk, run or bike each week. No matter what your goal is, make sure it is specific and measureable.

Remember to surround yourself with inspiration. Find inspiring fitness fanatics to follow on Instagram, buy cookbooks full of beautiful pictures of healthy foods, read books on achieving success in the business world, or anything else that leaves you feeling inspired. If you can find a friend or relative who shares has similar resolutions as you do, that is even better. Share your successes and your failures with that person. Encourage each other as both of you inch your way closer and closer toward fulfillment of your goals. Be diligent about seeking out those sources of inspiration whenever you feel your motivation slip.

Finally, remember to give yourself grace to fail at times. Everyone has their off days. Star athletes and celebrity trainers have days when they simply don't feel like working out, or when they don't exercise as hard and for as long as they know they should. Nutritionists slip up and indulge in a little too much junk food every now and then. Successful business professionals can tell you plenty of stories of times they have made mistakes, shown up late, forgotten appointments, fallen behind schedule or faltered during speaking engagements. Everyone has their bad days. When you have a bad day, or several day days, it is important to simply forgive yourself and start over again. Wallowing in guilt over failures is not helpful. If you are constantly thinking about how many times you've messed up or how far you've fallen from meeting your goal, you may be tempted to simply give up. 

When temptation to quit strikes (and it will), think back to the motivation behind your goal. Maybe you haven't trained for that marathon for two weeks and it feels impossible to pick up your training regimen again. But remember how badly you wanted to achieve your goal of running a marathon. This is something that was extremely important to you and you have put a lot of effort into. Rather than giving up, resolve to start again. Start again every day if you have to. Your journey toward success may take longer and be harder than you imagined, but you can get there.

About the author: Seth Gowdy is the Sales Manager for Pivot Insurance and holds multiple insurance and securities' licenses. He has been part of the financial services industry for nearly 20 years. In his free time he enjoys being outdoors fishing, hiking, and geocaching with his wife and two children. Seth most enjoys helping clients with Pivot’s customized process and needs' calculators. You can reach Seth at 1-800-651-1953 or

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