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Boost New Year Success with Bite-Sized Resolutions

January 1st, 2010

new-years-resolutions.jpgA new year can be an exciting and motivating time to set new goals, but most people tend to bite off more than they can chew by vowing to tackle every dissatisfying area of their lives at once. This inevitably leads to frustration when they realize that old habits aren’t so easy to change. If the thought of setting traditional “too big to imagine” New Year resolutions seems overwhelming, you may be more comfortable with a miniature version to start.

Here is a much easier, simpler version of New Year resolutions that practically guarantees your success.

1. Setting Smaller Goals

The first thing to acknowledge is that you can’t take on every area of your life simultaneously and magically transform it into the dream life you desire. Forget trying to quit smoking, lose 50 pounds, meet your soul mate, start a new business, and add $100 a week to your savings account all at once. It’s perfectly acceptable to have such goals in mind for the long term, but first you have to start taking smaller steps.

Take a few minutes to think about the most important goals you have for the new year (try tackling just one or two at a time), and then consider ways to break them down into smaller goals. For example, a goal to lose 50 pounds of excess weight can seem like a daunting challenge, but what if you broke it down into a smaller goal of losing 10 pounds in January, 10 pounds in February, and so on until you reach your goal weight? It seems much less intense, doesn’t it?

2. Focus on the Action Steps

Rather than basing your perception of success or failure on the results you achieve each day, instead try focusing on the action steps themselves. If your goal to lose weight involves cutting back on refined and processed foods, drinking more water, and exercising for 20-30 minutes each day, you can tell at a glance whether you are sticking to your plan or not. If you are, it is very likely that you are also making progress in terms of results. If not, you may need to adjust your plan to better fit your lifestyle.

Set an appointment with yourself for a weekly review and pay special attention to old habits of self-sabotage that might get in the way of your goal.

3. Expand Over Time

After a few weeks have passed and you are consistently working on your new bite-sized resolutions, you may feel ready to start expanding your original plan. You may decide to increase the length or intensity of your workouts, add in a few daily action steps on other goals, or otherwise shift gears and broaden your horizons. Simply follow the same bite-sized process above and avoid taking on more than you can reasonably handle.

A good rule of thumb is to consider what you know for sure you can handle each day, and then make a list of “extra credit” actions you can take if you have time and energy left over.

Resolutions Are Not Just for the New Year

As you may have guessed by now, you don’t have to wait for a new year to begin setting goals and improving your life. Try setting new goals every month, or mini-goals every week. Consider what you would like to accomplish during the next week or month, create a plan for doing so, and get moving on it with consistent effort.

Before long you’ll be feeling so empowered from all the progress you’re making that transforming every area of your life will seem much more possible — as long as you do it one step at a time.

This article on New Year’s resolutions was supplied to us by Wendy Betterini from Constant Content.

One Response to “Boost New Year Success with Bite-Sized Resolutions”

  1. comment number 1 by: Ireland5

    This is a good reminder of why most resolutions fail - no matter the time of year. Most people set their goals too high and opt for major changes. Much better idea - as suggested in the article - is to set the threshold lower to enhance the likelihood of success. Once you succeed at one thing, set the goal higher or branch out to different goals.

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