Updated: Sep 25
With the new year coming in a few days, many of us are now thinking about how to make this year better than the last. This is a great time to start fresh and create new habits that will help us to be happier and healthier.
However, studies show that only 9 to 12% of Americans successfully kept their new year's resolutions .
If you are one of these people, congratulations! You obviously have some tricks up your sleeve whether it be willpower, determination, the right support and/ or a method to make your dreams a reality.
But if you are not in that 9 to 12%, there is still hope. In this article, I will share some simple ways that you can make this year better and more consistent than the last.
I want to give you the tools and knowledge necessary to be successful in whatever goal you set out for yourself.
So, if you are ready to make this year the best one yet, read on!
Table of Contents:
10 Tips on How To Start The New Year Off Right
Reflect On The Previous Year
The first step in setting yourself up for success is to reflect on the previous year. Think about your accomplishments and also your challenges.
What did you try that didn't work out as planned? Did anything happen that was beyond your control?
For example, if you had a goal to lose weight, think about what strategies you tried, what you liked and disliked. Maybe you tried a fad diet and gained more weight than losing it. Reflecting can help position you to learn and be able to adjust for next time.
Once you have identified your successes and challenges, think about what you could do differently this year to make things work better.
What Changes Do You Want To Make This Year?
Looking back on the past year, you can see that you've learned much about yourself—your thought patterns and habits. You've also learned about what works and doesn't work for you.
Now, it's time to make some changes.
Take a look at your goals this year and decide what needs to be tweaked or changed to fit your lifestyle and personality.
Maybe you want to focus on a different aspect of your health, or maybe your goal has completely changed this year.You may need to set new goals or adjust your priorities.
Remember that every failure is a learning experience; you can use what you've learned to improve your goals for the following year.
What New Things Do You Want To Try This Year?
The new year is a time for fresh starts. Think of the things you’ve always wanted to try and add them to your goals.
What are some things that you think would be fun to try? You can look at this list of things or make up your own:
A new workout routine.
A new hobby, like knitting, traveling, or photography.
A food that's totally different from what you're used to eating—like sushi or kimchi!
A new make-up or hairstyle.
A new lifestyle change, like quitting smoking or giving up drinking alcohol.
Do not delay anything further since you’ve been depriving yourself of it unless it is unrealistic at the moment. Step out of your comfort zone and do something new.
Do something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the courage or time to try.
Set SMART Goals
A SMART goal means that a goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Your goal should be specific and clear. It should also be measurable so that you can track your progress.
Your goal should be attainable, which means it is within your reach and not too difficult to achieve. It must also be relevant to your life purpose or goals.
For example, if you want to eat more vegetables, try this goal.
"I will eat lunch that contains several leafy green vegetables every other day."
Create A Plan
It's time to start planning. You know what they say: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Creating a plan helps you stay on track to avoid procrastination and overwhelm. Divide your goals throughout the year into mini-goals that are easy to achieve.
For example, if you want to lose weight, try this goal: "I will lose 10 pounds by the end of June."
Divide your goal into smaller parts that are easier to accomplish. This also helps keep you motivated and focused on what matters most at the moment.
Make Routines; Not Resolutions
Establish your habits as an everyday thing, not every new year thing.
Resolutions are often made with good intentions, but you should not wait for the new year to make a change. The best way to achieve a goal is not by making one big resolution but instead by making small improvements each day.
Start with small changes that are easy to implement. Then, build on them and make more challenging changes as you go along.
Remember that consistency far surpasses intensity. It’s better to do a little every day than to try and cram it all into one day.
Adjust Your Goals Accordingly
If you are halfway through the year and feel like you are not making progress, it may be time to adjust your goals or strategy. There may be things that happened beyond your control that caused you to fall behind.
If so, then don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, adjust your goals and get back on track as quickly as possible.
Small progress is still progress.
As the year starts, you'll want to be sure that you're setting boundaries. You can give more if you have more. So set clear boundaries and learn to say no.
If you learn to say no, you will have more time for the things that are important. You can't do everything, so don't even dare to try.
If you say yes to everything, then you'll end up feeling like a failure as you didn't accomplish any of your goals. Because you're busy helping other people achieve their own goals.
It is okay to help out sometimes, but do not spread yourself too thin by saying yes to everything. You'll be surprised by how much more you can give when you are not being drained by others.
Balance is different for everyone. Know your priorities, plan your time and energy wisely, and be mindful of what you are saying yes to.
Remember Your Whys
When you are feeling demotivated, remember why you started in the first place. Remember why you wanted to make a change in your life.
For example, if you don't feel confident about your body weight, remember why you want to be fit. If you don't do something now, you will feel the same throughout the year. And the cycle just keeps repeating.
Remember that you are doing this for yourself, not anyone else. You have to be your own cheerleader.
What to do next?
Change is hard. And it's even harder when you don't feel like you have the motivation to stick with it. But if you want something bad enough, there will always be a way to make it happen.
I hope that this article has given you some useful tips on how to start the new year off right.
If you need more help with your health goals this year, book a clarity call with me, and we can talk about how you can move forward with your goals. I'm here for you!
About the Author
Co-Author: Irish Doton
Alexa Hanshaw is a health and stress management coach who helps women be the CEO of their stress. She empowers her clients to push past the confusion of the health and wellness industry to create lifestyle habits that bring them energy and work with their bodies instead of against it.
Join her free Facebook group, Be the CEO of Your Stress and follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube for quick, easy & healthy tips on stress, health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and how to stay mindful!