The new year is here. Are your goals set for this upcoming year? Have you created a plans on how you are going to meet your goals? Are you committed to seeing them through to the end? If you need a little help getting the ball rolling on your New Year Resolutions, then you should read our tips now!

So many people have difficulty making their New Year resolutions stick. But you don’t need to join that group. With a bit of planning and support you can create goals and resolutions that will last the whole year.

 1. Realize that New Year’s day is just another Day

You can make resolutions, plans or personal changes any day of the year. Don’t feel pressured into making huge life changes based on an arbitrary calendar day. Every day is a new day every day is a new opportunity to start making the changes you want. My husband feels September with the new upcoming school year is a better time for him to make commitments to personal growth and changes. Myself, I try to make small changes throughout the year and some of my personal goals change with the seasons. For example, I’m committed to spending more time outdoors in the middle of the winter because we spend too much time indoors because of our cold Canadian weather.

2. Are you ready for Change?

Sometimes we make changes to please others, like our parents, our partners, or friends. Take the time and reflect why are you making this change right now? Is it truly for yourself or are you feeling pressured by others to change your behaviour? What are the reasons for making this change and how will you benefit from choosing this goal? What steps do you need to take to get ready?

You need to realize you may not be ready for change. What do you think is preventing you from making a change?  Sometimes people can’t make changes because they are afraid of something and they need to address that fear first. Other times, we think about change but we don’t know where to start or the task seems to big.

3. Plan the Time to make the Change

Think about the goals you want to set for this upcoming year. Take the time to map out the changes you would like to make.  Even Olympic athletes have to train for years.  No one ran a marathon the first day they put on a pair of runners.  Dream BIG and break down your goal or resolution into manageable pieces.  And take it one step at a time. The most important decision you can make to succeeding is to make the decision to make the first step. People often fail because they don’t even take the 1st step. Remember it takes at least 21 days to create a new habit. People expect change to be instantaneous.  It takes 3 weeks to create a new habit and to break old patterns.  Don’t be easily discouraged. It will take time for your family and friends to see that you are making changes.

4. Write down your Resolutions

I feel you will be more likely to succeed if your goals and resolutions are written down and you have to see those words everyday. Write them down somewhere were you can see them, read them, or say them.  Put them on your calendar, your bathroom mirror, in your smart phone, or in your journal. Daily affirmation of your goals can be a powerful tool to help motivate you and encourage you when you don’t feel like committing to your goals. Use positive language when you are creating your goals and resolutions. It’s better to say “I will be doing X” then “I won’t do this anymore”.

Visualize your future. How will you feel if you commit to spending more time with your partner? What will it look like if you learn to deal with your anger and frustrations?  How will your life change if you stop smoking?

5. Get Support!

Tell someone! You are more likely to succeed at change if you publically announce your intentions. Of course choose your audience carefully.  Choose to tell people who want you to succeed.  Get yourself an accountability partner. Someone who you trust and who will hold you accountable for your progress or lack of progress and not accept your excuses. They should challenge you in a supportive manner without crushing you.

You can get help from a therapist to help you overcome some of the barriers you may face or to look at why you are finding it difficult to achieve your goals. You can also look at online support groups for places to chat with others who are trying to achieve the same goals.

Watch our video from this CTV Morning show where, Nataxja Cini MSW RSW CCC, talks about New Year resolutions with Jeff Hopper.