Tips for Setting 2011 Resolutions That You’ll Actually Keep

The following post is from Prerna of The Mom Writes:

source: lululemon athletica

I’d never been a big fan of New Year Resolutions.

Until this year, that is.

In the past, I would make lists of resolutions or goals, really lofty ones, and once I failed to achieve the first two, I would pretty much toss the list into the trash. 2010 has been different. I not only achieved 80% on my list, I also got a start on the remaining 20%. Guess how that feels?

Here are some simple ways to make New Year Resolutions that you can actually see through and that help you be productive, happy and organized through the year:

Set Small Goals

The importance of ‘baby steps’ cannot be ignored when it comes to resolutions. Setting small goals not only makes achieving them easier but also motivates you to move further down your list. So, instead of setting a goal of losing 20 lbs. by the end of the year, set a weight loss goal for the month. Rather than resolving to organize or declutter the entire house by the end of the year, focus on decluttering just that drawer or closet. Breaking a bigger goal into smaller steps or yearly resolutions into monthly, weekly or daily ones makes keeping resolutions easy.

Batch Resolutions Together

Jo-Lynne recently spoke about batching tasks together to get more done. You can do the same with your New Year Resolutions. For instance, if your resolution is to read a good book every month, tie it in with widening your social circle and join a reading group or library. You can also batch a resolution with an activity that you currently do and enjoy. Want to learn a foreign language this year? Listen to a tape while you do your morning run.

Identify and Set Time Limits

While making your list of resolutions, write down the time that it will require as well as the time that you can devote to it. Making a resolution that will add 10 hours to an already packed week is not going to help you. If the end goal is something that you really want, be prepared to let something else go. Also, set time limits to achieve your resolutions, no matter how small.

Be Specific

Specific, clear-cut resolutions make it easier to succeed. Don’t resolve to be a better writer or blogger. Write down your action plan. Set time limits and then, take action. Being a patient parent isn’t good enough. Write down what would actually make you calmer and more patient with the kids.

Get Real

Most importantly, be realistic. You know your life and schedule best. So, don’t try and make a resolution that you think looks good. Work with what you have. Maybe you don’t have the time to start a new health or fitness goal this year. See if you can just improve on your existing exercise routine. Being real about what you can or cannot do will help you make resolutions and set goals that are achievable and accessible. This, however, does not mean that you shouldn’t shoot high. Do that, but not at the cost of your happiness and health.

Think of New Year Resolutions as small goals that you need to achieve through the year and chances are, you’ll never break a resolution. Be specific, be real and break things down into baby steps and by the end of the year, you’ll be able to cross off every single resolution on your list.

Do you make New Year Resolutions? How do you make sure you achieve them?

Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in being postively productive, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences with productivity and parenting at The Mom Writes.