For me, setting New Year’s resolutions has always reminded me of sitting in traffic. As you’re in your car, you’re focus on one thing – getting to where you want to be.
Yet you will see others pass you by. You will stop at red lights and miss the change. There will be a number of things that slow down your journey. While others seem to just breeze through and get all the ‘luck’.
There are also lots of distractions. People walking by outside, the radio, erratic driving, these all redirect your focus from just getting from A to B.
I think you see where I’m going with this. Setting and keeping New Year’s resolutions isn’t easy. There are lots of distractions, stopping and starting, changing direction, and more.
That is unless you plan ahead a little more. Avoid routes with traffic, set off a little earlier, and learn how to avoid distractions.
So what do you need to do to set New Year’s resolutions that you’re going to stick to?
This is a common question this time of year, and something that haunts some people year in, year out. It’s no good simply setting resolutions and not having a game plan in place to stick to them.
So here are 4 easy to action goal setting ideas for 2016. They are easy to achieve, fun, and offer some real benefits.
Goal One: Read a New Book Each Month
Knowledge is power, and reading a book is fast becoming a forgotten art. You don’t have to visit a library or buy an old paperback, using a kindle is fine (it is almost 2016 after all).
You can read chapters anywhere you go whenever you have some spare time. If you have not read in a while hopefully you will capture those exciting feeling of learning something new and getting lost in a good book.
Goal Two: Exercise at Least Three Times a Week
When it comes to self-improvement there isn’t any beating exercise. You will reduce your levels of stress, slow the aging process, certainly feel a whole world better, and boost your confidence as you look better.
Exercise is one of the more common goals set in a new year. And, probably the most commonly abandoned goal. The trick here is to set aside rigid times in your diary to exercise.
Put aside just 10-15 minutes three times a week at first. Something easy to stick to. There is evidence to show that setting a morning workout is a lot more likely to stick. So slot in those 15 minutes before you start your day.
Goal Three: Eat Healthier
This ties in with the exercise. I am always hearing people say they will eat healthier once Christmas is out of the way. Then there are the leftover chocolate from Christmas that need to be eaten, then there’s a birthday, then there’s another excuse.
Eating healthy is a lifestyle choice. You need to eat well all day every day, or it’s never going to stick. So start buying vegetables and once the junk food is out of the house don’t replace it. Oh, and don’t skip breakfast. I know a lot of you are guilty of this, get some granola and yogurt in.
Goal Four: Manage Your Time Better
Make a list of daily distractions that eat away at your time. Now ask yourself if they are really necessary. If you’re a big ‘yes’ person, that’s something that has to change. Did trying to please everyone in 2015 really help that much?
I have written about putting a stop to procrastination, or how to remove time-wasters before. The only way to make a start on this is to do something about it. So make that list, start ticking off those distractions, and become a more productive person in 2016.
Good luck, and many happy returns for the New Year.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.