Resolution Roadmap: 5 Ways to Conquer Your Resolutions

Resolution Roadmap: 5 Ways to Conquer Your Resolutions

Having a plan in place is the key to keeping New Year’s resolutions. Here are five pointers for successful mapping.

By: Helen Jane Hearn

It’s easy to make all the New Year’s resolutions we want, but it’s tough to keep them.

I’ve failed at keeping many resolutions in my life — and each time I failed it was because I didn’t have a plan. Without a resolution roadmap, I’m lost. I feel guilty if I’m not making progress on my goals and also feel disappointed in myself. But that can change.

These five tips take me from one action to the next, creating a roadmap to resolution success.

1. Schedule it
For the whole year, I put the time committed to my future venture in my calendar. My smartphone helps make this easy. Scheduling time to achieve my goals also allows me to be more realistic about the amount of time certain goals may take.

If I want to get better sleep, I schedule bedtimes. If I want to exercise more, gym time goes on the calendar. This keeps me aware of the time investment my goals require.

2. Recruit the Troops
Scheduling weekly and quarterly check-ins with a trusted group or friend goes a long way in helping me stick to my goals. With social networking, I can find small support groups nearly everywhere.

I have a local weight loss buddy with whom I share my weight loss progress every week. I have a small group that cheers on my career goals. Enlisting their support ahead of time makes sticking to the plan easier.


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3. Hire an Expert
Sometimes it takes money out of my pocket to keep my goal top of mind. Whether it means hiring a personal trainer to show me perfect form or taking a class in healthy cooking, bringing in an expert helps you stick to your goals, no matter how inconvenient.

Timing matters. If my goal is to build more muscles, I plan to have my first visit with my personal trainer in February, after January’s momentum wears off.

4. Make a Promise to Future You
When I think of my future self, I know I want to succeed, so I am more successful in making a plan. For example, if my resolution is to get my paperwork in order, I think of future me happily placing a file in a clean and organized file cabinet. Doing nice things for future me gets me out of the “do it later” mentality and into laying practical groundwork now.

5. Take Your Own Advice
Along with thinking of future me, I make a resolution roadmap by writing out all the advice I’d give to a friend about her resolution. It’s amazing how much advice I’d give to friends that I would never think of for myself.

When I write out what I’d recommend to a friend who is tackling that particular resolution, I’m often surprised at the specificity and quality of that advice. Sometimes removing yourself from the equation helps to create an actionable plan. What would I recommend to a friend who wants to lose weight, learn another language or read more?

With some thinking, some commitment and some forward vision, I know I can reach my goals in the year ahead.

Tell us, how do you keep your resolutions?

Helen has written about Internet culture and home entertaining at her eponymous site Helen Jane since 1998. Napa Valley-based, she is a certified specialist of wine and founder of Cheesewhizzes, a nationwide cheese-tasting club. She also captains her bocce team, Joanie Loves Bocce.

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Most importantly be realistic about your resolutions. They should be achievable . I have found that if I have broken them into stages, I have found it easier to stick to my resolutions. Secondly make just two or three really important ones- which will have a tremendous upside in your life.

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