Making a New Years’ Resolution that Sticks

STEP 1: Choosing a Goal

The first step in making a resolution that sticks is to choose a goal to which you are truly committed. 

To have staying power, a resolution or goal generally needs to solve a problem. Gaining insight into your life is rarely sufficient to effect permanent change. Instead, a goal must be chosen that involves an active attempt to generate changes in how you behave.  In order to identify a goal, ask yourself the question “what would have to change to improve my life?” If you have a particular problem you are facing, you may ask “what would have to change to solve this problem or for the situation to improve?”

If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, you may ask family and friends for ideas on possible goals.  If you discuss them together, look for the means by which you might attain them. Often you may identify a problem, but be unsure as to the solution.  For example, you may be unhappy with your current work situation, but you are not sure if you want to quit your job, go for a promotion or stay where you are. If this is the case, set a goal that will help determine which coarse of action would be best.  In the previous example, your steps towards achieving your goal may include asking your supervisor what he or she would be looking for in someone to promote.  You may also want to explore career options that utilize your skill set or education programs in your areas of interest.

Remember, the purpose of step one is to identify a goal that you’re committed to working on. Don’t choose something that others perceive as a problem, but you do not.  You won’t stick to it. Try to choose something that really does solve a problem that you are currently facing.