Conquer your resolutions this year (in 4 easy steps)

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Each new year, by day two, we already start to see memes posted on our friends’ social media accounts. They’ve already failed their new year’s resolutions and can’t wait for the following year to come. We’ve all been there. This year do it differently, conquer your resolutions once and for all. With a few key tips, accomplishing your resolutions won’t seem so difficult and can become a reality.

Step 1. Brainstorm with vision boards

Many people start the new year desiring to better their life but have no clue where to start. It’s a bit difficult to make changes and accomplish goals if you don’t have a clear idea of what those goals or changes are. Try starting vision boards or set aside time for brainstorming sessions. These can be done alone or with groups of friends. Many people swear by vision boards whereas others opt for simple brainstorming techniques. It’s extremely useful to consider everything you’d like to realistically accomplish within the year in order to eventually conquer your resolutions.

Step 2. Set realistic expectations

Many people set unrealistic goals, get discouraged, and accomplish next to nothing due to lack of confidence. Resolutions such as earning a million dollars or starting a self-owned business usually lead to failure—without more in-depth planning. While it’s great to dream big, first identify the smaller steps needed to reach your goal and use those steps as your resolutions rather than the ultimate goal itself. For example, if your ultimate goal is to become fluent in Mandarin, first you need to see if it is feasible to accomplish that goal by the end of the year. The steps to becoming fluent in Mandarin might be to enroll in classes, take intensive courses, and live in Beijing for a period of time—let alone to have the resources needed in order to do it all. Write out a step-by-step plan, which might lead you to realize you need two, three, or even five years to complete this resolution. Thus, make your resolution for this year one of those smaller steps e.g. save $50 per week or practice language apps three times per week until you have the money to enroll in classes.

Step 3. Write them down and cross them off

Once you’ve got a clear idea of your goals and resolutions you should write them down—every single step. This simple trick is often taken for granted but can help immensely. While it may seem silly, it’s especially important to cross them off once accomplished. It’s amongst one of the most suggested practices to overcome periods of stress or anxiety because it helps visualize our goals, increase the desire to complete them, and then provides a huge boost of self-esteem once accomplished. As simple and ridiculous as it sounds, the desire to be able to cross something off a list is a tremendous source of motivation. Don’t just write down the resolution—but all the steps required to arrive at the resolution. No matter how small the step, write it down and cross it off when completed. Write it down, cross it out; simple and effective.

Step 4. Review and reset regularly

The final step throughout the year is to regularly review your goals, resolutions, and accomplishments to see how you’re doing. Don’t get discouraged if you’re off track, reset your goals and resolutions, and get yourself back on track. Remember success is the effort taken to accomplish your goal not necessarily in accomplishing it. There may be roadblocks and things that stand in the way of accomplishing your goals quickly, but it’s not a race. We tend to compare ourselves to others—which lowers self-esteem and creates negative thoughts. Remember, everyone accomplishes goals at different paces. Stay motivated, stay positive, and stay proud of completing even the smallest accomplishment. It will help you to get one step closer to conquering your resolutions.