How To Keep Your Resolutions By Setting Smaller Goals
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Resolutions are meant to be broken, or so the saying goes. Most new years resolutions don't last even half of the year! How often do we say we are going to change a bad habit, or achieve a big goal only to remain on square one months later. In that case, the resolution was probably all talk and very little action. The way to get anything in life done is by making efforts and making small goals towards achieving the bigger resolution.

Now, if you are serious about following through with your resolutions, that's great! Write down your resolution. This could be in a journal, a fresh notebook, or a piece of paper you hang up on your wall as a constant reminder. Now, brainstorm how you are going to get from Point A to Point B. Make a checklist. This, of course, will depend on what your goal is. For instance, if your resolution is to learn a new language or instrument, a step towards fulfilling it would be to enroll in a music class. There are many apps and resources online these days where we can learn new skills. Be careful of becoming that person who buys an expensive instrument, book, or equipment only to quit early on. It's better to start out with something borrowed than to have high quality material picking up dust in a corner somewhere! Once you have the things you need, set those goals. In the case of learning new skills, this means managing time to practice or study daily. Set a time when you practice and for its duration.

Other kinds of resolutions are not as simple as gathering your resources and devoting a half-hour of your time. Some of these could be financial. For instance, the big goal can be to move into your own apartment. How to do that? We'll need money for rent, utilities, all the necessities. This may require searching for work that pays more. Send the applications out left and right. Once in that better-paying job, work on your saving habits. As a natural saver, that is no problem for me, but for anyone who needs to hear this, necessities before accessories. If you can live without the thing you want, if you have no immediate use for it, don't buy it. Use the money you have to keep the lights on, not on your shoe collection, or whatever excesses you have. Keep a budget. If you have any extra cash to spend on the things you want, fine, but make sure to prioritize your finances for the important things first.

If this goal is creative, set a quota. If your resolution is to publish a novel, then a big step towards doing that is completing your story. Set a goal: write one chapter a day, a short story a week, or a certain number of words or pages per day. One word of advice I would like to give is not to wait for inspiration. Yes, inspiration can come from anywhere but some days, the flow dries up and you must look for it. Searching for writing prompts online is one place to go. These prompts come in pictures or words. A "writers tool box" with colored strips of paper, coded for Introductory sentence, non sequitor, conclusion, and three random objects to include can help as well. Waiting for writers block to end is not the way to go because that may take ages. Think of it as the creative gears needing oil. They're not going to "unrust" themselves. The same may go for visual artists as well.

Feedback is also important to completing one's goals. Ask someone with experience for guidance if necessary. If you are taking a music class, listen to what your instructor tells you so you may best improve. Listen to those who have worked the job for longer than you have. If your goals involve sports or fitness, listen to your coach or trainer. Make any and all improvements necessary. Of course, let us distinguish between constructive criticism and words of discouragement. Whatever goal you set out to achieve, someone is going to try and discourage you. Part of reaching Point B may well be stonewalling the nay-sayers. A lot of the times, these are jealous people who tell you you can't because they are afraid that you will. Not all feedback will be positive but if it is coming from an individual with experience who knows what he or she is saying, let it inspire you to improve.

Set deadlines for yourself. When will this be completed? This can sound like "Finish my novel in three months", "Learn to play (song of choice) in a week", or "Save (X amount of money) in a month.

Choose perseverance. This is especially the case if your goal involves morals, ethics, values, or are religious in nature. Don't give up on your honesty resolution if you told a lie one day in. Try again the next day, the next minute. Consider all the time we have as a second chance. If you forget to practice the guitar or write your chapter one day, don't quit. Continue on the next day. Write two chapters or practice for double the time if you can. It takes will power, it takes passion for the things you love, it takes hard work, and it takes time.

So we're a couple of weeks into the new year at this point and maybe some of us have already given up on our resolutions. Some of us may be feeling discouraged that we're not close enough to Point B as we had hoped. In some cases, we may need to re-evaluate what our overall goal is. Is it doable? If it's a realistic goal, don't be discouraged. Keep your sights on the the "bite-sized" milestones and focus on the present as best you can (I know, that isn't easy!). Remember that you are just a step closer. Resolutions can be made all year round, at any point in life. They can be kept and worked on at any time. You only fail when you allow yourself to fall behind, and you can only succeed if you put the hard work into it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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