The start of a new year is marked by high hopes and ambitious goals that often go nowhere after the start of March rolls around. The over-hyped and ever-cliché "new year's resolution list" is nothing more than a piece of paper that will foreshadow a year of disappointment. If you want to achieve success in the new year, evaluate your outcomes of this year and strategize what you can do to improve in the future. By understanding last year's life lessons, you will be able to thrive in the next.
1. Don't make a list of resolutions - create a plan of action.
Have you ever googled what the word "resolution" even means? According to Webster dictionary, a resolution is "a firm decision to do or not to do something." So a list of your resolutions is essentially a list of your intentions for the upcoming year. While this might be a cute assignment for your fourth grade journal entry, this is not the way to go if you actually plan on accomplishing your goals in the new year. By creating a plan of action, you are doing more than just outlining your intentions – you are formulating a strategy that will allow you to accomplish each individual goal, which culminates into a larger plan or idea.
2. Schedule an event that will bring you out of your comfort zone.
When you work on your plan of action, mark a date in your calendar and set up an appointment that will hold you accountable for taking on a new challenge. Everyone has room to grow and learn from their mistakes, and the only way to do so is by getting a little bit uncomfortable. Take part in something you have never done before, or put yourself in a new environment that can seem a little bit intimidating. This can mean meeting one on one with a highly successful professor in your major, or just exploring a new area for the first time on your own.
3. Cut the FOMO out of your life & focus on what's actually important.
Missing out on a girl's night to be productive is not going to make you lose all of your friends. Know when to stay in and stop letting social pressures keep you from getting things done. Remember that you have your whole life to get brunch with your best friends on a Sunday morning, but you only have until 11:59 p.m. to submit that essay. Learn how to prioritize.
4. Say yes to less and work smarter not harder.
Over committing and setting too many unattainable goals will prevent you from achieving success. By honing in on a few important tasks and outlining the details of how you will accomplish them, you will effectively complete all that you set out to do, AND you will have done it well. When you try to tackle too many responsibilities, you will inevitably have to sacrifice something.
5. Favor ideas that are realistic instead of idealistic.
It's so easy to let your mind wander as you dream about how you will live your "best life" in the new year. While it is always good to have positive expectations for your future, be sure to stop a moment and ask yourself if these thoughts are rooted in reality. Instead of telling yourself that this year will be the year that you become rich, focus on realistic habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you meet your goal of putting away $1,000 for your savings account. By achieving small goals every day, you get closer to bigger successes. A year from now you will look back on what you have done and be proud of all that you have accomplished.