A new year for new beginnings, adventures and growth.

It’s easy to fall into this novelty trap and set yourself goals that will only inflate your ego for as long as they last. I read somewhere that after the 1st week of January, a quarter of us will already have abandoned our New Year’s resolutions, which can be quite disappointing. Here are ways to help you improve that!

1. Write your New Year’s Resolutions down.

By printing them down somewhere that you can often check on (e.g. a Word document, or as a poster on your desk wall), you will think more thoroughly about your resolutions, instead of just making resolutions for the sake of making them.

Also, if you ask me, you don’t need to make your resolutions before or on New Years. I have been quite busy with traveling around New Years, so I only got around to making my resolutions just recently. Because, really, who cares?

2. Share your resolutions with someone.

By sharing your resolutions with your friend(s), family, blog or any social media site, you will feel that your resolutions are being accounted by others (even if no one actually reads them). This self-beguilement is an effective and easy way to enforce this positive behavior.

This pretty much applies for anything you want to achieve as well. For learning a new skill, waking up earlier, to exercising more – you might as well take advantage of the mainstream web to share your goals. You will be motivated by others’ achievements, and you can motivate others with your advances, too.

3. Break down your resolutions into goals (and share these too!)

Resolutions, to me, are well-intended but full of fluff and bullsh*t. E.g. I want to lose weight, spend less, travel more, etc. Most of us want to achieve these things, but without a clear path on how to achieve them, you will most likely push them aside as more urgent demands command your attention.

My suggestion: After you have thoroughly thought through your resolutions, break them down into goals.

Want to lose weight? Good! What exercise(s) are you going to pursue, and how many times a week? How many meals will you eat each day, and how will you track what you eat? Have a concrete plan that you can build on and stick to.

Want to travel more? Great! What are the top 3 countries that you want to visit? How are you going to pay for these trips? How long do you want to spend in each of these places, and what do you hope to get from all these amazing wanderlusting?

Oh, and don’t forget to WRITE THEM DOWN. Doing so (electronically) will enable you to edit them as your ideas and plans change and, before long, you will have a well-planned out list of your goals for 2017.

4. Be grateful for what you have.

This is soo important and the key to your happiness and wellbeing. If you appreciate all that you have at the moment, instead of focusing on what you’re lacking, you’ll be much more satisfied with your life. Need help with this?

  • Keep a gratitude journal every morning. Write what you’re grateful for (anything, really!), how you could make this day better, and turn your negatives and flaws into something positive! The key is being positive, as it will inevitably translate to your state of mind.
  • Volunteer. I cannot reiterate this enough. Explore different kinds of volunteering and giving, and you will eventually find the one that you feel is most rewarding. The opportunities are endless – volunteering at a hospital, teaching an instrument, giving out meals – help is needed and welcomed everywhere.

5. Baby steps. Always.

The fresh new year seems promising and exciting, but don’t forget that you’re a flawed (but beautiful) human being. This means that you cannot take Mozart leaps that you know are unrealistic. This is why it’s so crucial to follow point #3 – breaking your resolutions into specific goals.

By recording your progress each step of the way, you will watch how you grow in this year-long journey. It’s not easy, it’s probably going to be hard, but it’s possible.

Good luck!