The Joint Ventures' Blog

New Year Resolutions Make it happen for 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

It’s that time of year again!  January 1st, a new year, and a time for many to create New Year’s resolutions for the upcoming year.  While New Year’s resolutions tend to be a bit cliché, in reality, now is as good a time as any to make a change.  While the first two weeks of January tend to provide people with a new sense of vigor for life and positive change, the winter decline into February and March tends to reveal a dwindling commitment to resolutions at a rapid pace.  So the question is, how can we set goals and make them stick past January and through the entirety of the year.  Here are a few simple steps you can take to begin setting your own goals and achieving them in the year 2014.

  1. IDENTIFY THE GOAL - Take a few minutes to think about or actually write down some things in your life you would like to change.  What do you want to get out of this year?  What do you want to accomplish?  What is something that limited you last year that you want to change for the upcoming year?  Once you have a few ideas written down it is important to reflect and narrow down.  While it is noble for you to want to change ten different things about your life for the better, it may not be the most realistic plan going forward.  I would suggest that you pick one item you are the most motivated to change and also feel is a realistic goal you can achieve.  Now you want to define your goal in words.  There are two things to consider when stating your goal. One, be as specific as possible and, two, formulate your goal using positive terminology. By stating “I don’t want to be overweight anymore,” you are shedding negative light on your goal of improved health and fitness.  Additionally, it is a very vague statement.  A more positive example would be, “My goal is to lose 15 pounds in order to lower my cholesterol and improve my heart health.”  Each individual has different reasons for setting goals, so make your goal your own.

  2. MAKE A PLAN - Many people get to this stage in setting their goal and just want to go for it, but this is where the pitfalls tend to lie.  If you do not go in with a plan, this image of improved health and wellness will fall by the wayside quickly in the upcoming weeks.  Start by determining the best way for you to track your progress. Weekly weigh-ins are a great measure for tracking weight loss. Journalist is a way to track your stress levels especially in relation to activities or events that may trigger stress in your life.  Logs, spreadsheets or budgets help with finances and tracking changes in numbers.  Being able to quantify your progress objectively will reinforce your new habit.  Identifying obstacles is also an extremely important part of goal setting.  Oftentimes people are unable to achieve the goals they set because something gets in their way.  Before this becomes an issue for you, you should identify the people, things, or events which will inhibit your ability to reach your goal.  Once these obstacles are identified, you must come up with strategies to overcome them.

  3. TAKE ACTION - Now it’s time for you to take the first step in achieving your goal, and put your plan into action.  Through the logs, journal entries or weekly weigh-ins, you will be able to quickly identify how well you are able to stick to your plan.  You will also be able to identify any obstacles you did not foresee and adjust as need be.  For example, if your goal is to wake up at 6:00 am every weekday to go to the gym, but you have been hitting the snooze button a few too many times, then it’s time to strategize.  Try putting your alarm clock across the room, forcing you out of bed in the morning.  Lay out your gym clothes the night before so there is no additional preparation in the morning.  Find a workout buddy, someone you are scheduled to meet at a certain time who can hold you accountable.

  4. RE-ASSESS - It is helpful to pick end dates or progress dates so you can track how your goal is going.  This will allow you to see what has worked, what has not, and what you need to change in order to be more successful the next month.

Setting a goal is a process and is not easy to achieve, but if you follow a few basic steps and take the time to plan your course of action, you can achieve anything you set out to do this year.  If you have any questions about successful goal setting or  please feel free to contact me at our Post Office Square Location, or via email at

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