While catching up with a few friends at the start of the new year, the mandatory question was dropped in between our conversations: So, what are your 2020 new year’s resolutions?
In 2019, the top three most popular new year’s resolutions all had to do with diet and exercise, followed by saving more and then learning a new skill or hobby. These are vague and common goals that are easily forgotten – 80% of resolutions are abandoned by mid-February, and only 8% are ever accomplished.
This new year, consider taking your 2020 goal to another level, one that will really force you to break unhealthy habits, break new ground, or beat personal records. Setting lofty goals won’t just help you expand the limits of your own abilities—it will help keep you accountable. After all, few will be bold enough to ask you about that 10 lbs. you said you’d lose this year, but who wouldn’t want to know more about your goal to swim with a shark, run a marathon in North Korea, or cut a word out of your vocabulary entirely?
And the key to being able to achieve these goals need to begin with first setting these goals well. Here’s how to start yourself on the strongest possible footing this year.
1. Make It Specific
Eating better and exercising more are all nice ideas, but they’re too general and don’t give you a plan of action. People often think they lack motivation when the problem is really a lack of clarity, wrote author James Clear in his book, “Atomic Habits.”
“The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION],” writes Clear.
If you want to eat better, be specific: Resolve to add a fruit or vegetable to your lunch every day, limit fast food to once per week, or have dessert once a week.
2. Set yourself up for success
Trying to stay off your phone? Get it out of your bedroom by using a standard alarm clock. See what they tell you: If you’ve resolved to spend less time on your phone but grab it as soon as you wake up, put your phone in another room at night. Oh, it’s your alarm, you say? Buy an alarm clock. They cost $6 now.
If you want to limit sweets, get them out of your house. Stay away from your work’s break room during Wednesday snack time.
3. Change it up when necessary
Don’t worry about a year-long resolution. You can effectively say goodbye to cookies for just a month.
Do you just hate the idea of a resolution for the entire year, seeing an entire year of failure ahead of you? Follow in Editor David Allan’s footsteps and set yourself a year of 12 monthly micro-resolutions. In 2018, he eliminated one behavior each month — think alcohol, sweets, screens around his kids, saying the word “like” — and noted the impact of his mood and the effect on himself and his family.
Getting enough sleep didn’t go so well for him one month, so he swapped it out. He wrote his own rules, so he could change them and therefore succeed. And you can, too.
Ready to begin?
Just in case you need a good headstart in planning those 2020 new year resolutions and making this your best year yet – Here are some ideas to get you going.
1. Start a Meditation or Mindfulness Practice
There are scientific studies that show the many benefits of meditating or practicing mindfulness.
To name just a few, it helps to improve your mood, reduces stress, lessens anxiety, and it even increases your brain’s grey matter — which is involved in muscle control, sensory perception, decision making, and self-control. In addition, once you get the hang of it, meditating or practicing mindfulness is easy to do.
2. Stop Procrastinating
If you didn’t achieve your goals this year, procrastination was the likely culprit. Make 2018 the year you stop procrastinating and start getting things done. This will help you to ensure that you won’t be sitting there at the end of next year wondering why you never got around to working on your goals.
3. Learn a New Skill
What have you always wanted to learn to do? Do you want to learn to play an instrument, code, knit, whittle? The possibilities are endless. Take advantage of all of the information that exists out there on how to learn new skills quickly and reach the end of 2020 with a couple of new skills under your belt.
4. Play More
5. Strengthen Your Personal Relationship
Don’t make all of your resolutions career or fitness-oriented. Include that special someone in your life in your resolutions. In addition, let them know what you’ll be doing: “Hey, honey, guess what? We’re strengthening our relationship this year!” Spend time with the people you love and focus on strengthening personal relationships with the people who matter to you.
Aventis wishes all a prosperous and successful 2020 ahead and may this be a year when you finally achieve the goals you’ve set out for yourself!