Now that the new year is around the corner, everyone is thinking about their resolutions for the new year. Here you will learn how to set resolutions for the new year to make 2023 your BEST year yet!
The new year is a clean slate to start thinking about what you want, what moves you want to make, and what is possible for you in the upcoming year.
It is a great opportunity to reflect on the past year and what it has brought to your life. Think about your challenges, your success, and your growth.
Setting up your resolutions is very personal, meaning there is no right or wrong. You can set whatever resolution you want. It can be things like financial goals or things like bringing lunch into the office more often. It does not matter.
About 40% of people set resolutions for the new year, and about 44% of those will be successful after 6 months, as mentioned by CNN. That means that by June, over half of the people with resolutions for the new year will completely forget about them.
Many things determine whether or not you’re successful. These things specifically are:
- Are your resolutions specific enough for you to know what to do?
- Are you motivating yourself to keep going?
- Did you make a plan that’s realistic to achieve?
- Are you tracking your progress toward your resolutions?
- Are you rewarding yourself for your work?
We will go into all that to prevent you from feeling completely overwhelmed and quitting your new year’s resolutions before January.
Reflect On Last Year
When thinking about your resolutions and goals for the new year, it is a great practice to reflect on the past year.
- What have you achieved over the past year?
- What you would do differently if you could go back and change anything about the year?
- Where and how did you grow in the past 12 months?
- What were the challenges you faced? Why did you feel challenged?
- Are there things you want to let go of and forgive from the last year?
I recommend you reflect on all these questions for a moment if you can: journal on them. This will help to see what worked for you in the past 12 months and where you can get better next year.
Reflecting is a critical first step to helping you live your best life.
Make Your Resolutions (SMART)
The same CNN article states that you are 10 times more likely to change if you made your new year’s resolutions compared to a group who didn’t make any resolutions.
So that’s great! BUT how do we set resolutions that feel like we got this and are more easily met? We set SMART resolutions:
- Specific – Be clear about what you want to achieve and why this is important
- Measurable – Make sure that you can easily measure your process so that you stay motivated
- Attainable – Is your goal realistically being achieved in one year?
- Relevant – Is this matching with your other goals, are you the right person for this, and is this the right time?
- Time – When do you want to reach the goal? Think about what you can do a week from now, a month from now, and six months from now.
For example, a hard goal to attain would be: to get fit.
Define fit. When are you fit? Is that when I move daily? When do I work out? When do I bike more often?
An example of a SMART goal would be: to work out 3x per week and walk 30 minutes daily.
A SMART goal makes it very clear what is necessary in order for you to achieve it. It gives clarity and actionable items you can start doing from day one. Making SMART goals can take a little more time because you have to think about them more, but it’s worth the effort when you notice how much easier it makes goal-setting.
Create A Game Plan
When you have resolutions, it is time to make a game plan.
What steps will you be taking to make your new year’s resolutions?
There are two types of goals:
- Daily or weekly goals, like meditating daily or planning my weeks at work
- Monthly or yearly goals, like getting 10% additional income or saving 65% of income
With daily or weekly goals, there is no need to make a plan. It is very clear what you can do in order to meet this resolution.
A game plan can come in handy with monthly or yearly goals. These are the bigger goals that need to be broken down before you can reach this resolution.
It’s easy to think that you have an entire year before anything comes up. Yes, that is true, BUT the year goes way faster than you think. You may become overwhelmed with your big goals or totally forget about your resolutions (that’s what happens with me, oops!).
One great thing is to break up your goals over each quarter, month, or year.
I can take an example of my resolutions. My resolution is to get €300 passive income by the end of 2023, and currently I’m at €175. My monthly steps may look like this:
- January – Invest €1500 in current passive income platforms
- February – Search for a new peer-to-peer platform and invest €1000
- March – Minimize my peer-to-peer lending risks by having Mintos loan originators with better ranking
- April – Invest €1000 through dividend investing
- May – Check for current cashback for new platforms
- June – Get to €250 passive income
- July – Evaluate current investments and check if risks are still within acceptable limits.
- August – Search for a new solid peer-to-peer platform and invest
- September – Get to €275 passive income
- October – Check distribution amount platforms and redistribute if necessary.
- November – Invest in 2 new companies for dividends
- December – Get to €300 monthly passive income
Take It One Step At A Time
When we’re making a plan, the goal is to break the goal up into monthly or quarterly goals. If you do this, the steps feel smaller, and the chances of being overwhelmed are smaller.
If making a plan is hard for you, think about it this way. When you’re making a plan, reaching your goals is easier and more attainable. When there is no plan in place, you may feel overwhelmed, and this can result in abandoning your goals altogether. I’m sure you got this!
Check In With Your Resolutions Regularly
To keep your resolutions and stick with them, it is important to check in with your resolutions for the new year regularly. Depending on your preference, you may check daily, weekly, or monthly.
I have a couple of goals I want to check in daily with, like moving 30 minutes daily and meditating daily. There are other goals that I want to check in weekly, like working out three times per week. Lastly, regarding my bigger goals, I only check in with monthly to see my progress. For example, making €300 passive income monthly or saving 75% of my income.
When you are breaking down your bigger goals will help you see where you are at with your individual resolutions for the new year. If you are behind, you can still correct it as you are checking in regularly.
If you notice a specific goal is not working for you, do not hesitate to change it! It is NOT failing when you’re changing specific goals throughout the year to make sure that they are still what you want to achieve.
Make It A Habit
The best thing you can do with anything makes it a habit. That is how you will more likely attain the resolutions you set for the new year.
Do it daily or a few times per week, and it will be in your system due to this activity on a regular basis.
If you want to meditate daily, set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and start doing it. If you want to work out 3x per week, set a reminder on your phone and plan the days you want to work out.
It seems like a small thing when you start planning it, but when you make enough of these moves, you’ll make it a habit. When you make it a habit, you will make all your goals!
Just Keep Going
They will just know that you should keep going when things get hard. Don’t think about it too much. Just keep going. You’ve been building the habit and sticking to (most of) your goals, so don’t quit now!
If you need to find some motivation, do it! Together with making it a habit, seeking motivation is what you should do when you want to quit. It can be the thing that makes you stick to your 2023 resolutions even when things get hard.
A few things you can do is:
Have An Accountability Partner
What is a great way to stick to your goals and keep going is finding an accountability partner.
You can share your goals with them, and they can share their goals with you. You don’t have to have the same goals as your accountability partner. The most important thing is that they keep you accountable and they make meeting your resolutions more fun!
The best thing about accountability partners is that you can encourage each other, even if you don’t want to keep going. They will motivate you, you can talk with them about your obstacles and more.
Anyone can be an accountability partner: your friend, family, partner, or a friendly stranger on the internet. You want to motivate each other so that you meet your resolutions.
When you have a great accountability partner, meeting your resolutions will be easier than ever!
While an accountability partner is great, you also want some internal motivation to keep reaching for your goals. One great way to do that is to treat yourself.
Reward yourself when you’ve met one of your goals. This will motivate you to continue working towards your goals. If you want to extra motivate yourself and make that reward, you can even remind yourself of your reward periodically in your calendar.
The reward can be very simple, like having a night with friends, going to your favorite place to eat, or doing something on your bucket list. Either way, make it fun, so you’re motivated again to keep going!
If you have continuous goals, like working out 3x per week, you can reward yourself periodically. For example: after a month of sticking to the goal, you’ll take a day off work to go to the spa. After 2 months, you’ll have dinner at your favorite place. After 6 months, you’ll go on a day trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go to, and so on.
Remind Yourself Of Your Goals
One thing that you NEED to do, is to remind yourself of your goals ALL THE TIME. I’m the person that forgets goals on a regular basis, so that’s why I am telling you this right now. I mean, remembering your resolutions seems like the first step.
First thing first: write your resolutions and goals. This way, you will be more likely to remember them.
Also, think about your why. Why do I want to achieve these resolutions? Write it down next to your resolutions.
Other things you can do to remind yourself of your goals:
- Write it down on your calendar – actually plan it in to remind yourself
- Make a vision board – I’ve always loved vision boards. You can check the one that I made last year out here. I love making them, and they help me to stay on track.
- Set a reminder on your phone
- Put post-its with your goals on your mirror, on your fridge, on your dresser, and in more places that you visit often.
It’s Okay To Screw Up
So what if you screw up? It happens all the time!
Don´t let that one screw-up get you down, it’s totally okay. If you have a slip and have that cake, or skip a week of working out, don’t be too hard on yourself.
The most important thing after a slip is that you know where it went wrong and that you prevent being in that situation in the future. WHY did you slip up? Think about it and let that one thing help you – it will be a reason you stick to your resolutions.
Do it to set yourself up for success. If you have a busy week at work and still want to work out, plan to go straight to the gym instead of going home first. If you have a birthday and don’t want any cake, ensure you’re not hungry.
Don’t quit because of a slip-up.
Your new year’s resolutions are bigger than that. The person you want to become is bigger than that!
What are your resolutions for the new year?
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.