Here we go: a new year has started again! “A new year, a new me”, think most of us. We get really excited and start making resolutions for the coming year. The truth is though that we rarely stick to them. A few weeks of good effort at best, sometimes a miraculous couple of months, and we get back to our old self. Do you even remember your resolutions of last year? What’s going wrong? How come we are so bad at staying the course? Is there anything we can do? I think yes. I won’t argue that there is a one-size-fits-all miracle cure to make all our dreams come true, but we can definitely do better. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to have in mind this year if you want to make resolutions that will actually change your life.

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Don’t #1: Don’t hurry up and come with the first resolutions that come to your mind – there’s no rush.

Do #1: Make a proper assessment of your situation. If there is a time when you should take your time, it’s now. Follow the carpenter’s rule: “Measure twice, cut once”. Conduct a proper reflection. What are the goals you have for which you tend to procrastinate? Why is that? What are the values you really believe in? Who do you really want to become?

Don’t # 2: Don’t focus on one single area of your life where you want to fix things. Don’t have a compartmented approach to your life.

Do #2: See your life as a whole – everything is interdependent. When you sleep well, you feel happy and refreshed, you’re more efficient at work, you leave the office earlier, you have time to exercise, you then feel good, you sleep well, etc. Goals and activities also compete for the same limited resources: your time, your energy and your money. An integrated approach is therefore necessary.

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Don’t #3: Don’t come with an endless list of 100 goals and start pursuing all of them. This is a recipe for disaster. You will fail, feel demotivated, and fail again. It’s a vicious circle.

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Do #3: Focus! Be selective. Only your most important goals must make it to the list. A solid core of 5 to 10 goals is enough to start with. You can always add later if you feel comfortable and are on track with most of them.

Don’t #4: Don’t limit your thinking to end goals only or “BE” goals (e.g., being rich or being fit).

Do #4: Think in terms of processes and products. Products are the end results, and processes are what it takes to get there. If you want to become richer, you have to take control of your personal finance, repay your mortgage, and save money every month. If you want to be fit, you have to mind your diet, sleep well, drink a lot of water, exercise a few times a week, plan to run a marathon etc. By the way, all these goals are available on the goalmap app, you can join and personalize them 🙂

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Don’t #5: Don’t think resolutions are a once-a-year type of exercise. If you think so, chances are that you will be in the exact same place next year – yes, the same as last year, that’s the one!

[bctt tweet=”Don’t think resolutions are a once-a-year type of exercise.”]

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Do #5: Follow up regularly on your resolutions. Review them on a weekly basis at least. You must know where you stand at all times. Making successful resolutions is a process, not a one-off event. It’s an iterative process – make yourself accountable.

Don’t #6: Don’t write your resolution on a piece of paper. You’ll lose it again.

Do #6: Get a proper tool and methodology to set, review and manage your goals. Go digital, your goals need to be accessible, all in one place, editable at any time and your progress against them need to be easily measurable. That’s exactly why we are creating goalmap, a free goal setting app to help people fight procrastination and reach their life goals. Start the perpetual motion of self-realization and make 2016 the first year of the rest of your life with goalmap!

Goals on goalmap goal-setting app


To stick to your 2016 resolutions, you can download our free iOS and Android app here:

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Funny New Year’s resolutions images by dumpaday.com