New Year’s resolutions are beautiful. They constitute one of the incredible ways we showcase our desire for change; to be better. Sadly, only 8% of Americans achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Many factors contribute to this. The most obvious error is perhaps that most New Year’s resolutions are not resolutions indeed. We can make a wish, dream, or have a desire. But none of that actually constitutes a resolution.
To resolve implies to analyze and simplify. But in the excitement of a new year and accompanying echoes of the mythical possibilities that come with it, we don’t always analyze or simplify our goals. Instead, we feel and are encouraged to dream wild and inhale the scents of hope that come with the New Year. These “resolutions” end up being wishful thinking. So, how do we move from hopes and dreams to actionable resolutions? Here are some steps:
1. Resolve the preceding year in retrospect: It is no wisdom repeating a particular action the same way and expecting a different result. A thoughtful look into the preceding year will highlight strengths that you can capitalize upon and weaknesses that you should work on. We designed a free guide to help you do this in part one of this guide: Your Happy PharmD Year Guide.
2. Resolve the succeeding year in bits: A year-long plan is great. But what can be done daily or even hourly towards that goal? When 365 days, 52 weeks, or 12 months are imagined rather than an entire year, you can make more effective plans for your goals.
3. Set measurable milestones and discipline yourself to follow through: How would you know you have arrived at your destination if you don’t know your destination? Be clear about what you want to achieve. Now you know your destination, eliminate distractions and be disciplined enough to do the daily activities that will help you reach those landmarks.
4. Set up a system for accountability: Who else can hold you accountable and follow up on your progress? Get a mentor, colleague, or friend onboard. This step is important because studies have shown that having one boosts your chances of achieving your goals.
5. Set up a reward system for achieved milestones: Reward and punishment play significant roles in habit formation. You can take advantage of this natural way your brain functions by rewarding yourself when you achieve your goals. Make a habit of excellence and crush your goals in record time.
Again, you must realize that when you make resolutions, you mean, “I will analyze and simplify.” We realize this can be a daunting task, especially without a guide. Our comprehensive guide is here to make it easier. By posing questions that help you reflect and draw your attention to crucial aspects of your life (focused on health, finance, relationships, and work) our guide for the new year enables you to have a balanced, actionable plan for 2022. Download a copy here and be on your way to a most fulfilling year.
Alex is the Founder of The Happy PharmD. He loves anime, his family, and video games, but not in that order.