Top Five New Year’s Resolutions and Hacks to Actually Achieve Them
It’s that time of year again. Every wellness website is telling you to dust off your daily planner and get your pen and pad ready because it’s time to plot and plan your new year’s goals for 2022!
But committing pen to paper can leave many of us filled with anxiety and doubt and it’s no wonder when according to a 2016 study of the 41% of people who make firm New Years Goals, only 9% end the year feeling as though they have achieved them.
That’s a depressing figure to ruminate over.
But, plotting your goals for the next year doesn’t have to be an anxiety inducing exercise in futility. We have rounded up eight of the most popular new year’s goals and hacks to actually achieve them. We’re covering everything from apps to mindset tricks in this list of new year’s resolutions and hacks to actually achieve them.
To begin with it’s important to understand the psychology of goal setting; what holds us back, what propels us forward and how do we set goals we can actually achieve.
When it comes to goal setting you need to mentally prepare to make a change. Thinking through how you’ll cope and deal with situations if you can’t rely on previously helpful behaviour patterns. For example if your goal is to quit smoking, mentally prepare to be a non-smoker, consider how you’ll cope if you have a difficult project and can’t puff your way to the finish line.
Review Previous Years Accomplishments
Have you actually achieved your new year’s goals one year? What was different about that year, what strategies did you employ? If you had a year where you were particularly productive, how did your schedule look? For example, did working out in the morning instead of the evening mean you actually fit in your workout and did you find you were more productive in general when you followed that schedule?
Be realistic and employ ‘out of the box’ thinking
There is not a lot of point planning a new year’s goal that is next to impossible to complete. If you’re not currently working out or exercising at all then it’s not realistic to set a goal to run a marathon in May. But you could set yourself a goal of running a 5-kilometer race in May, if you find a cause you care about you could also raise money. This combination of setting a realistic timeframe and distance combined with creating accountability will make it much easier to accomplish the goal.
Employing these mental hacks will help you achieve your new year’s goals more easily, but we also have some great life hacks to help you achieve the most common new year’s goals.
After over indulging during the silly season many of us want to find ways to implement healthier eating habits. Whether it’s a weight loss goal or just wanting to feel better this, new year’s goal tops many people’s list every year and it’s rarely accomplished.
Breaking a pattern of unhealthy eating is one of the hardest goals to achieve but it comes down to understanding the root of the issue, relearning behaviours and finding short cuts.
Understanding the reason why you reach for the ice cream after a bad day and addressing the problem will result in a more lasting change. Then learning new coping mechanisms and new styles of eating that fulfil your desire for something salty and crunchy or sweet and smooth can help to fill the craving while not throwing you off course.
For example, if you fall into a bag of potato chips when you’re stressed; then try replacing this behaviour with a ten-minute walk, some deep breathing and if all else fails stamping your feet. These little tips will help to alleviate your stress rather than feeding it.
But if you still find you want something salty and crunchy try having multigrain crackers with hummus, tomatos, salt, and pepper, this snack is high in protein which will keep you fuller for longer and it gives you all the sensory indicators that the chips were addressing, it’s salty and crunchy but it’s better for you and limits the behaviour.
While most people have now given smoking the boot, it’s a tough habit to break. In fact, with the stress of lockdowns and outbreaks many casual smokers reported lighting up more often in the past year.
Quitting smoking is still at the top of many people’s New Year’s Resolution List. And while it’s not easy, here are three ways to finally kick the cancer stick.
- Track your quitting journey with an app. There are lots of great ones out there but Quit Tracker: Stop Smoking is very motivational. It tells you how much life you have regained as the hours pass and how much money you have saved. Which can really help when you’re feeling tempted to light up.
- Some people find hypnotherapy to quit smoking to be amazingly effective. You’re basically put into a relaxed and suggestible state and then verbal cues and mental associations are formed that will make smoking less enjoyable and will help to limit your cravings.
- Nicotine replacement therapy is an option for those who have been smoking a long time and don’t feel that they can quit without some help to ease off the nicotine. You could chew the gum, use the patch or have a lozenge but keep in mind you will need to cease the nicotine therapy at some point as well.
Save more money
Spending less and saving more is a common goal. There isn’t a person out there who couldn’t benefit from a better budget. But it can seem impossible to make a cut to your budget when you’re already pretty strapped.
- Start by reviewing how you spend your money at moment, get receipts for everything and sit down at the end of the month and group the receipts by category and by time, where and when you are spending your money can help you define where you are going wrong with your budget.
- Invest in an accountant for your taxes this year and you’ll find you can get more deductions than you’ve been claiming. And you’ll be able to claim back the cost of your accountant the following year so it’s a win win situation.
- Cancel your streaming services for a month and see which ones you actually miss, then only resubscribe to those and get a sneaky free month by signing up with a new email.
- Research and compare your insurance, home loan and credit card plans, because there’s always a chance there’s someone running a deal or doing it a bit cheaper then ask your current company to price match or if they can’t, switch to the cheaper provider.
- Try a philosophical approach and do a ‘no buy’ year or a minimalist year. Challenge yourself to not buy anything new for a whole year. Every time you see something you want, try to find it cheaper or free by getting it second-hand on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.
- And if it’s something you can’t get secondhand try this three-pronged approach. Delay, review and prove. Delay buying it by two weeks, and see if you still really want it. If you do still really want it, move to stage two and review why you need it, do you have anything that can already serve this purpose or could you borrow something that could do what this does.
And finally prove to yourself why you need it, make a list of all the uses for this or the ways in which it would simplify your life or save you money. If you can prove it is worth your investment, you can get it. Using this approach will mean you only buy things you actually really want and need.
Get your Diploma without studying
One of the most common new year’s Goals is to complete further study. But, if you were a go-getter who dove head first into a career and worked your way up, you may have gotten into your field without actually completing a degree or Diploma. Experience is great, but validating that experience with a certificate is important for transferability.
We have a great life hack for getting that Diploma without spending a year trying to juggle studying and work.
If you have worked in your field for a while you might be able to complete your Diploma through Recognised Prior Learning. Recognition of Prior Learning or RPL is the process of assessing your real-life working experience against the knowledge and skills you would gain from a training program.
The great thing about RPL is that it’s usually a faster and cheaper pathway to gaining a Diploma. It can almost halve the cost of completing a course through full study and it can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to three months depending on the evidence you need to provide for your particular qualification.
If you would like to know more about completing a course though RPL you can get in touch with us here.
Getting your life together and being more organised is a common goal for many people. During lockdowns this year social media was flooded with enthusiastic home-bound people embarking on a decluttering project to simplify and organise their physical spaces. But, decluttering your digitial life is just as important as physical decluttering.
Get a fresh hard drive and set aside a day to go through all your files, current hard drives and any cloud storage you have. Make sure you archive anything you don’t need access to on one of your hard drives and then organise what’s left by file type and back it up and make sure you name files appropriately so they are searchable.
If you struggle with keeping your day-to-day tasks in order, try the Microsoft To Do app. This app is available on iPhone, iPad, Android and your laptop. You can make multiple to do lists, assign reminders to tasks, keep notes and documents and even voice memos. An organisation app can be life saver if you like to write things down so you don’t forget anything.
If you’re more of a pen and paper person you could try bullet journaling. Bullet journaling is a life organisation system that is personally tailored to you. Basically, you get a blank page journal and design and structure it in the way that works best for you. You could have weekly spreads, or daily. You could include a monthly goal list, a reading list or a habit tracker. You can read more about bullet journaling here.
Follow these hacks to help you stay on track with your New Years’ goals. If you’re thinking about going after your Diploma through RPL, you can complete a free skills assessment in just a few minutes here.