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How to make sure you’ve chosen the right resolutions

Cachet Prescott

I’m not here to serve as a Debbie Downer and kill the intended spirit behind making resolutions — I’m a firm believer in the power of setting goals. The issue, however, lies in the fact that many of us tend to become swept up in the sheer euphoria of new beginnings that we agree to things without really thinking about why we’re doing so.

To avoid getting stuck in autopilot and being intentional about your desired life choices this year, I encourage you to do one simple thing: Examine your motives.

Ask yourself “why”

As you consider each feat you hope to accomplish this year, ask yourself:

  • Where does the desire to attain this particular goal or conquer this specific task stem from?
  • Is it something that I genuinely have the desire to accomplish, or does it simply sound good?
  • Do I honestly believe this is something that will contribute to me being my “best me” this year, or is this resolution influenced by someone else?

More: How to use inspiration and commitment to get more done

While these questions may seem strange — or even uncomfortable to address — I assure you that there’s a method to the madness in asking them. The reality is that determining your “why” ultimately affects the level of commitment that you’ll put forth to reaching or achieving said goal.

More: 5 Ways to create a better you in 2016

It’s not to say that your motivation to do or be better can’t come from external forces (i.e., your family). If, however, you’re not personally invested in the goal or its outcome, your heart may not be in it.

When your heart isn’t in it, you set yourself up for failure, and the end result may be: 

  • Feelings of frustration, overwhelm and resentment for taking on something that you shouldn’t have.
  • Self-sabotage (i.e., setting yourself up for failure before you even begin).

Take a hard look at what you’ve committed to this year, and ask yourself, “Why?” for each resolution. If there are goals that made the list for the wrong reason, remove them.

Once you’ve developed a list of three to five resolutions you’re comfortable with and committed to, put a plan in place for working toward and eventually achieving them.

Your quick start to goal setting should focus on writing out your SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

As you go through this year, keep yourself accountable and on track by revisiting your goals. Take note — and even celebrate — when you reach each goal. Be flexible and make adjustments as needed.

Here’s to being intentional in reaching your goals this year! What are you committed to accomplishing in 2016? I’d love to hear about your plans in the comments below.

More: 6 Ways to make your resolutions less stressful

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