Tips on How to Set up Achievable Goals for The New Year

Who told setting up new year resolutions is a drag and useless exercise? 

Take the following step by step guide on how to draft practical New Year resolutions and you will be be pleasantly surprised to see that these simple steps will turn the annual ritual into an absorbing, fruitful exercise.

Here, then, is the step by step guide on practical new year resolutions:

Step 1: The SWOT Analysis- Review Your Last Year.

SWOT Analysis means analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis is a very useful tool to use whenever you take up a task in daily life. Though you may not succeed every time, your failure rate is drastically cut down when you use SWOT analysis and act accordingly. Your confidence and self respect will grow because you know that you have done what you must. When you make the SWOT list, put them under the following headings- personal, family, social, professional and spiritual.

S for your strengths. Which were your best achievements last year? Which personal qualities helped you achieve those? What are your professional and financial strengths? Backups? Have you underutilized any of your strengths last year? Make a list of each.

W for your weaknesses: What were your failures?  What do you think were the reasons for those weak performances? Make a list. Do not cheat yourself.

O for Opportunities that knocked on your door during the last one year. Make the list of opportunities that you turned to your advantage and also those which you have missed. You may get additional points for your strength and weakness lists when you prepare this list.  Also prepare a tentative list of opportunities that you think may come up next year.

T for Threats. What were the challenges that you had to face during the last year? How many did you tackle head on? How many actually pulled you back? Make a list of the threats that you may have to face next year.

Step 2: Review your SWOT analysis list.

Now that you have your SWOT analysis list, go through it with a comb.

For each weakness, jot down the positive changes you would make (in your attitude and actions) during the next few months.

For each threat, note down the resources that you will have to mobilize so you can nullify their negative effects and practically convert them into advantages for the coming year.

Sort out the gems and pearls among your strengths and opportunities that you would like to retain and improve upon.

Convert challenges into opportunities for progress. Prune your list so that essential, even difficult tasks get priority over simple, not so essential tasks.

Chuck out the really difficult new year resolutions that you know you cannot and would not keep. How ever, if you feel that these are essential for your progress, give them a try. There is nothing to lose, only a little self respect maybe, but everything to gain!

Keep your ego aside and discuss the list with your spouse and/or close friends. They might help you realize some important personal characteristic of yours that you might have missed.

Step 3: Goal Setting: Prepare a Plan of Action.

Prepare a plan of action in black and white. Write down your short term (1-3 months), intermediate (3-12 months) and long term (1 year) goals. Group your selected goals into ‘very essential, essential and not so essential’ categories. Also try assorting into ‘easy, not so easy and difficult’ new year resolutions.  Look at the list again and prioritize them. Take a final bold step and strike off the resolutions or goals that you know are not going to materialize.

Step 4: Record Your New Year Resolutions in Black & White.

It is always advisable to have a vision of what you want to achieve during the next one year,

popular new year resolutions – colorful sticky notes on a cork board

5 years, 10 years and so on. At present, though, let us concentrate on the coming new year. Putting down your goals with a date and plan of action in black and white is the essential step forward in achieving your visions.

Remember: A vision is a goal with a date and plan of action.

Take a large size printout and paste it where you can see it first thing in the morning and last thing before going to bed at night, on the wall opposite your bed, on the fridge door, near the bathroom mirror.

Finally, review, and if necessary, revise the list periodically. There is no hard and fast rule that you cannot improve upon your new year resolutions!


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