Even when the New Year has barely begun, panic and disenchantment about resolutions can set in making you wonder why you bothered to set these goals in the first place. True change — like what people promise themselves with their New Year’s resolutions — doesn’t happen overnight. Rather than falling into despair, you can measure the progress you’ve made thus far to reinvigorate your aspirations. Stay on track with the techniques listed below for measuring your New Year’s resolution progress.
Is Your Goal Measurable?
Before you attempt to gauge progress on your New Year’s resolutions, you have to ask yourself if the goals you set are truly measurable. Are they specific enough that you can respond with a definitive “yes” or “no” if someone asks if you’ve accomplished them? If not, it might be time to redesign your resolutions.
Saying “I want to lose weight” or “I will be more organized” aren’t good New Year’s resolutions because they lack specificity. Instead, you need to say, “I’ll hit the gym for 30 minutes three days a week” or “I’ll maintain a to-do list and check every Sunday evening that I’ve completed the previous week’s list.” These are actions that you set a certain amount of time or number of times, so they’re quantifiable.
Write Down Everything
Maybe you picked up a Passion Planner to help motivate your new organized lifestyle, or maybe you’re already a stickler for planning and structure. Either way, your Passion Planner is the one place to hold everything. There’s space for your goals, to-do lists, everyday appointments and schedules, grocery lists, random thoughts of the day and whatever else you decide, so there’s no excuse for losing sight of your priorities.
Breaking your New Year’s resolutions down into daily, weekly, and monthly goals is a great way to stay motivated while keeping track of your progress. As the end of the month approaches, check out your monthly reflections. What are you most proud of and what do you think you can improve?
Choose Your Words Carefully
The term “resolutions” has a bad rap, since not everyone makes their New Year’s resolutions stick. Rather than a resolution, consider making a promise to yourself or even . Ask yourself what you want and what aligns with your values, then think about steps you can take to get there. Also consider framing your resolutions as goals, in which you outline objectives or mini-goals on your way to achieving the big one.
When you review your progress, don’t construe anything you didn’t accomplish as a failure. Rather, think of it as something you’ll have to push for extra hard in the coming days, weeks or months.
Don’t Be Afraid of Change
You set New Year’s resolutions because you want to change something, but that doesn’t mean your resolutions need to be set in stone. Tweaking your resolution can help make it more achievable, so if you’re having trouble making it work, make the goal work for you. For example, if you’re finding it too hard to get to the gym every day as you set out to do, consider revising your resolution to working out three days a week. When that becomes easy, try four days a week or make those three days more intense.
If you set multiple resolutions for yourself and you can’t keep up with them all, simplify your goal load. It’s okay to pare down on the resolutions and focus on the ones that are truly important to you.
Ease Up on Yourself
When it’s still early in the year, it’s easy to be hard on ourselves for not making our resolutions a reality. Take a second to be mindful of your progress. Have you at least made steps in the direction of achieving your goals? If not, what can you do right now — or in the coming days — to change that?
It’s natural to want success and want it right now, but that’s not always the best way to measure goals and objectives. You need to see progress over time, and you may even need to experience setbacks. Use those so-called failures as lessons for how to get back on track. Take a look at your Passion Roadmap and review all the small steps it’ll take for you to reach success.
Remind yourself that your objectives will take time, so practice some patience and take a deep breath. Trust that you are doing what you can, one step at a time.
Cara Batema is a freelance writer and musician based in Los Angeles. She likes to write about the arts and psychology.