Blair Garrett

New Year’s resolution goals seem strange. Why is the turning of the page of a calendar year going to be the vehicle for you making positive changes in your life? More often than not, the ticking of the last column of the date is not enough to continue motivating yourself to stick to your new goal.

Common goals include losing weight, kicking bad habits, and advancing in your career. While those are all very achievable goals, they can seem overwhelming and tiring without the proper structure to reach them. 

The following top 10 New Year’s resolutions that people make probably look familiar to you—maybe you’ve chosen one or more of these resolutions over the years: (1) Exercise more; (2) Lose weight; (3) Get organized; (4) Learn a new skill or hobby; (5) Live life to the fullest (not sure how you can measure that one!); (6) Save more money/spend less money; (7) Quit smoking; (8) Spend more time with family and friends; (9) Travel more; (10) Read more.

The truth is, there’s never a bad time to set a goal for yourself. After all, if you’re not moving forward, you’re only moving backward. So, while the famed New Year’s resolution goals can seem hollow and gimmicky, that doesn’t mean you should shirk your personal duties to better yourself in some facet of your life.

The easiest way to stick to a goal is to start small. Setting small, manageable, daily challenges that you can build on give you a feasible route to accomplishing the bigger goal that you’re really looking for.

Think about it this way. To get to the second story of the mall, you aren’t taking one giant Stretch Armstrong step to the next floor right out of the gate, you’re taking small, bite-sized steps to reach your destination. This applies in the same fashion to an exercise goal or kicking that unhealthy habit.

Instead of waking up non-caffeinated and overworked and crushing a 5K, you take time each day to work toward the big run. Maybe the first day starts with you doing a lap around your neighborhood, and by the end of the week, you’re already passing a mile.

Instead of going cold turkey on your portable IV of Diet Coke, you substitute it with an apple juice, and then a Vitamin Water, and then your beverage you rely on for survival but avoid like the plague: regular water.

The point is, reaching goals is daunting when you’re staring at the top of the mountain. But when you focus on your first base camp, and then your next stop on the journey, things don’t seem so impossible.

Focus on making that daily goal, and at the end of the day, be proud of what you’ve accomplished and excited about the next challenge. The important part is just showing up. Remember that change is a process. The only limitations you have in the world are the ones you place on yourself. You can do it, and as long as you have the right attitude and the commitment and determination, you can reach any goal you can dream.

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