New year, new me? The 2023 game plan you didn’t know you needed!

It’s 2023 and we’re all super excited about this year, I mean who wouldn’t? The world has been through a lot these last 3 years. Businesses have struggled, money has been tight, and things have generally been slow. So we’re all excited to start this year and make it our best yet. Some of us have even set our new year resolution and we have a game plan for 2023! Yippie!

But lemme burst ya bubble a little bit: a new years resolution is not enough to help you do better than you did last year! Don’t believe me? This  study by researchers at Scranton University found that only 19% of people who make new year’s resolution actually follow through on them. That means 81% will abandon them before the month of January is even over. Yikes!

Wanna make sure you’re not a part of the latter? Keep reading this article to find out.

What can you do to stick to your new year’s resolutions?

I always tell my students that being successful at anything comes from 2 thing: a)your vision and b) how bad you want your vision to become a reality. Very simple! But, I recently discovered that many people (young people on my side of the world) do not have a vision for their life. For whatever reason, people have stopped dreaming about the life they would like to have and because they don’t know what kind of life they want to have, they can’t make a realistic plan to achieve their resolutions.

For me resolutions are nice to have, but I prefer to set goals; BIG and small ones. I am a goals driven person. Everyday I have to set small daily goals (or tasks if you may) that helps me be productive and contributes to my over goal for the month, quarter or year. This is the only realistic path I have discovered that works well for me. So in this article, I will share my five step method for setting realistic goals and crushing them. But first, what is a goal anyway?

I like this definition of goals from Wikipedia. I think it sums up everything I’m about to explain below. “A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, plan and commit to achieve“. That means a goal is not just a statement but a vision, plan and a commitment!

Now that we know the definition, let’s delve into how to set goals.

How to set realistic goals?

Right off the bat I’m going to say that our goals need to align with our values and vision of what we want our future to look like. Setting goals in this way, whether big or small, helps us live a meaningful life that we can feel proud of. I created this five step system to help me set goals that are always vision driven, realistic and achievable. I hope it helps you as it has helped me.

Step 1: Identify the outcome.

The outcome is your vision (or idea if you may) of what you want to happen in the future. Identifying the outcome helps you see an end result that you can work towards. This “vision” is the force that’s going drive you. It’s your “why”. Why did I make a resolution? Why should I even stick to it? Why am I putting myself through all of this? If you can answer the “why” question, you’ve already set yourself up for success.

example…

Let’s use a weight loss analogy to demonstrate how this works: If you were overweight and needed to lose weight, the first thing to is know how much weight (ex. 10, 20 or 40 pounds)you must drop to be healthy. You could also visualize the kind of body you’d like to have once you’ve lost the weight. This gives you a picture of what you are working toward. Some people find pictures of bodies they like and crop their faces to it, like a vision board. This helps with visualizing the end result.

Step 2: Break it down.

Visions are usually big ideas of what the future could be but we all know that ideas are easy. Without a solid implementation plan the vision will sit in your head forever. So, once you have the big idea, you need to break these down into smaller targets that you need to hit in order to reach your overall goal. Ask yourself (and Google) “what do I need to do to transform this idea into reality”. You will get so many answers, steps and milestones for any goal, trust me. Your job is to select the ones that considers your unique skills/talents, available resources and realistic timeline.

example…

The next thing you’d need to do is research the steps you’d need to take to lose the amount of weight identified in step one. Say the target weight is 160lbs from 200lbs. That means you need to drop 40lbs. When you do a google search or talk to your doctor, you may get that a realistic weight loss goal is 3 to 5 pounds a month (holding all health factors constant). That means, we’re looking at a target of 1 pound per week. At this rate, it’ll take you 40 weeks to drop 40 pounds. You will also find that you’d need to change your diet and exercise if you want to achieve this goal.

Step 3: Create short term plans.

The reason that many people abandon their new year’s resolution is because the resolutions are usually open statements without specific targets. You’ll say something like “in 2023 I will eat healthier and exercise more often” or “in 2023, I’m no longer staying in situations that don’t serve me”. These kinds of statements are so broad and they do nothing to help you change your situation for the better without an actual plan. When you make resolutions like these, you must go a step further and make an action plan. Your plans can be as simple as daily and weekly tasks that you can check off when you accomplish them.

example…

Since we’ve already identified our vision for 2023 and we know the steps we need to take if we want to make it a reality. We now need to create our short term action plan. That plan can look something like this: January 2023 – Week 1 goal: lose 1 pound. Walk 1 hour 4X Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, no soft drink, juice, or alcohol, vegetable on the side of all my food. Weigh every Monday. This plan is simple, realistic and easy to implement. You don’t try to do too much at once and you don’t try to change too much at once.

Step 4: Work on it daily.

As easy as this may sound, it’s the number one reason why many people do not achieve their goals. When you make a plan, you have to do something everyday that helps you get one step closer to your goals. The minute you say I will complete this tomorrow (when you have time to do it today) you lose momentum. When you lose your momentum, motivation reduces too and then procrastination sets in. Once this pattern begins it’s hard to break and soon you are back to where you were last year. Working on your goals daily makes you feel more obligated to accomplishing them and creates that feeling of satisfaction every time you successfully complete a task.

example…

Working on your weigh loss daily will look like: choosing water over soda or alcohol, walking short distances instead of driving, eating more fruits and vegetables, sleeping on time, exercising on schedule, etc. If you do these things daily and just commit to them, eventually it becomes a habit that helps you achieve long term weight loss. But if you do these things from Monday to Friday and on Saturday you binge eat everything you didn’t eat during the week and you drink as much alcohol as you want; by Monday, you’ll be right back (or even worse off than) where you started.

Step 5: Check your progress

Now that you have set your goals you need to consistently measure your results to know if you are making progress. Measuring your progress can guide you to achieving it your long-term goals. When you measure your progress, you are able to identify actions that that helped or sabotaged your efforts towards achieving your goals. You are also able to see how close you are to achieving your goal and this can be a big confidence boost. To be able to measure progress effectively, you must include milestones and indicators in your goals and plan.

example…

When you set your weight loss goal of losing 40 pounds in one year, you broke that down to 10 pounds every quarter, 4 pounds a month and 1 pound a week. Measuring your progress will require you to weigh in weekly. That means in your plan, you will choose one day (say Sunday) to weigh yourself. So, every Sunday, you will check your weight and reflect on everything you did that week. This way if you lost 1 pound you will see in real time what contributed and if you gained 1 pound you will also see what contributed.

finally…

A goal without a plan and commitment is just a dream. If you want to do big things, you need to set big goals using this system. This goal setting system has helped me achieve so many goals ranging from health, to relationships, to business and career growth. I hope that you will follow it and achieve big success in whatever it is you are working towards.

If you liked this article, please hit the like button and share with your network. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below. Cheers to 2023

Published by Ade Suah

Hello and welcome to my site. My name is Christollie Ade Suah and I am a full time Mom, working a full time job and running a small business full time. With so much to do and so little time to do them, I constantly find myself struggling to balance different aspects of my life. So I created this blog as a resource center where health conscious professionals like me can find information and tools to help them balance competing priorities and achieve their goals. This blog covers topics around health and wellness, business, career and parenthood. My goal is to inspire you into taking actions daily that'll improve your life. If you would like to join a network of health conscious people and get notified of new content and products, click the subscribe button below. Thank you for visiting and look forward to growing with you.

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