Your New Year’s Resolutions Aren’t Going to Work Unless You Do These Things

You know, on the first of January every year, you’ll see many of your friends posting their New Year’s Resolutions on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts. If you’d have noticed, it’s the same goals every year; almost like a copy-and-paste from previous years’ resolutions.


The hard truth is that New Year’s Resolutions aren’t going to work if you merely just list them down. In fact, New Year’s Resolutions most likely won’t work if you set them.

You see, the truth is, there’s apparently a proven way for goals to work. Listing them down for your friends to see, and giving yourself that promise for five minutes isn’t called setting goals: it’s called daydreaming.

In a popular Havard University study, it’s proven that there’re a few key factors to ensure that you achieve your goals. If you’re really serious about setting goals (and not just New Year’s Resolution, or that “New Year = New Me” thingy), here’s the science behind it.

Set a SMART goal


Simply put, set a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. A non-SMART goal is a general lazy point like this: I want to lose weight and keep fit. A SMART goal is something like this: I want to reach my ideal weight of 60 kg by 30 June 2017.

Just take a look at all the New Year’s Resolutions your friends have set on their Facebook. Are they SMART or non-SMART?

Put your goals down into writing…every day

Image: Zanariah Salam /

Write it down in pen or your computer every single day. In the Havard University study, people who wrote down their goals daily earned ten times more than those who merely just had them memorized in their mind.

The logic behind this is simple: if you put it down to writing every day, you’ll be reminded of it at least every 24 hours, motivating you to achieve it. And the other logic is that having something tangible will push you even further.

So, don’t just set New Year’s Resolutions and leave it on your Facebook wall. Revisit it every day, and if it’s a SMART goal, you’ll achieve it by the deadline.

Set an action plan

Image: Power best /

Setting the goal and proclaiming it aloud are the easy part: doing tasks that achieve the goal is the hard part. Here’s a trick: if you’ve put it down to writing, you’ll be so motivated that even if it’s hard, you’ll go all out to achieve it.

Set tasks that are doable, and give yourself 21 days to develop the habit. A good example would be to lose 60 kg by 30 June 2017: set an action plan to run at least 20 km per week. Do it for four weeks, and it’ll not only become easy, but it becomes almost effortless, because your mind would have been conditioned to make it a habit.

To quote an example: is it difficult to motivate yourself to brush your teeth every morning? No? It’s because it has become a habit. Running 20 km per week can be a habit just like brushing your teeth!

Featured Image: PR Image Factory /

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