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I love January.  I’m kind of an obsessive list/goal maker, so a month where the whole world seems on board with my obsessions is awesome – even if the passion dies off quickly.

And it’s unfortunate, because goal setting is a great way to give you energy and motivation throughout the year.  Having something you’re pumped to reach makes getting out of bed in the morning way easier – especially when it’s still so dark and cold out.

If you want to set a New Year’s Resolution that won’t be forgotten by the end of January, here’s how you do it.

How To Set Your Best New Year’s Resolution Ever

Be specific.

The problem with most New Year’s Resolutions is that they’re unfortunately unspecific – which means your progress can’t really be measured.

For instance, let’s say you want to “get healthy” this year.  That could mean any number of things.  Does it mean losing weight?  Does it mean exercising more?  Does it mean eating more vegetables or drinking less soda?  “Getting healthy” isn’t measurable – but “reduce soda intake to once a week” is.  You can assess how you’re doing on that goal way more easily!

Be realistic.

Stretch goals are great – don’t get me wrong.  It’s great to dream big and do the whole, if you miss you’ll land among the stars thing.

But for most people (myself included), setting smaller, more realistic goals makes it way more likely that you’ll actually hit them without getting discouraged.

The thing is, if you’ve never worked out before, why would you think you can suddenly commit to working out for an hour every single day?  It takes time to build a habit, and if you try to force too much too soon, you’re bound to get discouraged and stop doing it altogether.

Instead, make a more bite-sized goal you feel comfortably challenged by.  If you want to exercise more often, commit to something like 3 days a week or 20 minutes a day to start.  If you want to make better financial decisions, start by reducing one of your daily expenses, like a coffee or a soda, to a 3-4 day a week expense.

Let yourself enjoy the smaller successes before trying to move on to bigger ones. 

Figure out your “why”.

Why the heck does this goal matter to you so much?  This is what’s going to help you stay motivated when times get hard.

If you want to reduce your spending, is there a reason?  Do you want to be less stressed out?  Do you want to save for a bigger goal, like a house?

If you want to get healthier, is it to fit into a pair of jeans you love?  Is it to set a good example for your kids?  Is it so you can keep up with your kids better?

Whatever it is, determine why that goal is important and keep it in mind.

Keep it in sight.

Keep both your goal and your why in sight.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy (though it can be if you want.)  But a post-it on the mirror will do just fine.  Or a background on your phone, whatever.

I personally make heavy use of a planner to track my goals and see the progress I’m making.  If you don’t have one yet this year, make sure to check out the Yearly Police Wife Planner – you’ll love it!

Reevaluate regularly.

Regularly revisit your goals and see how you’re doing on them.  Don’t set the goal in January then forget about it – which is why you want to keep it in sight.  But make sure you’re tracking your progress somehow, whether that’s in a planner, or whatever.

Make sure you’re seeing the progress (or lack thereof) you’re making, then celebrate your accomplishments (or adjust if you need to!)


If you set your New Year’s Resolution right, you can have something to help you accomplish your goals throughout the year and have a better, more fulfilling life overall.

What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Feel free to share it in the comments!

Great ideas! I've failed at ALL my New Year's Resolutions the past few years, but hopefully I can change that streak this year... haha.


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