Another year, another resolution. Isn’t that how it always goes. “I’m going to work out every day”, “I’m not having carbs”, “and I’m going on a diet”. Every year it’s the same thing, you start off strong and by the end of the month, you’ve lost all motivation. It’s a bad relationship and for some reason every year you renew your vows.

Setting resolutions takes more than good intentions. Its strategic, it’s personal and it should be selfish. Instead,  we invest minimal time in curating our list of goals, setting ourselves up for failure. Fortunately, successful resolutions are a result of learned mistakes.

Rather than creating a lengthy new list again,  re-visit your past resolutions and understand why some didn’t work. Ask yourself these questions and use your responses to spruce up your resolutions.

1.       Is my resolution intended for my happiness?

 Doing things to please others or seek validation from society is never a good option. It may be motivating initially but true change will not occur unless it is done selfishly. Ask yourself if achieving success will make you happy or if it will please someone else? Take the time to determine your meaningful “why”, and identify the personal benefit and growth that will result from achieving your resolution.

2.       What obstacles are keeping me from success?

Looking back at your previous resolutions, determine the roadblocks that compromised your success. Consider every obstacle you faced including emotional, environmental and situational. Although it is difficult to predict the future, determining reoccurring offenders will help you set up a game plan to stay focused.

3.       Am I  getting enough support?

 In the past years, have you enlisted support from friends, family or colleagues? Ultimately you have control of your actions and reaching your goals, but having added guidance and support can increase your chances of reaching your goals. Find someone that you are close to and together determine how they may be able to help keep you on track and avoid temptations.

4.       Is there a priority to my list?

Something about the New Year makes us feel that we can conquer the world. However, overwhelming ourselves with too many resolutions can be an added stress. If you’ve made more than one resolution in the past consider ordering your goals starting with the most important. Devoting most of your efforts to your primary goal will increase your probability of success.

5.       Is my list too subjective?

Your dreams and goals should have no limit but research shows that the most successful people set goals that are measurable and specific. Take a look at your previous goals and make baby steps for each one. A goal such as “I want to be healthy” may be too vague. Instead, ask specific questions to help set a more realistic goal. Why do I want to be healthy? Why am I unhealthy? What steps do I need to make? How many times a week will I exercise? How much weight do I want to lose? When do I want to see results? Etc.

If you have been setting the same new year resolution year after year without any success its time to make a change. Narrow down your lengthy list to the most important goals. Create a supportive network, be specific in your outcomes, and set a game plan for any obstacles that may alter your path. After revisiting past failed resolutions revamp your list to reflect your personal best interests. You will be much more likely to achieve success entering the New Year with a bulletproof game plan in hand.