How to make sure you actually achieve your New Year’s resolutions


A new year (and decade) is approaching, which brings to mind one thing: New Year’s Resolutions. While there is a popular belief that New Year’s Resolutions will be quickly thrown in the proverbial garbage can, and studies have shown that 80% of people don’t achieve their New Year’s Resolutions, we at Ascend believe you can achieve your goals with the proper organization and support. Keep reading to learn more about how you can achieve your goals for the next year (or ten!).

Know your “why”

Instead of arbitrarily claiming that you will go to the gym more often, eat healthier, or read more books, dig deep and reflect on what in your life you would like to improve upon or change, why you want to change it, what has been holding you back from behaving in the way you desire, and what you can do to shift your perspective, habits, and behavior. Knowing your “why” can have a profound impact on your ability to commit and follow-through with the goals you set out to achieve. 

Make your goal SMART

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. While you can and should set challenging goals, if those goals are ambiguous or don’t align with your current lifestyle, there is a very small chance they will be completed or achieved. Quantifying a goal and setting a deadline is also crucial in order to clearly identify whether or not it was achieved. 

Create your plan

In “Measure What Matters,” author John Doerr explains the goal-setting model known as Objectives and Key Results, or OKR. Your goal, or objective, may or may not be within your full control. But your Key Results, or the tasks you need to complete in order to achieve your goal, are within your full range of control. Creating a list of key results that need to be met will help you stay on track to goal completion.

Document and share your goal

Writing your goal down and establishing an accountability partner to help you track progress will exponentially increase your chances of achieving your goal. According to the Association for Training and Development, you have a 65% chance of completing your goal if you share it with someone, and increase your chances to 95% if you share a specific deadline to follow up with them. Identifying a specific accountability partner also arms you and your goal with a built-in support system in case you feel unmotivated or an unexpected challenge arises. Instead of letting the tough times get you down, you know exactly who to turn to for guidance.

Celebrate yourself

One of the key elements to setting challenging goals is imagining how you will celebrate yourself upon achievement of your goal. Perhaps you will incentivize yourself with a meal at your favorite restaurant, a trip to the spa, or simply a moment of reflection and gratitude. Whatever it is, imagining how you feel while celebrating your goal achievement can help you stay focused and motivated as you work toward your goal.

Although approaching goal-setting through the tips above may seem daunting at first, they provide a method for consistently moving toward the things you want to achieve, plus a support system you can rely on for when things get tough (and if you are setting goals to challenge yourself, they will!). Cheers to the new year and your new goals!


About Ascend

Ascend is a student empowerment platform that enables schools and mentoring organizations to cultivate, track, and measure student goals and achievement. Ascend is proud to be a minority and woman-owned business and supports organizations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Texas, and beyond.