Top 10 New Years Resolutions turned into actionable goals

2019 New Years Resolutions

Prior to the New Year I became interested in what goals I wanted to set myself for the next 365 days that make up 2019. Looking for ideas I thought I’d look up the most common resolutions.

The list I came across seemed to hit the figurative nails on the head for popular resolutions that we’ve all heard or set ourselves;

1. Exercise More

2. Lose Weight

3. Get organised

4. Learn a new skill or hobby

5. Live life to the fullest

6. Save more money/Spend less money

7. Quit Smoking

8. Spend more time with friends or family

9. Travel more

10. Read more

The issue I found with them is that they weren’t measurable or aimed as a goal to be achieved, more of a nice thing to have in very general terms.

In this view I decided to take this list and put my spin on it, changing them to be more practical, more focused on being able to achieve them and measuring the progress towards them.

My examples of resolutions turned into actionable goals, make your own version

New Years Resolution Actionable Goal for 2019

Exercise more Run on Monday, Thursday and Saturday

Lose weight Lose 1 Stone in the next 4 months

Get organised Keep an up to date to-do list of all tasks

Learn a new skill or hobby Be able to speak to a native from Spain for 5 minutes in Spanish, in 6 months

Live life to the fullest Tick 4 items of my bucket list (one per quarter) e.g. bungee jump, run a 10k, certain holiday

Save more money Save £50 per week/Save £500 per month

Quit smoking Cut down on smoking with aim to stop by xx/xx/2019

More time with friends/family Pencil in to see friends/family once a week/fortnight/month

Travel more Book to go to Barcelona in May, and Germany in October

Read more Read one book per week/fortnight/month

My reasoning's and how I would approach them starts below with;

1. Exercise more

Is it just general fitness or an actual sport you may want to do?

Would you be better in a group or on an individual basis?

How often do you want to do it per week?

These would be initial questions to ask, so in an example, say I want to get back into Football, being a group sport, not something I could do individually. I would then either check for groups in the area that I would be able to join, being able to check dates and times when sessions were available.

Decide how often I want to do it, starting off slowly to keep the new year’s motivation going. Perhaps 2 sessions per week and pencil them into the diary.

Now you have your focused exercise, and you have the sessions that are measurable. You either go to a session or you don’t, so you can tick off every session you go to perhaps progressing from 1-2 sessions per week to 3-4 sessions after turning it into a habit.

This could also work on individual exercises such as running, pencil in for yourself to run at certain times morning or evening start slowly but be measurable. A short run or gym session is still a tick off for the week.

2. Lose weight

The best thing about the lose weight resolution is that it is entirely based on numbers, a pound goes off the scale you’ve lost weight and vice-versa you’ve gained weight.

The issue arises when there is no goal in mind with losing weight in mind this could bring visions of a huge shift in diet or exercise, but if you narrow your personal goal to perhaps fitting in a certain piece of clothing or an exact weight figure, this may only require 5-8 pounds.

So, the first thing I would do is set a numerical goal with a date in mind, for example lose 1 stone in 3 months. So, we have 14 pounds in approx 13 weeks, so rounding we have a goal of losing 1 lb per week.

Which may only need a small change in diet or exercise and not huge changes a general goal may make us imagine.

3. Get organised

Now for me this is an odd one with how many meanings it could have. Health plan, financially, day to day management, work or other meanings.

For this, I would first narrow the area that you’d like to have more control of. Health plan for instance could be the introduction of a weekly exercise plan, have a written down food plan (or follow a certain diet) and/or weekly sport sessions.

Financially I’ll come onto in a later resolution.

Day-to-day management/work I would have a to-do list, both an overall one and a day-to-day list. Figuring out what needs to be done and then slowly working through by moving tasks from my overall list to my day-to-day one.

Not too much as that can lead to procrastination of which to start with, so maybe only 3-5 tasks per day even if only simple ones like cleaning house, washing pots and writing a new article. May be small but doing so daily will keep you in the know on everything you need to do as well as a daily plan in order to achieve them.

4. Learn a new skill or hobby

This one I would approach the same as the ‘exercise more’ resolution;

- Select Skill or Hobby

- Find group or time where I can pencil in the activity

- Tick off on a per week basis for every session (or hour practiced)

- Start off slowly doing one-two sessions per week (or on hourly basis dependent on skill or hobby)

All about consistency and turning into a habit.

5. Live life to the fullest

This one I can’t really comment on that well, all I can take from this is to decide what activities make you the happiest or bring the most fulfilment and to find a way to spend as much of your time doing those activities.

6. Save more money/Spend less money

A main point to focus on for this resolution is the understanding where the expenditures on your bank statement is going to, and if there are any unnecessary items or things that could be cut back for better things, such as for a potential holiday or new car.

A good strategy I have found is to spend only in cash when possible, as this makes it more unlikely of expenses racking up on a card where the cost of items is a lot more hidden, where we only find out the total cost perhaps on a monthly basis when checking the bank statement.

Instead using cash your always in control of how much you spend, for an example set a budget of £60-£100 (or other) for the week, take that out at the start of the week and now you know that’s all you must work with and easily kept track off.

In terms of focus, this could either be done by having a figure or item in mind, such as £2,000 or a holiday. Work out how much you can save and work out when you want to have saved that amount. Find the balance between to reach your goal.

7. Quit smoking

Now, I have never smoked and don’t plan to do so, so in this area I can only describe the approach I would attempt in such a situation, knowing that effects such as withdrawal and peer pressure would perhaps be a difficulty with this resolution.

I would say the approach I would take would be to go stop smoking straight away removing any and all cigarettes within reach, whilst also using some sort of replacement to fill this void or need. This may perhaps be exercise, chewing gum or perhaps moving onto e-cigarettes or replacements depending on the period smoked previously and reaction to stopping.

I only would want to do this on a temporary measure to then progress from the E-cigarettes or replacement to the former items and then eventually to nothing at all.

As I say, this is only the approach I can imagine myself taking in such a situation and not from experience.

8. Spend more time with friends and family

Again, for this I feel it’s about pencilling in the time in respective calendars or diaries.

Setting up events, meals or just setting a time to go see friends and family.

Everyone seems to be busy but having a bit of pro-activity in setting up dates times when people are available, and this goal can be easily achieved.

9. Travel more

With travelling, I would say to book it in advance and date it in as soon as possible even if the holiday or overseas event is not till the back end of the year.

This encourages finding a way to fit everything else around the holiday and providing a lot of time to organise tickets, accommodation, visas, events and jabs perhaps.

Leaving it too late to organise is a common reason why such events get pushed year on year, by giving the breathing space of sorting in advance makes this one a lot more able to be attainable.

10. Read more

Now reading can be a simple one, whether you’re a slow or fast reader.

This could a book a week, fortnight, month. If your new to reading, then perhaps start with a goal of a page per day as a means of building the momentum. Start slowly keep the interest going and let the habit build slowly.

Selecting the interesting books to start with, whether being fiction or non- fiction, helps kicks things off. Select a book you’ve always wanted to read perhaps a book from a film you’ve watched, on a topic you’re really interested in or a biography on someone you respect or interested in.

They could even link to previous resolutions for instance I’m reading the first Harry Potter book in the Spanish translation, killing two birds with one stone as it were as practice for a future holiday.

For this one I would recommend either reading first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening, for me I prefer the evening as it switches me off various screens and I’m using as a point before sleep.

Now all of this is just my opinion on how I would tackle these resolutions, if you take anything from them then it's been worthwhile.

Whether it be any of these or others,

Good luck with your new years resolutions and hope you smash them as goals in 2019.


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