Thursday, January 5, 2012

Keeping The New Year's Momentum going

Keeping The New Year’s Momentum Going

You’ve made the New Year’s resolutions, the way you do every year. January 1st, you’re all primed to go. You’re psyched and excited about accomplishing all your goals. This will be the year you do it all!
We’ve all experienced this, year after year. I definitely have. The problem is not with setting goals and making resolutions. The problem is keeping the momentum going. And not just through the first week or two of the new year but throughout the whole year. That is the only way to look back on December 31st and realize that this really was the year you reached your goals.

As all of us know, keeping the momentum is easier said than done. That is the trick of tricks. So how is it done?

One psychological trick is not to start on January 1st. Start your resolution on December 30th on January 3rd when you go back to work after the holidays. This is a cheat but it works. Why? Because starting on January 1st can seem exciting and scary at the same time. After all, it’s a special, “magical” day, the cutoff of things old and beginning of things new. This thought can be daunting. What if you screw it up, this new beginning? Purely psychological manipulations of human psyche but we all do it. The other, simpler reason for starting a couple of days later is that we’re still often in the holiday mode. We are still with family and friends, eating and drinking and being merry. We might not go back to our regular work lives until 2-3 days past January 1st. And if we fail to jump straight into our resolutions during those days, our excitement might dim, our determination may waver.

Once you’re ready to jump into our resolutions with both feet, you have to remember to have SMART goals:


If these five factors are not accounted for, it is much harder to keep the momentum going. We all need smaller realistic goals and time frames to push us forward.

Keep in mind that “realistic” is specific to your life and your every-day demands. What’s realistic for one person may not be realistic for another. For example, for someone who works full time and has kids realistic, let’s say, writing goals might be very different from someone who can write at home all day. To be successful, it is imperative to be reasonable and realistic with your goals as applied to your life. And only you will know what those are.

It is also very important to review where you are in relation to your larger goals/resolutions every week or so. This serves a dual purpose – it lets you see what you have to do next and it also raises the level excitement and satisfaction at seeing how much has been already accomplished.


  1. Great point about realistic being different for each of us! I have some big goals this year and I'm working hard on them.

  2. Great post, Yelena! I've always loved the SMART acronym - we use it at the day job a lot and it truly does help to focus in on those goals and ensure there are definitely attainable, AKA: within our control :)

  3. Ah SMART goals, run! Working in academics has given me a new fear of this acronym, but...they work!

    Heather, good luck with those big goals! Don't forget to break them down into nice manageable ones. :)

  4. Heather, yes, people often forget to make goals and plans relative to their own lives. That is the only way to be successful. You can't compare yourself to how other people do things without knowing their circumstances (although you can learn some time/planning management skills from others). Good luck with your goals.

    Melinda and Tina, I know SMART goals has been everywhere lately (and Tina, working in academics myself, I know exactly what you mean) but hey, like they do make sense and work :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...