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Chioma Momah: How to Smash Your New Year Resolutions

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Happy New Year! When I was younger, I fantasized about counting down till the clock struck midnight and then kissing my beau! However, as a good Naija Christian lady, I usually cross over into each year in a house of worship, praying and singing praises… which, to be honest, is something I quite enjoy.

Something I don’t always enjoy, however, is making my plans for the New Year. Every year, I write this long list of my plans for the year, and with some I struggle, while with others I soar. I started enjoying making my resolutions when I realised that “New Year Resolutions”, goals, prayer points or whatever were not magical wishes but issues that I actively had to work towards. You see, if one of your plans for the year is to get a better job, you can’t just sit on your pretty behind and twiddle your thumbs while time flies by – you have to intentionally work towards it.

Here’s my checklist for making achievable plans for 2017:

1. What do you want?
Remember that when it comes to setting goals, it has to be something that you desire, not something that’s in vogue or something your mum wants. Part of the motivation for achieving goals is desire. You need a crystal clear vision of what you want and why you want it.

2. How will it work?
Okay, so this year you want to have a tiny waist and fat bank account. It ain’t up to Santa, so how do you plan to achieve this? Start making concrete action plans on how you’ll eat healthier, exercise more and splurge less this year. If you don’t make plans, then don’t blame anyone but yourself if your plans fall flat.

3. Tell a friend
Now note that I didn’t say tell your whole village or announce it on Facebook. Instead, pick an accountability partner, someone who you know has your back and can give you that little push when you get weary. It might be your mum, dad, mentor, sibling, BFF or someone else who has proved his or her mettle. Choose a friend who will help and encourage you when things don’t seem to be working out – certainly not the kind that will laugh at your first sign of failure and say “You see yourself? When you are trying to overdo”.

4. Set deadlines
Personally, I’ve found that when I have a deadline, I work harder and keep my eyes on the goal. A good example is a bride trying to lose a few stubborn pounds for her big day. Her goal is her wedding date, and she works towards it with fixed determination. In the same way, if you give yourself a realistic deadline for a particular goal or plan, you will find it easier to get it done and dusted. For instance, instead of planning to lose weight in 2017, you could plan to lose 7kg before Easter, and set out a weekly timetable of how you plan to achieve this.

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself
It’s so easy to look at your contemporaries and think how much farther ahead they seem to be, especially with social media constantly showing us flashy highlights of other people’s lives. Just remember that life always looks more glamorous in pictures. So stop looking at “your mates” and focus on yourself. And if you stumble along the way, as we all do, pick yourself up, learn from the mistake and keep forging ahead. It’s not a competition. Everyone has their own race to run, and when you attain your own personal goals, you can give yourself a big pat on your back.

6. Stay on track
If you’re as restless as I am, it’s so easy to start one thing, then stop halfway and start on something else. This is a bad habit, as you’ll only end up with plenty of unfinished projects. While multitasking is fine and sometimes necessary, it’s also important to maintain focus in order to see things through. For example, if you have a list of fifteen goals, rather than working on eight major ones at a time, why not take on two or three at a time and keep working your way through your list? You’ll find that this way, you’ll achieve more in less time.

What are your tried and tested ways of achieving your goals for the year?

Chioma Momah is a lawyer, writer and inspirational parenting blogger. This mother of four is the author of the children's books “First day at the Big School” and “Fun Day at the Museum” as well as the Goals, Gratitude and Growth Journal. Chioma is also the founder of Let's Encourage A Reading Nation" (L.E.A.R.N) which is aimed at improving literacy among children. She holds an L.L.B from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, as well as an MBA from Anglia Ruskin University and an MPA from the University of Exeter (both in the UK). She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Apart from writing on her blog, she enjoys speaking on gender issues, parenting and literacy. Follow her on Facebook at Chiomah’s Blog, Instagram @chiomahmomah and read her posts on  www.chiomah.net.

12 Comments

  1. Nkechi

    January 18, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Great tips. Simple but really makes a lot of sense. Like you I’m pretty restless and it’s time for an accountability buddy. The myriad of ideas will all come to fruition but it’s time to admit that not all should be taken on or commenced at once. Always a learning experience reading from You Chioma. Great job

  2. Nkechi

    January 18, 2017 at 5:46 am

    Great tips. Simple but really makes a lot of sense. Like you I’m pretty restless and it’s time for an accountability buddy. The myriad of ideas will all come to fruition but it’s time to admit that not all should be taken on or commenced at once. Always a learning experience reading from You Chioma. Great job

    • Chiomah

      January 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks Nkechi looking forward to hearing about your exploits

      chiomah.net

  3. Nneamaka Nwosisi

    January 18, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Lovely write up Chioma, I will be sure to set realistic goals for myself this year using these tips and take it one day at a time while working hard to stay focused.

  4. Ify Uzoka

    January 18, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Thank you for this lovely piece…..especially the part about unfinished projects. The resolutions won’t just happen we have to plan for success. Thanks a lot.

  5. Nyimmycakes

    January 18, 2017 at 9:19 am

    “For example, if you have a list of fifteen goals, rather than working on eight major ones at a time, why not take on two or three at a time and keep working your way through your list? ”

    I need to start doing this. I spend too much time focusing on the looooong list and then get discouraged when I’m not able to tackle them on.

    • Chiomah

      January 18, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Yep when you take things in bits it’s usually easier to deal with.

  6. Mia

    January 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Great practical tips!! Another good one is using a planner, diary or journal to write down and track your progress on your goals, desires and action plans. There’s something about writing it all down that ‘solidifies’ your plans and keeps you organized, and of course it reminds you to get going every time you look at it. There’s also a great feeling of satisfaction and gratitude that comes from ticking off each completed item in your planner, and then looking back at the end of the year to see that you were able to accomplish some goals.

    • Chiomah

      January 18, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Awesome tip Mia! I found a list I wrote last year and like you said it was so gratifying just seeing I had reached almost all my planned outcomes.??

  7. iyleBella

    January 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Great write up Chioma! Thanks for the easy and practical tips to achieving one’s goals. I’m particularly guilty of setting ‘vague/limitless’ goals. So setting deadlines would definitely help me achieve more. Thanks for sharing.

    • Chiomah

      January 19, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      Your welcome Bella! ?

  8. Ony Momah

    January 20, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Awesome Tips!

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