Every year there are always people hoping to improve their lives through a New Year’s resolution. With some of the most common promises being diet, weight loss, exercise, breaking habits, saving money, and learning a new skill. It has been the same year after year but most of these goals are vague and do not have an action plan involved. In health improvement such as diet and exercise the goal should be well planned and exactly stated and written on a day to day basis. Think about how a company fulfills their goals every year, the company breaks down the goal into individual tasks and distributes the work over time. This is how we should approach our life. One of my favorite ways to start implementing my goals is to plan.

I use an A5 weekly and monthly planner with my own inserts (Link here). If you don’t want to go through the trouble of printing and cutting inserts (Link Here this is an Erin Condren). Not only do I plan to look at what I need to do in the week, but I also incorporate an action plan for the goals I have set for myself. For example, I have been learning Italian independently since I graduated university and my daily action plan is to use my Duolingo app for 15 minutes every day of the week at 9 pm every night. This is a low commitment task and I have set aside a time to complete it. Another example of an action plan might be to walk for 30 minutes 3x a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:30pm. These are both specific tasks with specific times which leads to a higher chance of completion. Additionally, the low amount of commitment in terms of time and frequency for the walking might allow for adjustment to the rest of your life. Don’t be discouraged if you skip a day, you have a chance to make it up within the week.

These concrete tasks might not seem like much in the grand scheme of things but once planning the week out to complete them becomes a habit, the change throughout the year becomes significant. My weekly walking habit started in January 2014. In February of that same year I made it a daily habit that has persisted to this day. It also motivates me to see how much progress I make in my walking pace and distance, so I have a fitness tracker. I currently use the pebble time in white and rose gold (link here) with a gadgetwraps silicone band (link here).

It’s one of the most attractive fitness watches I’ve seen and the bands are interchangeable. The low-profile smartwatch still has other functions such as sleep tracking, email, text notifications and more. My mother prefers the simplicity of her Fitbit Alta (Link Here) as it only displays steps and time on the gadget itself and retains more functionality on the app.

My brother prefers not to charge his, so he has the more affordable Lifetrak watch we found at Costco for around $40 (Link to Amazon here). It has a yearlong battery life and even a heart rate monitor for such an affordable price.

I chose these 3 trackers to share with you because they have longer battery life than most smartwatches. If you already have a smart watch then it might not be worth it to get them.

In any case, most goals can be accomplished through proper planning and it is a long-term lifestyle change rather than an end. The idea of breaking a habit such as smoking might have an end, but it is still a lifestyle change that should happen over time. I have known people to go cold turkey on elimination goals, but the success is not as sustainable. Reduce the number of cigarettes smoked per day or per week and keep track. If your goal is to save money, understand how much you make and identify what you are spending it on to know where to cut (even if it is just one less coffee a week). Another way to save is to just set aside about 10% of your earnings into a savings account and just do not touch it. There are a number of ways to attain your goal, while it may be difficult to maintain motivation, tracking the goal through plannable and doable steps makes it seem less daunting. Let me know if you would like to see any more downloadable/printable planning materials in my etsy.

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