Here's What You Need to Set (and Achieve) Your New Year's Goals

Michelle Vartan

Do we set resolutions because we want to make a change, or do we just love a good challenge? Or is it because it might mean something if we didn’t? One thing we know for sure, if we don’t hit our goals in due time, we are often left feeling unaccomplished or worse, like a failure. So why do it? And are resolutions still relevant?

According to life and career coach Kelsey Murphy, they definitely are. "Because you can, in fact, do hard things," she says. When we set a goal and then venture out on the journey to achieve it, we understand new limits as humans—new elements of happiness, innovation or love make us feel more fulfilled and grateful than ever. So a resolution, with the right intention, can be just the thing that moves us forward as a society.

New Year’s, in its traditional form, celebrates the beginning of the Christian calendar year, but over the decades it has evolved into a commercialized "new year, new you" soundbite playing on the philosophy of a fresh start sealed with the looming promise of the perfect kiss. But the holiday is really about reflecting on the year past and intending for good things in the year ahead.

As you set your 2019 resolutions, be a little kinder to yourself. Instead of defaulting to losing 10 lbs by summer, try and take the time to be thoughtful about the reason. Why are you setting this resolution, how will it help you grow as a person, and why do you want this change now? Once you’ve established the meaning behind your resolution, then you allow the internal motivation and strategy of achieving it to fall into place. Here are a few words of advice and strategies from the experts to get you started.

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