Your Time To Shine: Tips For Accomplishing Your New Year’s Resolutions

Elizabeth Laikhter, B.A. contributed to this article.

ResolutionsPhoto Credit: ShutterstockDr. Samuel Lin is a double board-certified Plastic Surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School who practices in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Lin is an active Board Member of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Bright Pink Foundations. Dr. Lin is active in both basic science and clinical research with a focus on face/neck/nose surgery (rhinoplasty), breast surgery (reduction, lift, and reconstruction), and body contouring. He collaborates with engineers, scientists, and other plastic surgeons at other institutions within the New England area, nationally, and internationally. He is the editor of several medical textbooks including Aesthetic Atlas of the Head and Neck, Atlas of Body Contouring, and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Pearls of Wisdom and Pearls of Wisdom Second and Third Editions. Haute Beauty Expert Dr. Samuel Lin shares common ideas/goals and structured tips to accomplish your New Year resolutions.

What’re your personal New Year’s resolutions? Can be health, business, personal goals, or anything else!

I personally want to continue to try to do more with less! Whether it be by eating less or being less of a consumer, I think that there are lots of ways to maximize our daily lives to be less wasteful and more conscious of our impact on the people around us and the environment. It starts with one person at a time! I know that setting an example may lead others to also think about society and the world differently!

Each year, millions of people around the world make New Year’s resolutions in an effort to improve an aspect of their life. While some people may not fully achieve their resolutions, the good news is that many people do! Here are tips to help make your New Year’s resolutions a reality.

This year’s most popular New Year’s resolutions were related to health, self-improvement, family, love, career, and money. If you haven’t fully formulated your resolution, it is never too late. There is no hard and fast rule that says you need to make your resolution before the new year. Popular resolutions for 2021 to get ideas flowing include:

Dr. LinPhoto Credit: Courtesy of Dr. Samuel LinOnce you have decided on a New Year’s resolution, following these tips will help make your resolutions a reality.

Make realistic, measurable goals:

Your goals should be specific, realistic, and measurable. An acronym often used to help develop goals is SMART (Gardner, Sarah, and Albee, Dave, "Study focuses on strategies for achieving goals,
resolutions" (2015). Press Releases. 266.). SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-based. SMART may not apply to all goals, but here are ways to apply SMART concepts to your resolutions:

● If you want to exercise more, a specific goal would be to do three 30-minute moderate-intensity workouts a week. A measurable goal would be to run a 5k in under a 9-minute mile pace by the end of March.
● If you want to eat less meat, a specific goal would be to eat meat-free meals two days a week.
● If you want to keep in better touch with your loved ones, a specific, assignable goal would be to set aside an hour each week and pick at least one relative or friend to call.
● If you want to try new recipes, a time-based goal would be to try one new healthy recipe every other week.
● If you want to save more money, a specific, time-based goal would be to put $400 in your savings account monthly.

Have a plan:

Resolutions are not made overnight. Create a schedule for when and how you are going to accomplish your goals. By putting something on your schedule, you are more likely to follow-through. You should have a specific plan for what you are doing during your scheduled time to accomplish your goals. Have a recipe, workout video, online class, podcast, or activity picked out. Additionally, things may come up, so it is important to plan how you will overcome setbacks. If you miss your Tuesday workout, is there another day of the week when you can exercise instead? If you only save $80 one week, how will you adjust your spending the next week so you can save $120? If you can’t take 10 minutes to meditate, can you take 5? Being aware of potential obstacles you may face helps you set more realistic goals and allows you to turn those obstacles into opportunities for growth.

MeditationPhoto Credit: ShutterstockKeep yourself accountable:

The best way to achieve your goals is to keep yourself accountable. Writing your goal down either in a journal or on a notepad that you see daily is a great starting point because it makes your goal more concrete. For most people, the best way to stay accountable is to share your goals with an accountability partner. This can be a family member, friend, significant other, professional, or even someone in your community who you may not know well, but is also working to achieve a similar goal. You should plan to update each other at least weekly on major milestones and pitfalls. Make sure to encourage each other to keep up the progress.

Find a professional mentor:

Sometimes the best way to achieve your goals is to connect with a mentor who is a professional in the field. For health goals, this may be a certified nutritionist, therapist, or personal trainer. For career goals, this may be someone in your industry who you look up to. Look for people who have mentored others in the past, and have the time and willingness to mentor you. When you find a mentor, be prepared with your specific goals and questions, and make productive use of the time you have with them. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, but also be open-minded to push yourself to try new things you would not have expected. A good mentor can elevate you to a new level to accomplish goals you didn't even know were initially in reach.

Track your progress and reward your accomplishments:

There are many ways to track your progress. You can keep a physical journal, digital journal, or online blog. Additionally, there are iPhone and Android applications that help you track practically anything you want: from fitness to budgets, to recipes, to meditation. At each milestone, celebrate your accomplishments with something you enjoy. Treat yourself to a movie night, self-care day, new book, a new candle, whatever makes you happy. Celebrating your successes will help you recharge and motivate you to keep accomplishing your goals.