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How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

In the blink of an eye, we bid goodbye to 2023 and say hello to 2024! The start of the new year is the perfect time to turn a page, break old habits, and start afresh. These often mean setting achievable New Year’s resolutions to help you grow emotionally, financially, psychologically and more!

We know it is easier to make New Year’s resolutions than to keep them. Which is why we hope this article can help encourage fellow youths to first reflect more on the past year, and provide tips to retain that resolve across their work, life and play needs.

Why is goal setting important?

In psychology, goal setting is an essential tool for self-motivation and self-drive, both personally and professionally. It helps give meaning to your actions and the purpose of working toward a higher goal.

Across the globe, millions have resolved to change for the better at the start of the New Year. They set New Year’s resolutions, or goals to help them chart a roadmap of what they will do. Sometimes, these plans are intricate. Other times, they can be brief. But we find that the better the plan, the greater the chance of achieving what you aim to do.

Common New Year’s Resolutions include:

·      Keeping an active lifestyle

·      Losing weight

·      Saving more frequently for a rainy day

·      Quitting smoking

·      Spending more time with the family

·      Travelling more

·      Getting into a better sleep routine or sleeping more

·      Learning a new language

What is the Goal-Setting Theory?

In the mid-1960s, Dr Edwin Locke’s pioneering research into goal setting and motivation identified five elements that need to be in place to achieve a goal. Consider using these to guide how you plan your New Year’s resolutions.

1. Clarity

Clear, measurable goals are more achievable. The most effective goals have specific timelines for completion.

2. Challenge

The goal must be sufficiently difficult in order for you to have the motivation to strive towards it. If it is too hard, you will be discouraged. If it is too easy, you may get complacent.

3. Commitment

Deliberate effort must go into meeting the goal. Having someone else that is aware of your goal can help to keep you accountable.

4. Feedback

Having a method to measure or give you feedback on your progress can help in redefining your goal. For example, if losing 10 kilogrammes in four months is not realistic. It is better to adjust your goal accordingly instead of giving up.

5. Complexity

The goal’s complexity should be tied to its timeframe. You need enough time to overcome the learning curve involved in completing the task. For more complex goals, it’s better if you give yourself some extra padding for a better chance at succeeding.

In essence, goals that are realistic and attainable while difficult enough to give you motivation are the best kind of goals.

How to get started?

Setting goals initially could be quite overwhelming, especially if you are not sure what kind of goals to set. Here are some aspects of your life that you could apply goal setting to.

1.    Work - Career goals

2.    Life - Financial goals

3.    Play - Lifestyle goals

Below are specific questions to guide you along the way as you prepare to plan goals for your new year’s resolutions.

1. Work

If you are looking or starting a career in the new year, these questions can possibly help you explore what to do in the domains of skills acquisition, knowledge building and more.

·      Where do you see your career in the next five years?

·      What are skills that you want to work on/acquire?

·      Are there any industries you are interested in diving into?

·      Would mentorship shed insight on a job you are interested in?

2. Live

One of the common New Year’s resolutions involves having financial stability. Some of the common questions to ask include:

·      How do you plan to achieve financial stability?

·      Are there any big expenses you foresee in the future? How are you going to afford that?

·      Do you have savings for emergency situations?

3. Play

All work and no play make Jack and Jill a dull couple. Here, the questions address your social life, personal interests and what it means to have a solid work-life balance foundation.

·      Are there any new hobbies you’re interested in?

·      Are you spending enough time with friends and family?

·      Do you have a healthy work-life balance?

These are some of the questions you can use to help you set goals in the respective aspects of your life.

As you're mapping out your goals for 2024, discover how NTUC Starter Membership can enhance your journey. With NTUC Starter Membership, you gain access to:


✅ 1-to-1 Career Mentorship

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Let NTUC Starter be instrumental in helping you achieve your aspirations.


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