How to Choose a New Year’s Resolution for 2022

New year, new habits — at least that what many Americans strive for when declaring a new year’s resolution, especially after the year that 2021 was! Resetting the calendar can feel like the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and set a new course toward personal growth. 

The reality, however, is that studies found that 80% of those who make new year’s resolutions fail by the first month. If you’re thinking about 2022 new year’s resolution ideas, make a thoughtful decision about your declaration. Here are a few steps toward a more meaningful — and sustainable — resolution or goal for the new year.  

1. Look back

Although it’s not ideal to dwell on your past, learning from your past can offer perspective. Think back to your 2021 new year’s resolution and ask yourself:

What was it?

Why was this goal important to me?

Did I accomplish my goal? If you did, how? If you didn’t, why?

This retrospective insight can help you identify strengths in your strategy or gaps that might have derailed your progress and resolve. 

2. Figure out why you’ve chosen your goal

When thinking about new year’s resolution ideas, it’s easy to accept a resolution at its surface without digging deeper. For example, if you resolve to exercise more, why is this important to you? There’s no wrong or right answer. What you’re looking for by asking “why?” is the emotion or mindset that goal offers you.

Let’s say you want to exercise more. You might want to exercise more so you have more energy to play with your toddler without feeling winded. Perhaps, exercising in the evenings helps you get more restful sleep and motivates you to get up the next morning for work. Once you dig deeper into your motives for choosing a particular goal and connect with it emotionally, it stands a better chance of being sustainable.   

3. Choose an approach that works for you

One plan doesn’t fit all. Some people thrive with clearly defined resolutions, for example. If this sounds like you, a S.M.A.R.T. goal may give your resolution direction and focus you need to carry it throughout the year. S.M.A.R.T. stands for “specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and timely”. Instead of saying, “I want to save more money”, a SMART goal would look like, “I want to save $2,000 for an emergency fund by December 2022.”

Some people, however, might not prefer the structure and limitations of S.M.A.R.T. goals. Instead of defining your new year’s resolution idea, rigidly, consider declaring a one-word mantra for the year. For example, “empathy” or “risks” as an overarching theme that can be interpreted in many ways and applied in different scenarios. 

4. Don’t be so hard on yourself

Going cold-turkey on the habit you want to ditch isn’t always the best approach for long-lasting results. This year, be gentle and kind to yourself. Taper the habit slowly and acknowledge the progress you make each day. 

Having a friend cheer you on and hold you accountable to your goals can help your journey.  If you need an accountability buddy to keep you on track, a financial coach can help. Reach out for a free consultation today!
New year’s resolutions are a way to encourage you toward personal growth. Use these tips to create a thoughtful goal that you’ll want to hang on to all year.

How to Choose a New Year’s Resolution for 2022 is written by The Financial Gym Team for

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