As the new year approaches, it is time to shift gears and think about the 12 months ahead. That means coming up with your New Year’s resolutions.
While “I want to lose 10 pounds” and “I want to make more money” tend to be popular pledges, successful people think bigger, better and more specific. Check out nine New Year’s resolutions successful people make every year.
1. Master a New Skill
Mastering a new skill can help fuel creativity and inspire you in other areas of life. By remaining perpetual students, successful people open themselves up to innovation and new opportunities.
Successful people never stop learning. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, is known for his ambitious resolutions. In the past, he has resolved to learn Mandarin and also to read a new book every other week, with the goal of learning about a diverse array of cultures and histories.
If you want to master a new skill in 2016, consider the areas of your life where you can improve. Look into local classes in your community, and online through Coursera and Udemy. This resolution can put a dent in your budget depending on what you want to master. However, there are also many resources online to help you master a new skill at little or no cost.
2. Spend More Time With Family
You might think highly successful people are workaholics who get no sleep and never have time for their family and friends. However, successful people typically know that having a work-life balance is important.
So, they resolve to spend more time with family each new year. They know that family is an important part of life and that being successful does not mean much without a family’s love and support.
“As a business owner, I’ve learned the importance of creating resolutions,” said Tiffany Mason, founder of Mason Coaching and Consulting. “In my experience, a common resolution is to spend more quality time with family.”
That might mean establishing a schedule of working hours and sticking to it. It also might require you to put down the phone when you are with loved ones. In addition, consider carving out a special time each day to spend with your family, such as during dinner or right before bed. This resolution doesn’t need to cost any money — just time.
3. Create Goals, Not Resolutions
Everyone sets resolutions, but successful people set goals that are SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Neil Bondre is founder of The Interview Professional, which provides interview coaching to professionals. He said that instead of simply setting a goal — such as to lose 15 pounds during 2016 — successful people are more specific.
“Successful people say ‘I want to lose 15 pounds in 2016 by eating out only three times a week, going to the gym four times a week and eating 50 percent more greens and less carbs each week,'” Bondre said.
Bondre said successful people also set deadlines for when they want to accomplish their goals. “And they make it a short but reasonable deadline,” he said.
4. Get Organized
Life is messy enough, so you do not want to compound the problem by living in an environment that is similarly untidy. Successful people know that having an uncluttered, organized environment can help foster productivity and enhance mental clarity. In 2015, news anchor Katie Couric resolved to be less messy and more organized. You can, too.
Start by decluttering and getting rid of items you no longer use. Pick up after yourself and keep things tidy around the house. Organize books and paperwork on your desk. Being organized in all facets of your life can help you better manage your time and keep your day on track.
5. Stop Caring About What Others Think
It is natural to care about what your friends and colleagues think of you, but only to a certain extent. Caring too much about what others think can hinder your progress and hold you back from success. Successful people let go of what others think of them and focus on bigger goals.
If you are a perfectionist, work on letting go of what others think of you. Steve Siebold, author of “177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class” and “How Rich People Think,” said one major key to success is to stop caring about how others judge your goals.
“Psychologists call it ‘approval addiction,’ and once you overcome it to any significant degree, you are free of the psychological chains that bind most people from ever experiencing world-class success,” he said.
6. Make Time to Relax
You might always be on the go, running from one thing to the next. Even during the in-between moments, you might check your email or latest notifications. Successful people often find the demands for their time is even greater.
However, always being busy does not allow time to rejuvenate. That could affect your productivity and creativity.
Brian Halligan is CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform. He told Business Insider that in 2015, he wanted to make more time for meditation and naps.”There’s something about not actively thinking that creates a fertile ground in my brain for a breakthrough,” he said.
7. Manage Your Time Well
Highly successful people know that managing their time is a crucial aspect of mastering both their careers and their lives. “There is nothing worse for productivity than placing no limits on your time,” said John Vespasian, author of “When Everything Fails, Try This.”
Vespasian suggested setting timelines and getting things done within those limits. In addition, he urged people to use downtime — such as waiting for a client or sitting in a busy airport — to catch up on reading books or emails. The key is to maximize each minute of your productivity in a certain time frame, and then let go and relax.
8. Find a Mentor or Accountability Partner
Successful people know that success does not happen alone. Rather, it materializes with the help of others. Getting a mentor, coach or accountability partner can help successful people go from good to great.
“If someone is there to help you, support you, push you and hold you accountable, the chances increase you will do it because you don’t want to let them down,” said author and trainer Lee Silber.
In some cases, you might be able to find a mentor at work or in your field who is willing to invest time to support you. In other cases, you might need to spend money for a business coach or other professional to keep you on the right path.
9. Focus on Overall Health
Nearly everyone wants to lose weight after the holidays. But successful people know that it is not only about shedding pounds, but also about managing your health — inside and out.
Rock musician Dave Grohl, frontman of the Foo Fighters, told “Entertainment Tonight” that in 2015, he planned to focus on fitness. Caroline Ghosn, co-founder and CEO of the young professionals network Levo League, told Business Insider that she was working on cultivating happiness through meditation.
Successful people take a balanced approach to health and wellness, working on inner happiness and physical strength. Join them by dedicating a portion of every day during 2016 to mental and physical health.
The American College of Sports Medicine offers 12 exercises to get you started. Pair your physical workout with 10 minutes of daily meditation.
The new year is a great time to set goals and start fresh. Using these nine resolutions, you can map out your plans and set yourself up for a successful 2016.
From GobankingRates.com: 9 New Year’s resolutions successful people make every year