How to Make Positive Choices in the New Year 
The new year is a time to reflect on where you are and where you want to go. Many people make resolutions—to get into shape, start eating better, learn to play guitar, and more. But how many people stick with their resolutions once the excitement of the new year is over?
Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, make a choice for 2020. Choose to follow your dreams and find success in whatever you set out to do. Need help? Use the following steps to make good choices—and stick to them—next year.
Decide what you want to do.
This step might seem obvious—but take a second to think about it. What do you really want to accomplish in 2020? What would change your life and set you up for a successful future?
Try to skip over small, specific goals like losing a certain amount of weight or joining a gym. Focus on the big picture instead, like improving your overall health. Knowing the big picture will help you get through the little, daily steps required to meet your goals—because you know what you’re working toward.
Break down your goal into tasks you can accomplish.
Once you know your overall goal, you can start breaking it down into smaller tasks. If you choose to change your life, for example, what steps do you take to get there?
You might want to start a new career, which could require career training. So, your first step to changing your life would be enrolling in a career training program in the field you want to join.
You can break it down even further from there—call to discuss your options with your school of choice, enroll, complete your financial aid information, make sure you have the materials you need for your coursework, and so on.
Now that you’ve decided on the big change you want to make, you can drill down into the small actions that make it possible.
Keep on course—and remember why you made the choice to change.
Follow-through is the most important aspect of changing your life. Have you ever made a resolution but let it fall by the wayside in the new year?
You’re not alone. Life is going to get busy. It might get hard. You might have trouble finding the determination that motivated you at the beginning of the year.
In these times, remind yourself of why you decided to make this choice. Is it to give your children a better life? To find the success you’ve always wanted? To join a career field you love and live your passion every day?
Whatever your reason, hold onto it. Write it on a piece of paper and tack it to your bulletin board. Keep it on your desk; tuck it into the frame of your mirror. Whatever it takes to remind yourself that the small tasks you do every day build toward a greater purpose.
Evaluate your success at the end of the year.
What happens once you make it through the entire year and keep your commitment? You’re a year into your coursework or changing your eating and activity habits—whatever goal you chose. Now it’s time to evaluate your progress.
Have you come as far as you wanted to? If so, where do you want to go next? If not, what can you do to adjust course and get back on track?
While it might seem far away, it’s important to consider the different ways you can evaluate your success now, before you’ve even started. You can try writing three questions for yourself—about what you want and where you want to go, for example—and try answering them at the beginning and end of the year. That way you’ll see the ways your goals and thoughts about success have evolved.
Keep making good choices.
Once you evaluate your progress, it’s time to make a choice again! It can be a continuation of your current choice, or an entirely new one. Maybe this year you decide to go back to school, and next year you’ll decide to go a step farther and make the honor roll or Dean’s list.
Have a happy new year, and remember: it’s all up to you. You can make choices that change your life. This month and every month, keep that in mind as you work toward your goals and choose success in the new year!