How To Use Social Media To Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

What is your New Year’s resolution for 2011? Will you exercise more? Cut back on the junk food? Start a new hobby? And will this be the year that you finally stick to your resolution? Year after year I come up with the perfect New Year’s resolution and usually within the first few weeks of the New Year I’ve forgotten about or broken my yearly promise to myself. This year is going to be different. This year I’ll be using social media to achieve my New Year’s Resolution. So who’s with me?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, as 2010 is coming to a close, and I’ve come to the conclusion that social media is the foolproof way to keep your resolutions and goals. Think about it – if you tell all your Facebook friends, all your Twitter followers and the entire World Wide Web what your resolutions are and then you give up on them you’ll just look like an idiot. So get ready, cause it’s New Year’s Resolution setting time, social media style!

Step 1: Set Realistic Goals

The first step in achieving your New Year’s Resolutions in 2011 is, of course, deciding what they are going to be. I have learned from past experience that you shouldn’t set goals that are too lofty to accomplish. For example, if you want to start making videosdon’t say that you will make a video every single day of the year. You can start with a goal of video per week or one per month and if you wind up making one every day then that’s just great, but you aren’t putting too much pressure on yourself. If you haven’t gotten on a treadmill in 2 years and want to start running, don’t say you are going to run 10 miles every day starting on January 1. A more realistic goal would be that you are going to run three days a week in 2011 – the distance will come with time.

For years I have wanted to embark on more creative projects. Sure, I write on a daily basis and dabble in video and graphics work on a pretty regular basis, but I want to get out there and try new things – maybe pottery or knitting or crafting or something I haven’t even though of yet. I’ve decided that I want to embrace creativity in 2011 by trying out a variety of different creative projects so I’ve resolved to do at least one creative thing a week in 2011. For me this is doable, as I can get creative for a couple of hours on the weekend or after work one day during the week. You need to determine what is doable for you. (Image Credit: Eric Malloy)

Step 2: Announce Your Resolutions To The Social Web

Once you have come up with your realistic goals for 2011 it’s time to put them out there. The way I see it, the more people that you tell your goals to the more obliged you will feel to follow through with them. So tell the world! Post your resolutions to your Twitter account with the hashtag #NewYearsResolution, write it on your Facebook wall, make a video blog on YouTube or write a blog post announcing your goals. This way you’ll feel a little bit more pressure to keep your goals that if you’d just thought of them in your head. Your online friends and fans are counting on you to succeed!

Earlier today I posted my creativity resolution to Twitter. After I clicked on the “Tweet” button to share the post with all my followers I suddenly felt like my 2011 resolution had become more of a reality and thought to myself, “Wow, there’s no backing out now!” Now that I’m posting about it here at Social Times as well, the pressure is on even more! Get your own resolutions out there on the social web and you’ll know just how I feel. 2011 is the year that we accomplish everything we set out to accomplish. Yes!

Step 3: Track Your Progress Publicly

Once you’ve set your goals and shared them with your social networks it’s time to start tracking your progress. Some resolutions are easier to track than others. For instance, say you want to cut out caffeine in 2011. Each morning the first thing you Tweet can be “Day __ Without Caffeine!” If you have a weak moment on Day 56 when you find yourself lifting a cup of coffee to your lips you can ask yourself whether it will be worth it the next morning when your friends and followers ask why you didn’t start the day with “Day 57 Without Caffeine!”

You can track your progress publicly in any number of ways. Tweet your progress, as in the example above, create a Facebook group where you share pictures and updates with friends that decide to join, create a weekly vlog on YouTube where you talk about what you’ve been up to and how you’ve been working to accomplish your goals, or start a blog. Take pictures of your progress, keep notes, announce the major turning points. It’s exciting and talking about your progress will make you feel good!

I opened a Tumblr blog today to keep track of my creativity resolution. Each week I’ll post a creative project there so that my friends can see what I’ve been up to. Even if it’s just my mom and a couple close friends reading my Tumblr I will feel compelled to continue with my weekly projects so I won’t let them down.

Step 4: Don’t Give Up!

Step 4 is crucial – Don’t give up! There are periods of doubt and wanting to quit on the road to achieving any goal, but if you push through you’ll be glad you did. As the year progresses and you track your goal achievements through the social web you are likely to meet new people with similar goals, attract a small (or big) following, and start to feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself as well. So stick to it!

Step 5: Rejoice In Your Success

If you stick to your guns and don’t give up then on December 31, 2011 you can sit back, smile and rejoice in your success. And then, of course, get ready to set your New Year’s Resolutions for 2012!

Feel free to share your New Year’s Resolution with me in the comments so I can be among those rooting you on in 2011!

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