Making And Keeping Your 2012 New Year’s Resolutions…With Social Media!

Let this be the year that you actually keep your New Years resolutions, and let social media be the tool that helps you achieve your goals!

Well folks, 2012 is here at last!  And with the New Year comes a time for goal-setting and resolution-making.  But if you’re like most people, you’ll make and break your New Year’s resolutions within a matter of months, or weeks or even days.  Let this be the year that you actually keep your New Years resolutions, and let social media be the tool that helps you achieve your goals!

This post is an update of my January 1, 2011 article, ‘How To Use Social Media To Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions.’ Feel free to read that article for more insight.  Oh, and Happy New Years!  Now…on to the goal-setting!

Step 1: Set Attainable Goals

I am the queen of making and breaking New Years resolutions.  In past years I’ve vowed to work out six days a week, cut out sweets entirely (I’ve got a wicked sweet tooth) or make a video every single day.  For me, those goals were way too lofty and there was absolutely no way I could have achieved them.  If you set a goal that is too difficult to achieve it’s easy to become overwhelmed and just stop trying entirely.  Be reasonable with what you expect from yourself and it will be easier to stick to the plan.

Last year I decided to pick a resolution that was a little more reasonable than my lofty resolutions of the past.  Feeling a bit dry in the creative department, I decided to do one creative project a week for the year—52 Creative Projects in 2011.  For me, this seemed reasonable.  In the end I made it to 40 creative projects in 2011.  Some of the projects I worked on extended into multi-week territory and some weeks I just had too much on my plate to get a project done, but I feel more than happy with what I accomplished.  I achieved my overall goal, to be more creative, and I am excited to work on 12 more creative projects in 2012.

Think about the resolutions you made for yourself in 2011.  Did you accomplish them?  If not, could it be that you expected too much of yourself?  Try to be a little more reasonable this year.

Step 2: Use Your Social Networks As Cheerleaders!

There’s nothing like positive feedback from others to help you achieve your goals and social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are the perfect places to go for this positive reinforcement.  Announce your resolutions to your friends on Facebook and your followers on Twitter.  Let your Path friends know what you’re planning, share pictures of your resolution in Instagram—you get the idea.  Tell as many people as you can about what you plan to do in 2012.  Doing this will not only make you feel a little more committed to your goals (after all, you don’t want your friends and followers to see you fail) but it will also rally support.

I posted pictures of all of my creative projects on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and I got all sorts of great feedback, from likes and comments to personal messages from friends.  This not only felt great, but it also inspired me to keep going.  So shout out your resolutions to your social networks and build your own virtual cheerleading squad.  Trust me—it will help a lot!

YouTube suggests making a video to let your friends (and the rest of the world) know what you’re planning for 2012.  Use the hashtag #awesome2012 so other people can find your resolution video.

Speaking of YouTube, in the video below YouTube partner and fitness guru Amanda Russell provides some tips on how to actually stick to your New Year’s resolutions.

Step 3: Track Your Progress

Last year I talked about tracking your progress publicly via your social networks (Twitter and Facebook) and via Tumblr or other blogging platforms.  Let your friends and “virtual cheerleaders” know how you’re doing.  Every morning when you wake up you can Tweet out “Day __ without caffeine!” or “I ran __ miles this morning!”  If you do this every day publicly then you’ll be less inclined to skip a day—after all, as I said above, you won’t want your friends to see you fail.

In 2011 I wrote, “Tweet your progress, as in the example[s] 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 with make you feel good!”

This year I’d like to add keeping your progress privately (or publicly) with mobile apps.  There are so many mobile apps that let you keep track of your goals, especially in the Health & Fitness department.  There are also more general goal-setting applications like Traxitall, which my mom actually recommended to me.  Traxitall helps you keep a record of your goals and progress.  They explain, “By keeping a record of such thing, Traxitall becomes your partner, your ‘personal trainer,’ making you accountable for yourself actually doing what you said you were going to do.”

Step 4: If You’re Not Feeling Inspired, Just Ask!

Sometimes you may want to give up on your resolutions and goals.  Don’t do it!  If you’re feeling like you want to throw in the towel, reach out to others for inspiration!

Social media is the perfect place to find inspiration.  Sent out a general tweet or a general Facebook status update asking your friends for inspiration, or dig a little deeper to find inspirational people.  On Twitter and other networks you can do a little bit of keyword searching to find other people who are doing similar things to what you’d like to do.  Befriend or follow them and start a conversation.  Ask them what they’re doing to stick to their goals and follow their lead.  It’s a lot easier to stick to your goals if you’ve built a strong, inspiring network to help you.

Looking for creative inspiration?  Pinterest, the social online pinboard community that’s been blowing up over recent months is perfect!  Just browse through other creative people’s boards for inspiration.  Tumblr is also great for inspiration.  You’ll be surprised how much inspiration you can glean from social networks.

Step 5: Brag About Your Success

At the end of 2012, when you’ve achieved your resolutions, you can brag to all of your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Path and the plethora of new social networks that are bound to be released over the coming year.  Go ahead, you deserve it!  Oh, and don’t forget to thank your friends and followers for helping you to achieve your goals!

Now, take a moment to share your New Year’s Resolution in the comments below…I’ll be the first to give you a cheer towards realizing all of your goals in the New Year!

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.