Have you set your resolutions for 2019? Have you kept up with it or has it already began to fall to the wayside?
Many of us begin the year optimistically with a handful of goals and aspirations we’d like to accomplish by the end of the year only to find ourselves repeating those same goals again for the next or even altogether giving up on resolutions entirely. It can be a vicious and deflating experience.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Let this year be the year you accomplish your goals!
1. Choose Small Actionable Goals
A big goal isn’t a bad thing but if it’s vague like “lose weight”, “be healthy”, “be smarter” then what are you really trying to accomplish? Think about what your true intentions are and how you’ll get there. Is “be healthy” really that you want to get stronger or maybe you want to take your self-care more seriously? If you’re trying to get stronger, how will you get there? Saying that you just want to bench an extra 50 or 100 pounds might sound good but that’s not going to happen in the span of a week so maybe you’ll plan to add 5 pounds for now. Or you want to be more mindful and take better care of your body so you want to increase your water and yoga practice. It could be your goal to start off by drinking 20 oz of water every day with the intention of increasing it throughout the year and you might begin with 10 minutes of yoga daily. Everyone’s approach will be different for what they want in their life but each goal should be very specific with a game plan in mind. It will help make goals seem more attainable and less daunting.
2. Create Deadlines
Now that you have your goal broken down, add timelines to them. This will help you stay on course and level up your abilities as you go. Don’t feel bad if you need to adjust your timeline. Maybe that 20th pound added to your weights is harder to overcome than the last sets so you want to take some more time before adding more weight. If you hit a roadblock or begin to plateau just reexamine where you are and re-adjust your plan.
3. Be Selective
It can be easy, as you’re thinking of resolutions, to create a long list of things you’d like to accomplish but be careful! Too many things can become overwhelming and may cause you to lose sight of all of them. Pare down your list into the most important ones and just focusing on one thing is fine.
Be sure to keep track of your goals and your accomplishments. This will help you see where you’ve come from and what you still have left. Keeping a clear sight of this can be motivating as well. Habit trackers can be very handy and you can find many apps or write it out to help keep you on track.
5. Reward Yourself!
With all your tracking you’ll know when you’ve reached deadlines or milestones so give yourself a big congratulations and reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything huge but a little self-acknowledgement can go a long way. Maybe there is a new place you wanted an excuse to visit or you’ve been holding out on getting a small item. These could be opportunities to reward yourself. But it could be as small as giving yourself 10 minutes of just you time in a corner with a candle. And it might feel silly but actually say to yourself, “good job!” or “you’re doing awesome!” as you’re going through this process. You are your own biggest cheerleader to cheer away!
6. Find Support
There are actually studies showing that if you share your intentions of a goal it creates a similar sense of accomplishment from having actually done the goal. So, it may be best to keep quiet about what you’re hoping to do this year, however, depending on certain goals, it may be helpful to have a few close friends or family know to help keep you accountable. Sometimes when you’re feeling stuck it can be nice to have someone to talk to about where you’re at and the difficulties you’re facing. It can create insight for yourself to talk things out with someone else or maybe they’ll share something helpful. You may even have friends with similar goals that you can work with (or some friendly competition) to accomplish the goals.
7. Keep Going!
Pitfalls happen. It’s OK. If you find yourself falling off the rails a bit – maybe things got really busy at work – just jump back in. Tell yourself it’s OK and just continue on. Things happen and you can’t let it deter you. If you’re struggling a lot try reevaluating what’s going on in your life, your goals, and if they’re still aligned and realistic. Again, it’s ok to adjust your goals. Just keep going!
If this is your first year really working toward your new year’s resolution, it can seem a daunting task and it can get hard at times. Just keep going and when the next year comes look back at how it went. Every time you go through this process you will understand it and yourself better. It’s also never too late to make a goal. You don’t have to wait for a new year to want to improve something about yourself or in your life. And remember, always be proud of what you accomplish and good luck with your goals!
And to get a deeper understanding of creating habits, watch this video of BJ Fogg during a TEDx Talk.