If Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, setting New Year’s Resolutions is the least. Despite the eventual failure, we continue to set an annual resolution (or two, or three) with the hope that this new year will be the one time it sticks. Here’s the thing, less than 10% of people stick to their resolutions and around a quarter of you will give up in the first week. They’re just not meant to be, the majority of the time.
Just ask yourself this – how many resolutions have you set over the years and how many have you stuck with? We may be able to help you take action this year, rather than just saying your New Year’s resolutions.
• It’s A Goal, It’s Not A Resolution
What’s the difference? A resolution sounds something like I want to get a new job or I want to be healthier. Whereas, a goal is I’m going to apply for two jobs every morning until I have a new one or I’m joining a gym and going three times a week. It’s easier to achieve a goal when it’s achievable and you can measure it. Saying you’re going to get in shape is not going to work out as well as saying you plan to lose 5 pounds a month.
• Don’t Get Caught Up With The Date
It’s easy to get caught up with setting a resolution as the first day of the year draws closer – but you don’t need to rush into setting your changes into action. If you push yourself into something because the calendar is pressuring you, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.
There’s nothing easy about making changes and if you want to be successful, you have to be ready to work for it. So, delay your goal until you know what you want and you’re ready to take it.
• Short-Term Milestones
So, your ultimate goal is to lose 60 pounds? You’re going to need to narrow that down into milestones that are attainable. This will help keep you on track – so, look at it as a five-pound weight loss every month and then break it down into a weekly goal.
Your milestones don’t stop there. You need to record the steps you’re going to take to actually lose that weight – whether it’s reducing your sugar intake, cutting out sodas in favor of water or going for a half hour walk every evening.
• Monitor Progress
How do you know how your actions are doing unless you keep track? You can use a journal or a calendar to keep track of your steps and progress. There are plenty of apps out there, whether your goal is fitness related or financial. Consider using a friend or loved one as someone who can help you stay accountable to your goals.
• Plan Ahead
Sometimes you won’t feel motivated about your goals and it’s in those moments that you are more likely to give up. So, you’re going to have to plan ahead to avoid failure. Sit down and write a list of why you want to stick to the goal. Every time you struggle with motivation, read over your list of why and use that motivation to push you forward.
Keep your running shoes handy so you’ll be reminded that you need to exercise. Put your credit card in a lock box so you won’t be attempted to give in to an impulse buy. Whatever your goal, keep reminders around you so you can resist whatever obstacles are in your way.
One mistake doesn’t spell failure, so if you have a slip up in your attempt to reach your goal, don’t give up.