The New Year is already here??
This means, you’re probably trying to figure out the secret to keeping New Year’s resolutions. C’mon, girl, don’t give me that look! This year you’re gonna be making successful new year resolutions and sticking to them.
I haven’t been the best at keeping all of my resolutions, but this past year has taught me a ton about goal setting. I took this past week to reflect on what worked and what didn’t–allowing me to determine what will help anyone in making and keeping New Year’s resolutions, or any goal-setting in general.
What doesn’t work
First, let’s start out with how not to set goals if you intend on keeping New Year’s resolutions this year.
Creating large-scale goals
Yeah, when you finally sit down to determine what you want to complete this year, you might feel insanely ambitious and want to write down literally everything you want to do. However, creating large-scale goals may actually have the reverse effect in that they may seem too overwhelming to even know where to begin.
Beating yourself up
Oh geez, if I had a dollar for every time I fell off wagon I would be so rich right now. Beating yourself up over failed New Year’s resolutions will only make you more discouraged and less likely to get back up and try again. Just like anything else that doesn’t go right, be pissed for 5 seconds (or maybe 2 minutes if ya really need it), then get yo’self back up and try again!The more time you spend upset over a failed resolution, the less time you spend working on it. Click To Tweet
What does work
Now that we took a look at what doesn’t work when planning on keeping New Year’s resolutions, let’s talk about what does.
Change the way you think about keeping New Year’s resolutions
I think that the main reason New Year’s resolutions fall short is because we think about them the wrong way. There is always such a negative connotation about resolutions, with an assumption that they will always be broken.
Here’s a tip: Change the way you think about that list of items you want to complete in the New Year. I’m not a huge fan of the term “resolutions,” so I opt for “goals” instead. Creating goals for yourself is a natural process throughout the year anyway, so it won’t feel like you’re really doing much different.Who said that New Year's resolutions are never completed?! Not this year. Click To Tweet
Specific, actionable goals
Smaller-scale goals are in general so much easier to complete. Unlike large-scale goals, you can easily incorporate a small goal into your daily routine and it doesn’t seem like a shock. If you do have some major goals you want to complete in the New Year (good for you, chica!), simply break those down into several smaller goals that are a heck of a lot easier to accomplish.
Generalized goals also won’t help you find a place to start. Which goal sounds like something you would be more inclined to work toward:
- I want to lose weight
- I want to lose 5 pounds in 1 month
Goal #1 is still a goal, but there’s no weight amount for you to determine your success. “Lose weight” means something different to everyone from 1 pound to 100. When I know exactly how much weight I want to drop in the month, I am able to determine what I need to change in my life to reach that goal. From changing a certain eating habit to adding in another day of exercise, a simple number attached to your goal can increase your success rate tenfold.
Limit your goals
If you’re anything like me, looking at a mile-long to do list brings on so much unnecessary stress and anxiety. It helps me so much to create a short list with a maximum of 5 goals that I want to achieve. This also helps with staying on track and not bouncing from one goal to the next without completing any of them.
If you are the type of person that likes to plan out your entire year, then creating a longer list of goals may be for you. If this is the case, then it will be more beneficial to either segment your goals for certain parts of the year, or create deadlines for yourself.
So, say you want to be able to run 3 miles straight in Q1. Then, you can set a goal for Q2 based on that Q1 goal. For instance, set a goal for 6 miles, and so on. Not only will deadlines keep you accountable, but they will also keep you motivated to push forward since your next goals are based on the previous quarter’s goals.
Working toward a common goal with a friend can make the task so much easier to accomplish. Plus, when you commit to someone to complete a goal, you are more likely to stick to it since they are counting on you. How many times have you not wanted to go to the gym, but went anyway because you knew another person was meeting you there? Me too, and I’ve always felt so much better after that workout!
Check in on yourself
Yeah having someone to keep you accountable is great, but you are ultimately responsible for completing your own goals. About once a week or so, check in on yourself to determine the progress you have made toward your goal. At night before I fall asleep, I like to think about what I did that day to propel myself forward for a specific goal. It doesn’t have to be monumental, nor do I have to work toward every single goal in that one day. As long as I can say that I did something that day to move myself forward, I am proud of myself.
So here’s to the New Year! I’m sososo excited for all that I have planned for 2017 and can’t wait to see them through! What do you want to accomplish in 2017? What are some of your tips for keeping New Year’s resolutions?!