You can reach your targets if you set the right ones.
It’s a new year and that feeling of anticipation is in the air. The resolutions are fresh and you can’t remember when you’ve been so positive or optimistic. The slate has been wiped clean and you feel like nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.
It’s all an illusion, of course. It’s just one day later than yesterday. You don’t need to cut out anything (food, drink, smoking, biting your nails) any more than you needed to yesterday.
Still, I believe this time of year can be a great opportunity to take advantage of that sense of optimism and renewal that can finally get you to achieve what you’ve always wanted.
Here are 6 ways to how to make those bold resolutions stick this year:
1) Don’t Make Depressing Resolutions
Planning to give up chocolate this year, even though you love it? Resolved to work out EVERY day in 2016? Promised yourself you’ll NEVER watch TV again? Hahaha. It’s not going to happen.If your resolution is nearly impossible and goes too far away from your norm then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
2) Avoid Vague Resolutions
One of the most common resolutions is to “be healthier”. That’s very admirable, but what does that mean exactly? How will you measure it?
If you had a piece of broccoli once a month and you never ate any before, would you be healthier? How significant would a change like that be to your “healthiness”? Not much, probably, but that’s not even the point. If you make a vague resolution like being healthier then you’re not going to get any specific results.
If you want to lower your blood pressure and come up with a specific way of doing that (exercise 3x a week and meditate 5 mins a day), then you’ve made a more useful resolution.
3) Make Yourself Accountable to Someone Else
Whether it’s a Facebook post stating your intention to take up a new sport, professional coaching, or teaming up with a loved one with a matching goal, being accountable to someone is an important part of succeeding with a goal. When things get tough, you’ll have someone to give you a nudge in the right direction again. When you’re on a roll, the combined force of you and your accountability partner will be indestructible.
4) Make Sure Your Reasons are Strong Enough
If you tell yourself you want to lose ten pounds, but the best reason you can come up with is to fit into your jeans from high school then you will probably give up sooner rather than later. You need to have a strong reason, and preferably a lot of strong reasons, for achieving your goal. Want to get stronger and fitter so you can play tennis with your kids (and future grandkids some day), or so you can spend more exciting quality time with your spouse (yeah, I went there)? Maybe you want to eat more vegetables to reduce your risk of the cancer that runs in your family. Any reason that fills you with a burning desire is a good one.
5) Remind Yourself Regularly
Having a daily, weekly, and monthly check-in with yourself to assess your progress towards goal is useful. You know how you’re enthusiastic about something for a few days and then you lose interest, or something else distracts you? You need to overcome that natural human behaviour by constantly reminding yourself about what you want to achieve. I like to think of it as “boosting” your motivation regularly. Skip it, and your resolution is likely to be a sad memory before March is over.
6) Forgive Yourself for Slipping
Whatever resolution you make, expect to experience some obstacles along the way. You may get injured or sick, which sidetracks your workout regime and makes you lose motivation. You may have a couple more beers than you planned and eat the greasy food you weren’t planning to eat. You may have a tough emotional time or extra stress at work and your resolution doesn’t seem as important anymore.
It’s easy to pretend that making a resolution steels you against those challenges, but you’re only human and you’ll probably slip occasionally. The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it. Forgive yourself, do what it takes to get back on track, and move forward.
Kicking Butt in 2016
That’s what we all want to do in the new year, right?
Achieve our goals and feel like we’re on top of the world. Make the right resolutions and follow through with the tips above and I think you’ll have a better year than ever before. Here’s to a successful 2016 for all of us.