New Year’s resolutions are hard. They carry a lot of weight for people and bringing them into the New Year can feel motivating but also terrifying. Trying to start from scratch day one of the new year, only to fail after a week can be really disheartening.
Roughly 80% of people give up their new year’s goals by February and we can blame how hard January is anyway after the warmth and happiness of Christmas or we can say that the goals are too big and unattainable, but really, it’s all about our journey to our goal, not the goal itself. It’s all about mindset and how we approach our resolutions, so let us help you set yourself up for as much success as possible with your new year, new you!
Break it into small steps
When we set ourselves a goal – say, run a marathon – it can look like an incredibly daunting task, especially if we’re starting from zero. It seems like an unattainable goal, something we haven’t been able to do in the past, so why should we now?
However, if you break the goal down into smaller goals along the way, it suddenly becomes much more manageable! Running 30 minutes on the treadmill 3 times this week seems way less scary than actually running an entire marathon! And if you can take your goal week by week like that and do it in small increments, you’re way more likely to stick with it!
Hold yourself accountable
Tell people your goals! Create a blog or even journal to keep track of how you’re doing! Have a coach, or a mentor or someone who logs your successes, big and small!
Being held accountable makes you responsible, not only to yourself but to people around you, to reach your goals. There’s nothing like a little societal pressure to keep you going! If you tell friends and family about it, it’s way harder to back out, because they’ll check up on your progress with it, and it can be a little bit of helpful pressure to keep us moving towards it!
Celebrate small victories
Like the breaking down of the goal, rewarding the small milestones keeps you motivated. If you don’t celebrate til the very end when the big final goal is reached, you’ve made the whole journey miserable and a lot harder for yourself than it needs to be.
By celebrating small victories, you can congratulate yourself for sticking with it for a week or a month, or however long your journey is, meaning you look forward to the next small goal, rather than facing up to the massive, seemingly unachievable goal and feeling hopeless.
Look back on past attempts
Is this something you’ve tried to do before? Lose weight, write a book, learn to cook, or whatever your goal is? Why hasn’t it happened yet?
This isn’t a method to shame yourself or feel bad about why you haven’t reached this goal – it’s an opportunity to look back on your past attempts and figure out what went wrong so you can learn from it and try something different this time. Maybe you went all in too hard and gave yourself something really difficult to cook from scratch or tried to write 1000 words a day straight off the bat or cut out all your favourite foods at once. See what worked and didn’t work last time and adjust accordingly.
Be gentle with yourself
If you fail or stumble at a hurdle early on, or even close to your goal, don’t beat yourself up. If you set an unrealistic goal and fail to meet it, give yourself a break.
The very fact that you’re trying to reach a goal is proof that you’re a motivated person and that you can achieve these goals. But giving up just because you can’t do it perfectly is cutting yourself off at the knees. Allow yourself to achieve this goal imperfectly. So you want to run a marathon – make the goal getting to the finish line, not finishing faster than anyone else. Allow yourself to have a week where maybe you don’t train – it’s okay to struggle with the goal now and again. Going back to it and trying again is the difference between people who achieve their goals and those who give up on themselves before they reach it.