How many of us follow through with our new year’s resolutions?
If you’ve already fallen by the wayside, don’t worry — it’s not too late to pick up where you left off. The truth is, new year resolutions often fail because people tend to bite off more than they can chew or have a tendency to set resolutions that are too ambiguous or unrealistic.
So, what can you do to truly stick to your resolutions? Here are our top secrets to help you beat the odds.
#1. Focus on one goal at a time
You may have a long list of goals and resolutions that you plan to achieve. However, taking on too much can not only be overwhelming, but it can also be demotivating. Not to mention, establishing a new behavioural pattern takes time and effort so trying to do it all might not be feasible.
The secret is to focus on one specific goal at a time. This will make keeping your resolutions more manageable. Once you’ve achieved even one small goal, you’ll be motivated to accomplish more. To stay focused, work on your priorities and figure out what’s most important to be included in your resolutions list.
If you have a larger goal such as having financial stability or travelling the world, consider chunking them down into smaller, manageable parts and work on them one at a time. Start small by working part time while studying to earn a side income or challenge yourself to travel within the country first before visiting neighbouring countries. Smaller goals can be part of a big goal but the challenges just become more attainable.
#2. Continuously seek inspiration
It’s easy for us to lose sight of our goal when it gets challenging over time, no matter how motivated or driven we were when we first started. It’s important to constantly seek out inspiration to keep yourself in check.
Inspiration is the foundation of motivation and it stems from your passion to succeed. Once you’re inspired to do something, you’ll be motivated to keep on going. On top of that, it continuously pushes you to strive for more. Developing your inspiration is one of the most effective ways to stay motivated on your goal.
Take advantage of the internet and search for things that will help you look at the bigger picture. Watch TedTalk videos on YouTube or create a digital vision board using apps like Pinterest and Visuapp. Otherwise, you can also seek inspiration by reading books, meeting new people, watching movies or journalling.
#3. Focus on the emotional reward
While a material reward like a vacation, a new outfit or a spa experience can be great, an emotional reward will reap more long-term benefits as they’re built from within.
Emotional reward is essentially an inner reward that you feel from within, giving you personal satisfaction. Instead of focusing on getting a new outfit once you lose weight, focus on the confidence you’ll feel from being fit and healthy. In fact, you’ll likely be more productive and energised compared to before.
#4. Track your goals consistently
You’ll never be able to truly see change unless you track your goals constantly.
Create a planner or spreadsheet to track your goals periodically, whether it’s daily or weekly. Break them down into smaller tasks and plan your time ahead by setting time frames for when you’re due to complete the tasks. If your goal is to lose a certain weight, set how many calories you wish to burn a week or how many kilometres you need to cover. This way, you’ll be able to monitor your progress and keep yourself accountable.
To keep yourself motivated, you can also reward yourself for every major milestone you hit.
#5. Find someone to hold you accountable
Did you know that you’ll have a 65% chance of completing your goals if you have someone else hold you accountable?
Whether it’s a friend, significant other, a family member or even professional trainer, seek out someone you trust to keep you on track. There’s no better feeling than knowing that someone supports your betterment and this can help you restore faith when you feel like giving up.
You can also step up your game by joining a habit group where members keep track of each other’s progress. Otherwise, partaking in group activities such as workshops and fitness bootcamps can work too.
#6. Learn from your past mistakes
How many of you have carried forward your past years’ resolutions to your current one in hopes to achieve better results? The secret to sticking to your resolutions is to not make the exact same resolutions every year. If you’ve tried but failed, chances are you won’t have the same kind of confidence in achieving it again.
Instead, consider looking into the strategy you used and see how you can do better. Perhaps your goal was too ambitious or you didn’t plan your time efficiently. Find out what caused you to fail in the first place. You’ll see a better result once you change your approach or alter your resolution to make it more doable.
#7. Remember that change is a process
Most importantly, remember that change is a process and not a destination. It’s not a rat race and it takes time to shed unhealthy habits to form new ones. Be patient and kind to yourself — even if you missed a step or relapsed, you can always continue where you left off and work progressively towards your goal.
Some goals may take longer to achieve but always keep your eyes on the prize. It’s easy to get lost in all the details and challenges but remembering why you started will help you stay on this journey.
The path towards achieving your goals may not always be easy. Nonetheless, always view it as a learning opportunity to become better. All the best!