At the stroke of midnight on the eve of a new year, many of us feel inspired to make changes in our lives. However, it gets harder to commit to these resolutions as time goes on. This is why you need to have a plan in place. Embrace 2019 with these tips to help you crush your New Year’s resolutions:
1. Change your thinking and set specific goals.
A resolution, by definition, is a “firm decision to do or not do something” and most of us aren’t able to approach our lives with such sharp exactness. “‘New Year’s resolution’ is kind of this buzzword that can make people crazy…Most people have a toxic relationship with the term. So from the beginning we set ourselves up for failure because we know that anywhere from fifty to eighty percent of people are going to ultimately get off their path of resolution,” says Dr. Stephen Graef, a sports psychologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Instead of resolutions, think in terms of goals, which are definable, trackable, and actionable. Goals reflect our ambition and effort towards the desired result and they shrink and expand with us as we change and grow.
Plus, try only setting one specific goal at a time. Make sure it is realistic and SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. When you try to tackle too many goals at once, it’s easy to get exhausted and end up accomplishing nothing. So if your goal is to be healthier, get more specific and commit to going to the gym three times a week (or whatever works for you and your definition of healthy). When you accomplish your first goal or get to a comfortable point with it, you can set new ones.
2. Find a community to encourage you.
Trying to achieve your goals on your own can be tough. Find a friend or a support group that you can reach out to when you’re feeling discouraged. If you’re signing up for a gym, ask a friend to join and work out with you. If your goal is to open a business, a community like Fourpost’s can connect you with like-minded entrepreneurs who will encourage and support your plans. Whatever your goals are, find people who will do it with you or cheer you on.
3. Change your surroundings to help you succeed.
Sometimes our environments can set us back on the way to achieving our goals. So make things easier on yourself and change your environment. For example, if your goal is to work out in the morning, but you have trouble getting up in time, sleep in your gym clothes so that you roll out of bed ready. Want to stop snacking? Remove junk food from your house and resist the urge to restock. Or replace unhealthy foods with fruits and vegetables. Think about what things might hinder your progress, and find a way to remove them from your surroundings.
4. Track your progress.
This will let you see how you’ve improved and motivate you to keep going. It’s easier to get off track when you aren’t measuring your progress, which is why you need SMART goals.
“‘If you can measure it, you can change it’ is a fundamental principle of psychology. These measurements will be a source of motivation as you reflect on where you started and where you are. They will also help you to identify plateaus or “sticking points” in your progress so you can adjust your efforts,” says author and Forbes contributor, Kevin Kruse.
5. Be kind and reward yourself.
If you get off track, be kind to yourself and simply try again—even if you get off track multiple times. And when you’re doing well, make sure to reward yourself for your efforts. Treat yourself to whatever small thing makes you feel good and keeps you happy with your progress. So whether your goals are to show up to the gym every day for a week, carve out more time for self-care, or learn a new skill, small treats along the way will make reaching them even sweeter.
We’d love to hear about your New Year’s goals. Tag us on Instagram @wearefourpost and let us know how they’re going.