Every January it’s the same routine. We make a new resolution and promise ourselves that this will be the year we stick to it, only for it to fall by the wayside as life gets in the way.
Research shows that most of us have given up on our resolutions by February but this year it’s time to break the mould!
From training for a marathon to practising meditation, walking 10,000 steps a day or cutting down on ‘screen time’, it’s all too easy to launch yourself head-first into big lifestyle changes and underestimate the real challenge- sticking to them.
No matter what your goals are this year, we all know it can be hard to sustain momentum but setting resolutions is a motivated and productive way to keep your mind focused on achieving positive lifestyle changes, whatever they may be.
Here are our top tips for setting achievable goals and sticking to them- you’ll thank us next year!
1. Keep Yourself Accountable We’re far more likely to stick to goals we’ve set if we share our ambitions with others. Whether it’s your best friend, your social media followers or your family, share your new year’s goals with others and ask them to help keep you on track. Not only will you be motivated by the desire to share your successes but checking in with others regularly on your progress will give you a strong feeling of achievement and encourage ‘stickability’.
2. Set Realistic Goals Setting unattainable goals for yourself is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for disappointment. Instead of setting vague or unreachable targets focus instead on smaller, specific commitments that you know you’re more likely to be able to achieve. For example, if you’re hoping to start running, don’t set yourself the target of being able to run a marathon by the end of January. Instead start slowly, building up your endurance gradually and increasing your goals as you go. Defined goals will keep encouragement levels high along the way. It's also worth focusing on things you enjoy. Ask yourself what makes you feel good and resolve to set time aside to focus on your passions and favourite hobbies. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to dedicate time to it.
3. Mark Your Milestones As you progress, don’t forget to celebrate all your small successes! With any goal, it’s normal to feel like you’ve hit a plateau and stopped making progress but by recognising the small successes along the way you’ll remain focused on the ground you have covered rather than the challenges ahead. Sit down and reflect on your progress and when you reach a milestone treat yourself to a mini celebration. Whether it’s a new book, some new equipment or just a bit of ‘me’ time, it’ll boost your sense of achievement.
4. Be Your Own Cheerleader Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking! Although it can be tricky, often with new goals half the battle is believing in yourself. Recognising your own ability to achieve the goals you have set yourself will help you cheer yourself along to the finish line- be positive, patient and persistent.
5. Break It Down Often looking at the bigger picture and the long road ahead to achieving your goal can be daunting. If the resolutions you set seem too big for you to achieve then try splitting up the bigger goal into smaller, bitesize pieces. Refocusing on these smaller actions as opposed to the final goal will bolster your sense of success and keep your confidence levels up. Break it down into a monthly, weekly or even daily goal and before you know it you’ll be halfway through the year.
6. It’s All In The Planning Once you’ve set your goals, take time to develop a plan of how you’re going to achieve them. For example, if your commitment is to have a more balanced diet, spend time each weekend planning out your meals in advance. Building this into your routine means you’ll be far less likely to break the habit.
Remember that plenty of people before you have likely set out to reach the same goal as you. Research online and you’ll likely find helpful tips, tricks and plans to help you along the way.
Whatever you’re aiming for in 2021, keep us updated on your progress by tagging #WeAreWoking or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.