Do you tend to start off the year with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm about what you’ll change and find your motivation waning by February?
If this sounds familiar, your willpower may not be the real problem. It may be down to your choice of resolution(s) in the first place, especially if you’re picking ones that are likely to end in disappointment in the long run, and how you approach it.
These tips should help you to create resolutions that you find a lot easier to keep!
Keep things simple
Do you often come up with a fairly long list of resolutions? This could be a big part of the reason why you struggle to see them through. Spreading yourself too thinly between different resolutions is one of the main reasons why people fail with New Year goals.
To increase your chances of success, don’t feel that you need to overhaul everything you feel is wrong with your life in one go. Chances are, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed and feel frustrated that you’re not getting anywhere.
You’re more likely to succeed with New Year resolutions if you concentrate your efforts on just one or two areas and do them well. Pick just the one big goal, such as losing weight or quitting smoking, as this is going to take a lot of your energy and focus.
You’re less likely to have issues with your willpower if you’re more realistic with the goals you set yourself. Get that right and you’ll find it a lot easier to stick to resolutions!
Set yourself bite-size goals
Within your one or two big resolutions, working towards a big end goal can be daunting. When you first set a resolution, it can feel like you’re a million miles away from getting there. The end result? You’re more likely to give up altogether.
One way around this involves breaking down resolutions into mini goals that help you to see your progress more easily. Ideally, this will involve goals that can be measured.
If you’re planning to lose weight, set a target for how much weight you’ll aim to lose each week. Or if you’re aiming to up your intake of leafy greens, aim for at least one serving most days.
Once you’ve broken your goals down like this, make a point of checking in with yourself regularly to see how you’re doing with them. If you can see yourself making progress, there’s much more chance that you’ll keep working towards achieving the bigger picture. As you make progress, you may need to tweak your mini goals to help you get there.
Reward your progress
You don’t need to wait until you get to the end goal to reward yourself.
The great thing about mini goals is the opportunity to give yourself an incentive to keep going whenever you make progress towards the bigger resolution.
Just make sure it’s not something that will ruin your hard work to date. No sweet treats if you’re trying to be healthier or lose weight! Think of some fun things you can do to celebrate your progress.
Write them down
Writing down your New Year resolutions and keeping them somewhere visible can keep you motivated and remind you of why you’re on the journey in the first place. You’ll feel more accountable to yourself and are more likely to be successful in keeping your New Year resolutions.
You can take this even further by journalling about your resolutions. By diving deeper into how you’re doing with them, you can see how you may be self sabotaging your goals … even without realizing that you are.
Affirmations are another powerful tool that can help you to stick to your New Year resolutions. Writing these down and repeating them every day is a great way to encourage your mind to embrace it as the truth.
Your affirmations don’t have to be complicated or profound. In fact, simple ones can work really well. Depending on your resolution, it may be along the lines of “I am calm under pressure” (if you’re resolved to stress less) or “I eat a healthy diet” (if better nutrition is your goal). Whatever you choose to say to yourself, it’s super important to make it a habit.
Accept that slip ups happen!
Resolutions are a challenge to keep and most people will have setbacks.
Let’s face it, it’s not realistic to think that it’s all going to be plain sailing when you’re making big changes to your lifestyle. If you encounter a setback on your journey, it’s not a sign that you’re failing or that you should give up on your goal(s).
How you handle setbacks is super important when it comes to keeping New Year resolutions.
Want to make sure that you can channel it in the right way? Have a think about what might have triggered setbacks and learn from it for the future.
Harness the power of accountability
Are you willing to declare your goal(s) to another human and commit to following though? When you share your goals with others, studies have shown that you are twice as likely to achieve your goals than if you keep them to yourself.
If you team up with an exercise buddy, you are far less likely to blow off your training session, similarly, having a coach (like me!), a personal trainer or other external person to report into at regular intervals makes it much more likely that you will stick with your health goals. Just having someone in your corner can make all the difference.