New year is a time where many of us like to reflect on the year that has passed and set goals for the year ahead. These goals, or resolutions, are designed around improving ourselves, whether it is losing weight, saving money, creating habits or making our lifestyle more comfortable or successful.
While the concept of resolutions are positive, many of us fail within the first few months. (for some statistics on how many people successfully stick to their resolutions, visit here).
So why is it so difficult to stick to New Year’s Resolutions?
- Expectations are too high. Have you ever started something and quickly given up when you don’t see immediate results? For example, if your goal is to lose 20lbs, you’re not going to do that overnight or even safely in a few months.
- You’re setting too many goals for yourself all at once. Multitasking is something that many of us do on a daily basis, but set too many goals all at once and you may find yourself overwhelmed.
- Goals are far too unrealistic.
- Your’re setting resolutions that you think you should be working on based on the opinions of others, not what you actually want to do.
So, How can we set goals that we will actually be able to achieve? Here are some tips on how to be more realistic with your aims for the new year.
7 Steps to Help You Crush Your Goals in the New Year
1. Choose goals that you feel passionate about
You’re more likely to work towards your goals if you’re feeling passionate about them. Choose things that you actually want to work on – there’s no point setting a goal to run a mile a day if you hate running, or read 30 books in a year if you don’t like reading.
2. Set goals that are specific and measurable
Lots of New Year’s resolutions are very broad and lack specific goals. For example, you might wish to get healthier, spend less time on your phone or read more. These are all great aspirations, but they are not easy to stick to because they are not particularly measurable. Instead, your goals could be to get down to a certain dress size, have an hour a day where you avoid looking at your phone, or reading at least two books a month. By adopting specific targets you are much more likely to maintain your resolutions.
3. Work on just one goal at a time
To avoid overwhelming yourself, pick just a single goal to work on until it becomes a habit. Once you feel confident with your first goal and are seeing progress, then think about starting to work on another. The success of previous goals will fuel your desire to keep going because you have proven to yourself that you can do it.
4. Break the year up
Generally, New Year’s resolutions are things you want to have achieved by the end of the year. The problem with this, however, is that a year is quite a long period of time, making it all too easy to become apathetic, bored or even just forget to keep them up as life becomes busy and takes over. A solution to this is to also set yourself smaller goals from month to month or even week to week, breaking the year (and the larger goal) up into smaller, more manageable parts.
5. Team up with someone else
One of the main reasons that resolutions fail is because they are personal goals that we have set for ourselves, so when we give them up, no one tends to notice. By teaming up with a friend, partner or family member, you are much more likely to stick to your goals as now there is someone else who is relying on you to stick to them and to support you when you are struggling. You will also find it more fun involving another person, and could even turn it into a competition, giving you both extra incentive to keep it up!
6. Reward yourself
When you hit a certain milestone in your resolution, why not treat yourself for doing so? You will be much more inclined to continue working towards your goals if you are rewarding yourself and celebrating your wins. Just try to make sure your reward doesn’t directly contradict the accomplishment itself!
7. Review your goals
You may find that your goals aren’t as achievable as you first thought. Maybe unforeseen circumstances have prevented you from being where you want to be with your progress. Rather than throwing in the towel altogether, instead, review your targets periodically and make adjustments where necessary. This review of your goals will also remind you of what you are striving for, and allow you to recommit to the task.
Whatever goals you choose to work towards this year, make sure that they are realistic, achievable and measurable.
Happy new year!