Most of us start each year with a New Year’s Resolution.
While some of us stick to it the first few weeks or even the first few months, I think sometimes, many of us aren’t able to stay committed and achieve our goals.
One possible reason is we are so ‘gung ho’ that we try to achieve more goals than we can keep up with at once. Having too many resolutions at a time makes it difficult to manage them effectively. This means that somewhere along the line, the ball gets dropped and we become discouraged. Then to make matters worse, we begin to regard ourselves as a loser with all the baggage that carries.
If this sounds like you, consider these ideas to better manage your new goals.
1. Narrow your goals
Keep your list of goals to a number you can handle, like one or two. The fewer items you try to pick off at once, the more success you’re likely to have. Also, there’s a better likelihood of success if you stick to resolutions that you actually have control over.
2. Be sure it’s something you really want
This is different from a goal you “should” want or something other folks tell you to want. It has to fit your very own values.
“Should” is a ‘set-up’-for-failure word. That’s because “should” means you are doing something wrong, going to do something wrong or did something wrong in the past. It has a very low energy and certainly doesn’t encourage or motivate.
3. Be Specific
Goals and resolutions must be specific. For example: “I want to save $3,000 this year.” Now break your resolution into small manageable pieces like: I intend to save $50 a week.
A small, incremental milestone toward the goal is easier to achieve and measure along your way. People who break their resolutions into small, manageable chunks typically have more success.
4. State your goal with positive energizing terms
The word “intend” is much more energetic than “want” which will leave one still “wanting.” As an aside, avoid using words like want and need. They are devoid of energy and don’t propel you to move forward.
Really think about this for a minute.
How many things have you set aside even though you “needed” to get them done? Now, replace “needed” as an energetic term like “intend”.
Instead of “I need to achieve my goal”, “I intend to accomplish my goal.”
Can you feel the difference?
5. Prioritize and Visualize
After deciding upon a resolution, list the ways achieving the goal will help improve your life. If you have more than one goal, prioritize them. Begin working toward your number one goal, then once you’re on your way to success, slide the next on to the top slot. Just remember not to lose momentum on the original goal.
6. Have an action plan
State your goal clearly and the steps you’ll take to achieve it. Build in rewards for yourself for your efforts. However, refrain from shaming yourself when you encounter a bump in the road. Avoid self “put-downs”. Negative rewards do not inspire success. Practice self-forgiveness!
7. Share your goals out loud
Everything is better with a friend, including resolutions. Tell people about your resolutions.
For example, if you resolved to eliminate foods that have sugar added to them, you may challenge a friend to how many they discover like: Sugars ending in –ose.
People who explicitly state their goals and share them with others are more likely to keep them. It’s social accountability. Even blogging or posting may be motivating.
Be discerning with whom you share your goals. Only share with those who would be encouraging.
8. Schedule time for your resolution
We are all so busy, it’s hard to find time to do the things we want to do, let alone the resolutions that challenge us. So, schedule gym sessions into your calendar just like you would a meeting or a dance recital.
9. Keep Records
Tracking your progress is a good way to stay accountable and keep the resolution fresh in your mind. Keep a journal or chart your progress. If your life lives in your smartphone, get an app to assist in tracking your success.
There is an app to help with every resolution. For example, Noom not only tracks your diet, exercise and task completion, but coaches you through the process towards weight loss. For money goals, Mint will help with your personal finances by tracking spending by category and keeping you on budget.
10. Reassess your resolutions
If something is not working, then it’s OK to go back and modify your resolution!
Resolutions are all about becoming a better version of yourself, not a perfect version of yourself. If you’re not able to save $50 a week, that’s OK! Knock it down to $25 and keep trying. That’s still $1,300 saved by the end of the year and that’s something to be proud of!
11. Don’t give up so easily
Too often people throw in the towel on resolutions because of one slip up. Maybe your goal is to lose weight, but you had a moment of weakness and ate a box of donuts.
So what? It happens!
If weight loss were that easy, it wouldn’t be the number one resolution, year after year. Often, we use small slip-ups as an excuse to give up on big goals. Forgive yourself, move on and keep trying.
I know if you follow these strategies, you will be successful!
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