Now that the holidays have come and gone and New Years celebrations have come to an end, the motivation to set New Year’s resolutions has set in.
When you’re making your list of goals for the year you may notice that the goals you’ve listed look similar to last year. This may be due to not being able to follow through with them from the previous year. Do not lose hope! Research has shown that only 1 in 10 people will maintain their goal until the end of the year (Knapton).
While you are not alone when it comes to falling off track with your new year’s goal, it doesn’t mean you can’t be that 1 in 10 that reaches their goal. Common mistakes that people make when creating their resolutions are:
- Being too broad with their goals
- No plan to execute them
Following these tips will help increase your likelihood of keeping your goals throughout the year.
- Be Realistic
You may have a long list of goals you want to achieve before the year is over but narrowing it down to a solid few will help you in the long run. When choosing your goals make sure they are the ones that you can realistically accomplish that won’t disrupt your mental health or cause unmanageable stress in other areas of your life. Achieving small goals is just as much of an accomplishment as achieving larger ones. Setting small goals like drinking 1 less soda a day, or eating out less during the week will help you when it comes to tackling larger goals.
- Have a Plan
Don’t wait until the last minute to create your goals for the new year. This will cause you to rush and choose anything that comes to mind. When choosing your goals try sitting down and brainstorming what changes you want to make over the year. Then choose a few goals you want to focus on now. This doesn’t mean you can’t go back to your other goals later. Once you’ve decided, write out a step by step plan for yourself on how you will achieve these goals. Having this plan available will help keep you on track and guide you throughout the year.
- Know That Change is a Process
One of the most important things to remember during this whole process is that it will take time. There will be times you want to give up, or you feel you aren’t making progress. Some days you may make a mistake and do something you said you wouldnt. When these things happen it is important not to beat yourself up or give up on your goals. Any change that occurs takes time and dedication no matter what the circumstance is. We are only human so being forgiving and understanding with yourself will help you maintain your goals.
- Ask for Support
Having a solid support system will help you stay motivated throughout the year and can create accountability for you through friends and family. Explaining what goals you have to your friends and family will help them understand the changes you are making to achieve these goals. It is not uncommon for you to feel stress when making the changes needed to fulfill your goals. When your support system is aware of this they can help by motivating you and avoid enabling you.
- Keep Working on Your Goals
This tip may seem obvious but most people lose motivation and give up a few months in. The key is to keep that motivation alive even when you face small setbacks. Some ways to do this is to keep a journal where you can keep track of accomplishments and setbacks. This will allow you to look back at the progress you’ve made and what you’ve overcome. Taking progress pictures if necessary will help as well, or buying yourself something you’ve been wanting when achieving that goal you set. Ways to stay motivated is different for everyone, you just have to find what will help you keep that drive. You have to remember why you made this goal in the first place and work towards it no matter what obstacles you face.
Remember that creating realistic goals is the key to long term success. It may even help to look at your goals not as New Year’s Resolutions but goals to create a better life for yourself. Goals that will lead you to your best self mentally and physically. Making lifestyle changes is difficult no matter the person, but what matters is that you are working towards these changes and that is the first step in the entire process.
Knapton, Sarah. “The Science of How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions .” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 31 Dec. 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/12/31/science-stick-new-years-resolutions/.