New Year’s resolutions written down?
Kicking them off on the 1st?
Two weeks into the New Year, and still sticking to that resolution?
… if you’re having a hard time saying “Check” or “Yes! I’m steady making progress on my resolution!” … you aren’t alone. In fact, most people fail to keep their resolutions after even a month into the New Year.
Why is that? What is it that stops us from following through?
Here I’m breaking down why most people fail to keep their resolutions, and how you can actually stick with yours! And trust me, it’s not too late to keep going, even if you feel you’re already slacking. These are powerful tips and ideas that can be applied to any new habit you’re trying to form and stick with.
How to Accomplish New Year’s Resolutions
As a society, we’ve become accustomed to the idea of setting “goals.”
Now, having goals is an amazing thing, and we should all be setting them! However, goals are often “big” things that, when we look at them closely, may seem pretty far from where we are now.
It’s this fact alone that often hinders people from committing to their goals – they simply seem too out of reach.
This is why setting milestones within that huge goal is crucial. If your goal is to, say, lose 30 lbs, instead of looking at it as “I must lose 30 lbs by THIS date!” instead, set the goal of losing 3-5 lbs a month. This also gives you a sense of accomplishment when you reach your milestone, and provides you with inspiration to keep going.
To do this, take your goal and break it down into pieces: what’s the first thing you need to do to make progress toward your goal? Do that. What’s the second thing you need to do? Do that.
Repeat this until you have, well, reached your goal!
Focus On How Far You’ve Come
When it comes to sticking with your goals, it’s imperative to focus on how far you’ve come (aka: how many milestones you’ve reached) rather than how far you have left to go.
Have you ever been climbing a mountain or crossing a high bridge and someone told you, “don’t look down”? This phrase comes from the idea that when you look down at how far you could possibly fall, your body and mind will freeze up and you’ll stop moving forward. When it comes to goals, when you look “down” at how far you have left to go, you stop moving forward (making forward progress).
Instead, when you keep your eyes forward, you don’t freeze at the distance between you and your goal: you simply keep walking to the next land mass, or milestone.
Set Up Accountability Nets
This one can depend on your personality type. If you don’t perform well under pressure, you may want to skip it; however, if you do best by having outer motivation, think about setting this up for yourself.
“Accountability nets” are the idea of having multiple things in place that help keep you accountable to completing your goal. For instance, you could make a bet or a promise to someone that you will accomplish that goal within a certain time frame, or share your goal on social media so it’s public (and therefore you’ll be pushed to follow through).
Accountability nets can be helpful in squashing procrastination, since you’re now accountable to things outside of just yourself in completing this goal. It’s also easy to slack on ourselves, but not so easy to do it publicly!
Surround Yourself With Others With Like-Minded Goals
Environment is extremely important when it comes to nearly everything in life, and goals are no exception. To keep your motivation high to reach your goal, it helps to surround yourself either with people who share that goal, and/or those who have already reached you goal for themselves.
Think of the difference between hanging out with a high school friend who, frankly, has no ambition to strive for more, versus spending time with go-getters in the chosen field of your goal. For instance, if you went to the gym with that high school friend, you might not push as hard as you would than if you went to a class filled with people striving toward your goal (and even people who have surpassed it).
Submerse yourself in the right, inspiring environments of your goal to keep yourself on track and motivated.
Believe in Yourself
I know. That sounds corny and overdone, however: you have to believe you can accomplish a goal (or at least the milestones toward it) in order to accomplish it. There is no way around this. You won’t be motivated to start or continue if you don’t truly believe you can accomplish what you’re working toward.
Belief and faith in ourselves is the driving force behind moving forward, even when times get tough. We have to believe that we can accomplish our dreams (even if they seem out of reach) to even start reaching in the first place.
With everything being shaken up in the world, there truly is no better time, in actuality, to start something new. Many of our habits have already been disrupted, which is technically the first step in starting a new habit: the old must be removed.
Don’t let this year fly by without accomplishment. It’s time.