With few more days to usher in 2017, the buzz about New Year resolutions is just beginning to sound in. The time when we misguidedly assume that the start of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to kick start a new phase in our lives.
The list usually looks like this: Lose weight, eat healthy, grow spiritually, read more, blog consistently, start a new project, exercise more, fall in love, try something new and exciting, earn more money, perhaps? And goes on and on – frankly, most of us do the same thing we always do: set some goals that will be forgotten about by the February, or thereabouts.
I for one never keep to my New Year resolutions, I start the year strongly only to get busy, fall behind and by March I have almost completely lost motivation. Last year, I decided not play the New Year resolution game anymore. I felt somewhat resigned about the whole thing altogether because I’ve made more resolutions than I can count that didn’t last more than a few months. Like the other non-resolution believers, I told myself at the beginning of 2016 – Tega, set goals and not resolutions. But, how well did that work out for me?? Bottom line is, call it goals or resolutions – if they lack realism, discipline, motivation and will power, you’d quit as soon as you set them.
If you want to be successful, you’ll need a fuel source far more powerful than sheer willpower or discipline alone.Click To Tweet
Don’t be like the %80 percent of people that set themselves up for failure by making unrealistic goals that will be hard to keep. It’s ok to have long term goals that you wish to accomplish over time. However, the goal is not to quickly become overwhelmed and realize that your resolution isn’t attainable in the immediate future.
So this year, I’m proposing these tips that will help you actually stick to your New Year’s resolutions
Start Right Now
Don’t wait! Start right now you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals. Whenever I’m trying to make a change in my life or start something new, I tell myself to start immediately and not to fix a date. Because procrastinate… Procrastination is a recipe for failure. You shouldn’t wait till the eve of the New Year before you think about your resolutions. Instead, take some time out a few days before and reflect upon what you really want to achieve. Visualize what you want it to look like. Try to shift your perspective on things that will make it better and start making changes few days, or even few weeks early.
For example, your one of your resolution is to get a gym membership. You don’t want to wait till January 1st to find a gym, get a membership, and fit your workout days into your schedule – trying to do all of these in one day is going to be exhausting and almost impossible. Figure out everything you need for your goal so you can get started as soon as possible without instances of “oops, I didn’t realise I needed _____,” that will take up extra time.
Compared to starting today. You find a gym, get a membership, plan a routine and by the time January 1st rolls in, you’ve got everything in place so you have a routine, a time when you go do it and you’re already making progress toward your goal.
The sooner you get started on any positive change in your life, the sooner you’re going to see the results.Click To Tweet
Set SMART resolutions
Do not be one of those people that bites off more than they can chew. Your goals should be attainable and achievable, the key is to take baby steps. Start with simple things that you know you can accomplish so that next year, you are better off than you are now. Set yourself up to succeed! Remember that your resolutions are all about you and your self-growth and improvement, so make sure that you win at it. You don’t have to have a transformation, just gradual continual improvement.
Like project management, your resolutions should be;
S – Specific, M- Measurable, A- Achievable, R- Relevant, T – Timely
Track your progress
Tracking your progress helps to keep you motivated and monitor your achievements. Try to find ways to keep record of your progress. You could keep a handwritten journal, computer spreadsheet, a calendar, or a calendar app. Every time you accomplish each one of those goals—even if it’s just a daily goal—mark it off on a checklist or calendar. This will help you gain the self-confidence that will lead to larger successes.
If you can measure it, you can change it
Have patience and accept failure
Perfection is unattainable. Chances are you may slip up once or twice during this process. It’s OK. Don’t completely give up because you ate that velvet cake and broke your diet, or you missed the gym because you were too busy. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and learn a lesson or two from them. Don’t be discouraged if you hit a bump on the road, be persistent and get back on your feet. Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether. Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.
Celebrate your wins
Whenever you hit a milestone, make sure you take a moment to celebrate your wins. Recognise the accomplishment and give yourself a small reward. This will help you maintain motivation, a sense of progress and keep you excited about the overall goal.
Get support from friends and family
Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes accomplishing your New Year resolution much easier and less intimidating. Tell your goals to a few close family and friends who will be honest with you and keep you on the right track. The upside to this is it can keep you on track, the downside is – it potentially increases embarrassment if you fail. However, to dramatically increase your odds of success you’ll want support from those around you. Don’t go too overboard, though.
Remember, sometimes sharing with too many people can hinder your accomplishments. If you share your goal, you are more likely to stick to it. Although achieving your goal should be mostly for you, by involving others, you will think twice before you back out.
Now you’ve read these tips, you are in a great position to consider the best ways to improve your life this New Year. Your happiness is worth the time and effort, so get started, and good luck!
Here’s to a fulfilled 2017