How You Can Actually Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions4 min read
If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution this year, the odds are not in your favor. Unfortunately, researchers think that up to 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the end of the year. The good news is there are strategies and techniques you can use to help keep on track with your goals. By reframing the way you approach your resolutions, you can make sure you make progress all year long!
Track your goals
To start, check in with your resolutions to see if they still feel both achievable and measurable (you know, SMART goals). Sometimes, we can get swept up in idealizing the new year and we forget that January 1st is just a day like any other. While you shouldn’t feel bad about setting ambitious goals, make sure the goals you’ve set are factors that you have control over. For example, we can’t change our body shape or suddenly become an ultra-marathon runner without first doing a 5k race.
Break down your goals by setting up tacking periods every three months where you can check in on the progress you’ve made and adjust your goals based on what you’ve learned about yourself and your habits in the last few months.
Being able to update our goals based on what we learn is a valuable habit that helps us achieve success and should not be associated with failure or giving up! It’s an intelligent and mindful way to continue making progress.
Do you want to travel to every country in the world in 2022? Run an Iron Man? We love your ability to dream big, but to get to those big dreams, it’s important to start small.
What’s one country close by that you can start your year off in? Is there a local 5 or 10k running group in your neighborhood you can join? List out all of your big goals, and then break them down into smaller goals that you can achieve every three months using action items on a regular basis: every month, every week and every day.
It may not feel like much to go for a twenty-minute jog around the block or drive three hours to cross the border to a neighboring country. But, over time, these small steps will build into bigger dreams. If you’re tracking your goals as we recommend above, look back after the first three months of the year and see just how far your small goals have taken you! It’s better to make small changes consistently that build over time, rather than setting unachievable goals and giving up too soon.
Zone in on what’s important
When we look forward to the new year and all the things we’d like to achieve, it can be easy to write down goals for all areas of our lives. Exercise every day, cook more often, read a book a week, start a daily meditation practice, find a new job, spend more time with family, travel more, etc.
All of these goals can end up canceling each other out by competing for your limited time.
Despite what some lifehackers or self-help books might tell you, humans are not machines that can be constantly working towards achievement. We need to work, we need to take care of children or other family members, we need to eat, sleep, rest and have fun with friends or by watching television or reading. You can’t dedicate every spare moment of your day to achieving your goals. And even if you could, what fun would it be if you couldn’t occasionally skip a workout to go out for a drink with a friend?
If you have a long list of goals, take a look at that list and circle one or two goals that would be real life-changers if you could achieve them this year. Commit to those goals and make a plan to achieve them. Keep the list of the rest of your goals handy, after all, there’s always next year.
Keep your motivation
If you’re having trouble finding the motivation to get going on your resolutions, come back to the reason why you want to achieve them. Do you want to exercise more because you have a family history of heart disease and you’d like to take preventive measures? Do you want to travel more because after two years of lockdowns you want to be able to visit your friends and experience a new culture? Keeping in touch with what our goals mean in the bigger picture of our lives can help us keep on track.
Wishing all our readers a happy and healthy new year!