The beginning of a New Year often brings with it a slight headache and a drive for self-improvement and change. New Year’s resolutions have long been a tradition where we set ourselves goals from getting in shape and learning a new language to stopping smoking.
However, for many these resolutions do have a limited shelf life and can easily fall by the wayside leading to feelings of disappointment and despondency, which let’s face it is never a good thing.
So, in the spirit of positivity here are a few tips that will hopefully keep you on track:
Set goals wisely - let’s face it we would all like to lose a stone over the weekend and have the motivation to go to the gym every day before work. These goals are not realistic and you are setting yourself up for failure. Everything in moderation is key to setting achievable goals.
Plan for the pitfalls - it’s not just about setting realistic goals, you need to plan for any pitfalls that might delay or get in the way of your goals. You might set a weight loss target but have booked a two week cruise for the end of January or you might set yourself a challenge of learning a new language by Easter but are facing the busiest period ever at work. If you don’t forecast these changes from the norm they will trip you up and you will become unmotivated and will probably give up. Plan for any pitfalls and you can still achieve your goals.
Staying motivated - it’s not easy, there will be temptations along the way and days when you just want to throw the towel in and wonder if it’s worth all the effort. However, try to focus on how you will feel if you give up. Yes, there will be the initial relief however, after a couple of days of going back to your old ways you will feel despondent and regret the decision. Do whatever is needed to stay motivated: get your friends and family involved, pay for help if needed. Don’t forget to reward yourself for every step forward, no matter how small.
Write it down - it’s always a good idea to write your goals and plan of action down. Writing it down makes it much easier to keep track over time and also allows you to share your goals with others, which experts say is another key for long term success.
Be kind to yourself- there will be those days where achieving your goals is the least of your worries or you might do the complete opposite of what you had planned. Don’t beat yourself up and accept you are human, by being kind to yourself you are far more likely to start a fresh in the morning, rather than have that all or nothing thinking that will ensure you quit.