The holiday season is a great time to pause and reflect on personal and business achievements, review the year that is coming to an end, and set goals for the New Year. But a study from the University of Scranton showed that while more than 40% of the participants admit to make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% actually follow through and achieve their goals. According to experts the reason for these failures is that many of us lack the structure to support the behavioural changes our new goals require.
Changing your life and habits is not an easy job. And setting some unrealistic or lofty goals may make you feel more frustrated and guilty about your lack of success. So before you make your next round of New Year’s resolutions take your time to plan them carefully and read the following tips that might help you reach your goals this upcoming year. 🙂
- Set specific and realistic goals
Setting a goal that is too overwhelming might make you lose your interest and motivation to achieve it. On the other hand too small of a goal won’t create enough charge for you to follow through. So try to break down your goal into specific steps.
For example the popular resolution: “Lose weight this year” is too vague and does not provide you with specific steps to achieve it. Setting milestones along the way that are as specific as they can get is an easy way to make sure you will follow through. In the example of “Lose weight” resolution, a milestone or specific goals can be the following:
- Include fresh vegetables in my lunch and dinner every day
- Go running three times a week
- Limit the junk food to once a week
These are goals that you can easily monitor, so you can keep track on your progress.
- Limit the number of goals
It is simple – too many resolutions are too overwhelming and increase the chance you won’t follow them through. It takes a lot of will power to change a habit, so be nice to yourself and don’t try to change all aspects in your life at once! A good option to limit the number of goals you set is to decide on a theme for this coming year. For example if your theme for 2015 is HEALTH, your goals can be around achieving your perfect weight, getting more fit, or quitting smoking. These are all goals that require similar milestones to be achieved, and this would make the process easier for you.
- Write them down and put them some place visible
Writing down your goals forces a deeper commitment. Use present tense when you write them down, as this helps you visualize yourself already attaining your goals. When you write down your goals some thoughts might come up as to what can get in your way of accomplishing them. Take your time to write down your concerns – this exercise might give you some valuable insight to your thoughts, feelings and fears. Then think about how you can change your negative thoughts into positive thoughts, and perhaps create a few affirmations.
Place your written goals somewhere where you can see them every day. Read them out loud every morning. This will help your goals become more rooted in your subconscious.
- Share your resolutions
Share your resolutions with two or three people who will ask you about them and hold you accountable in achieving them. Letting people know what you are trying to achieve will help you stick to your goals.
- Have fun
If you decide to do a New Year’s resolution this is because you consciously are striving to become a better person. So embrace the changes and challenges the new goals will bring, as they will get you where you want to be. Don’t see the process as restrictive or frustrating, but as a journey that will help you grow. Reward yourself after each benchmark you reach to stay motivated.
Long-term change doesn’t happen overnight, or even in the first month. You will have some good days and some not that great ones, but if you can teach yourself how to get back on track more quickly, you can create the life you always wanted for yourself.
Wishing you a healthy and successful New Year 2015! 🙂