Happy New Year everyone! It’s that time again….We are seeing friends and family posting all kinds of New Year’s Resolutions for 2016. But how many people actually stick with their goals? Not many according to most polls here and here. In fact, it appears that 1 in 3 goal setters have all but given up by the end of January.
Here are a few reasons why I believe New Year’s Resolutions don’t work and a couple strategies to tilt the odds in your favor.
Baby Steps: More often than not, people set lofty unattainable resolutions without any sort of plan on how to achieve them. Instead of “I am going to go to the gym everyday” or “I am going to become a vegetarian and be healthier”, why not reframe those into smaller easier attainable goals. For example: I am going to go to the Wednesday spin class each week or I am going to go Meatless 2 days a week. Setting smaller more achievable goals and seeing yourself crush them encourages you to keep going.
It’s about time: Often people under estimate the amount of time all of their new goals might require of them. Sitting down and figuring out how much time you really have to designate to reaching your goals is key to succeeding. If you already feel like you are swamped with work and family responsibilities, perhaps now is not time to commit to marathon training for example. Plan out the time you will need to work on your goal each week and write it in your planner as you would any other appointment.
Find Your Why: Why do you want to xxx? Are you working towards something that you really want to achieve or are you going along with something a friend or spouse wants you to do? Is your goal something that sparks you to pop out of bed in the morning because you can’t wait to work on it? Can you visualize how your life might be if you completed your goal? Find your motivation.
We don’t like to fail: Sometimes we have to fail a few times before achieving success. Failure does not feel good and can lead us toward abandoning our goals. Are you prepared to fail to achieve? You might not get the position you are applying for the first time you try or might not complete your race at your goal time. Having the strength to get back up and try again is key.
Reward Me!- We perform better when we are rewarded. Having small rewards on the way to your bigger goal will allow you to stay motivated. So Whether it’s numbers on a scale, looser fitting clothing or lower cholesterol numbers, having definable ways to measure your success will help you stay motivated.