Another year has passed, meaning it’s time to focus on the optimism of a fresh start in the new year and the resolutions that will help us better ourselves. Many people set goals for themselves in light of whatever their New Year Resolution may be, ranging from finally using that gym membership and getting in shape, to eating healthier, to self-care and everything in-between. While these goals are fantastic, many people find it difficult to keep pace with their new resolutions and get discouraged when they aren’t achieving the goals they set.
Don’t let another new year start strong and fizzle out like the unfinished bottle of celebratory champagne – let 2018 be your best year yet by achieving whatever your New Year Resolution may be!
1) START SMALL
Once of the biggest mistakes people make when setting their New Year Resolution goals is biting off more than they can chew. Rather than aiming for the bigger picture, start small. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds, set a goal of losing around 1 pound per week or around 4 pounds a month, which is a healthy steady way to achieve your weight goals. By looking at the smaller picture, you’re more likely to see these little results and stick to your goals, rather than not seeing the total of 50 pounds drop off and getting discouraged.
2) BE REALISTIC
Similarly, making sure your goals are achievable within a realistic amount of time is another key to success. With the weight lose example, if you want to lose 10 pounds in a week, that would be unrealistic (and unhealthy) and will lead to discouragement. Making the goal to lose those 10 pounds in about 2 months would not only be achievable, but there’s a chance the goal will be met a little before schedule and will keep you motivated to keep the weight off. Having high aspirations are great, but ensuring they are realistic is crucial to success.
3) REWARD YOURSELF
One of the biggest pitfalls of new goals is not rewarding yourself along the way. If your resolution is to eat healthier and cut out unnecessary sugar, that’s a fantastic goal - however, don’t think that means you need to deprive yourself of what you love. That craving for chocolate can be conquered with a square of dark chocolate (which as a bonus is filled with good-for-you antioxidants!), which gives you a moral boost from the well-deserved reward – the key here is moderation, not deprivation. Depriving yourself of something and putting it on the “No” list is not effective in the long run, as it makes you more likely to binge and derail later. Take a rest day from the gym, have a glass of wine, and enjoy a reward for your arduous work occasionally – you deserve it!
4) WRITE IT DOWN
Writing things down can help keep your goals on track. By writing something down, it transforms the thought, goal, achievement, etc. from an abstract concept floating in your mind into a concrete and visual idea that you can refer to. Writing your goal and your journey down makes it easier to remember and remind yourself what you’re working for, easier to track your progress and see how/what you’re doing, and gives a sense of obligation to the goal because it’s not just a thought in your head anymore – it’s physically represented on paper.
Having a support system makes everything easier. People are more like to achieve goals when they have a solid support system backing them up every step of the way. Whether your friend goes on runs with you, your brother joins your new diet, your spouse gives up cigarettes with you, or your parents lend an ear to listen to your struggles or accomplishments, every type of support is helpful and does wonders in the long run. In most cases, all you need to do is ask and your loved ones will be glad to help in whatever way they can!