New Year’s resolutions. We hold of our big changes and plans for this moment, but then most of us never follow through to even the next month. What gives?
It’s tough to make a big change so quickly. We all would probably like to lose 10 pounds, but making your goal to do that can seem daunting. So we put it off, and put it off. We make excuses not to go to the gym. We eat an extra slice of pizza because “what the heck” let’s go for it! Then you eventually give in to the fact that you’re not going to make any progress.
That’s the way it goes for many of us, whether it’s losing weight, eating healthy, stopping a smoking habit, picking up an instrument, learning a language.
So how do we get better at sticking with our resolutions and goals for longer than just a few weeks?
Here are a few tips from Life Hack that can help you out.
- Pick just one goal
- Plan ahead
- Anticipate problems
- Pick a start date
- Go for it
- Accept failure
- Plan rewards
Picking a goal
Picking your goal can be tough, especially when you have so many things you want to accomplish all at once. Take some time to decide just which one is most important for you right now. Maybe it’s losing weight for your upcoming wedding, or you want to learn French for your summer trip to Nice.
Doing everything at once is a recipe for disaster.
Don’t just jump right into your resolution. Break it down into actionable bites that you can do each day. If you tell yourself “Learn French”, you will never want to get started because that’s such a huge, scary goal. But if you tell yourself “Day 1-4: Learn pronunciations”, you will be more likely to follow through because now you know you should be focusing on pronunciation and nothing else.
There will be issues that come up. You get sick, get caught up at work, have a trip that causes you to miss some gym days. Plan for this and don’t give yourself a hard time about it, because that won’t help you succeed.
Pick a start date
It doesn’t have to be New Year’s Day, just find a day where you know you can start taking action.
Go for it
If you plan to go to the gym daily, keep a full gym bag in your car so you have no excuse not to go after work. Take your goal seriously, because if you start slacking or giving excuses, you won’t succeed.
It’s ok if you miss a day at the gym, or forget to do your vocabulary flashcards for French. Figure out what caused you to skip out on those tasks and try to avoid doing that next time. If you notice that stressing too much at work causes you to not go to the gym, try going before work.
Have weekly, monthly, and milestone rewards for yourself. If you go to the gym daily for a week, you get to enjoy an ice cream out with the family. If you are able to learn 100 words this month, celebrate with something you enjoy.
Resolutions can be scary and daunting. We wait all year until we start working on them, so it’s time to start giving them your all!