Most of us have very bold New Year’s resolutions, right? So why is it that most of them fail and by the beginning of February we are back to our old habits and have completely given up? A better plan is to make goals rather than resolutions.
Here are the top five things you can do to avoid New Year’s Resolutions Failure and see your New Year’s Goals succeed:
Don’t be too drastic or rigid in your changes
Most of us want results right now, but if your changes are too rigid, not allowing for your body and mind time to adjust, you are more likely to give up.
Write down your goals
There is something about seeing your goals on paper that makes them more realistic and makes you commit to achieving those goals. But, not only write them down… place them somewhere where you can see them every day. A good place is on your bathroom mirror, this way you are reminded every single day.
Make your goals time specific and measurable
Most New Year’s resolutions fail because they are not time specific and measurable…. For example, a goal of “to be successful”, “to lose weight” or “to be skinny” has no real way of measuring your success. When it comes to losing weight, it is much better to have a specific, realistic and achievable goal in mind…for example “I’m going to lose three pounds per week over the next 8 weeks.” It is very important to measure your progress as you work towards those goals…for example, you could weigh yourself every week to make sure you are staying on track with your weight loss goals.
Formulate a plan
It is imperative to have a strategy of how it is that you are going to achieve your goals. It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to lose weight.” Instead, formulate a detailed plan. You could plan to limit your calories to 1200 per day or cut out sweets. Be sure to adjust your plan as you measure your progress. If your New Year’s resolution has to do with getting a promotion at work or getting a better job, you might plan to get more education. For example, you could plan to attend 2-3 conferences in the next six months to acquire new knowledge and/or a new set of skills that will make you more valuable at your current job or more eligible to get a promotion or a better job. You could also plan to read more nonfiction books.
Get a support group
It is true that we are better when we work together. Isolation can lead to failure. Find a group of friends or coworkers that share some of your common goals and allow them to hold you accountable for your progress. We tend to hold ourselves to higher standards if we know that we may disappoint our peers. For example, find a work out partner and push each other to go to the gym and exercise. This can make your exercises more fun but will also motivate you those days when you may feel like giving up.
Goals can be difficult to achieve but at the end are very rewarding. You will be happy and proud of what you can accomplish when you do things with determination and focus. Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. There will be set backs along the way but keep your eye on your goal. Celebrate small mile stones and remember that one day of changing behaviors will turn into one week, one month and one year…. And by this time next year you could look back and see how much you have accomplished and feel proud of your hard work.