New Years Day is when many people are nursing their hangovers by sitting down with a pen and paper to jot down their New Years resolutions. However, no matter how good one’s intentions are, the enthusiasm for a resolution deteriorates by about February. Unfortunate as this is, it could just be a matter of poor resolution planning. While the goals may vary between individuals, here are some tips for making and keeping your 2018 resolutions.
Make the one goal specific
Focus on one main goal. While there may be other goals that contribute to the success of the main goal, choose one thing that you really want to achieve. Then make it specific. Having a generic goal like “I’m going to get faster” is great, but leaves out a lot of details. How much faster? Over what distance? By when? Have a goal that is SMART: specific, measureable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Share your goals
It’s a scary thing to tell someone about your goals, but it’s also a beneficial thing to do. Having your family, partner, or close friends know about your goal will help you be successful in achieving it. It also keeps you accountable. If someone else has similar goals, or is looking for a helping hand, working together will increase the likelihood of being successful.
A lot of New Year resolutions are goals that encompass lifestyle changes. These require habits to change, and take more effort and time than people realize. Measure your success but don’t be discouraged if you don’t see any results in the first few weeks. Goals revolving around weight-loss, eating habits, or fitness can take over six weeks to see results. If it’s a goal of doing all the dishes before bed every night, then hopefully the results are immediate! Be patient, and understand that long-lasting changes take time.
There is no way to create more time in a day, but adjusting schedules and becoming better at time management will free up more time. Make your goals a priority, and schedule them into your calendar like you would for any other important appointment. Thirty minutes everyday can be enough to do a quick run, do some core work, prep a meal, or clean up. Spending a little bit of time on a goal everyday is better than an “all-or-nothing” approach.
Nobody is perfect. Understand that it’s likely that a slip-up will happen, and your goals could get off track. However, instead of losing hope and giving up, acknowledge the mistake and create a plan that will decrease the chances of it happening again.
Rewards don’t have to be big, but they can be enough to keep up your motivation levels. Treat yourself to a new pair of technical socks if you hit a benchmark training time; or go grab a latte instead of a black coffee if you’ve hit that month’s weight goal. A reward doesn’t have to be every week, but if that’s the frequency that they need to occur to keep you on track, then do what’s best for you!