Another year is upon us and with that comes a time of reflection. Looking back at the year before allows us to evaluate, re-think and adjust our goals and expectations. Whether you dread New Years resolutions or look forward to them it’s important to think about what you did the year before and what you would like to accomplish in the new year.
Now, sticking to your New Years resolutions is another ball game. So many people set out to make these resolutions only to fall short just a few months afterwards. Why is that? Well, I believe it’s because most people make resolutions but lack any kind of road map to achieve them. I’m here to give you just that. Here’s my 5 powerful ways to keep your New Years resolutions.
5 Powerful Ways To Keep Your New Years Resolutions!
Change Your Mindset
In order to make your New Years resolutions stick you need to change your mindset. What I mean by this is the way you think about your resolutions. I like to look at them as goals more than resolutions. The word resolution means ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something’ or ‘the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter’. I think most of us look at resolutions as the latter and that can have a negative connotation associated with it. It’s as if you’re trying to fix something that’s broken. Instead, develop new goals and make a plan on how you’re going to achieve them.
Think about your New Years resolutions as you would about accomplishing a task at work. At work you wouldn’t attempt anything without first making a plan of action. Things don’t just magically happen. You need to plan everything out in order to know what needs to be done. This is exactly how you should look at your New Years resolutions. Write down what you’re trying to accomplish in the whole year. If you don’t write it down you can easily forget it and move on. This way you’ll have something to go back to. This process also helps you to visualize your goals.
Write Down Your Steps
You should also write down the exact steps you’re going to follow to accomplish each goal. Without this you’ll have no idea what needs to be done in order to actually get it done. For example, if you want to eat healthier you might need to make a weekly meal plan to prepare your meals. That way you can get all the shopping done for the week, set time aside to make food and therefore make healthier choices.
Here’s a handy Weekly Meal Planner I created for anyone wanting to change their eating habits in the New Year. Get it here or click on the image below!
Set SMART Goals
Now that you’ve written down your goals you’ll have a clearer idea of what you want to accomplish. This next task will help you further define your goals and make them easier to achieve. Have you ever heard of SMART goals? This is a popular business acronym that simply means:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
T – Time-sensitive
Why SMART goals?
That’s because now you’re getting to the real nitty-gritty of your actual goal at hand. You get to narrow it down to the specifics.
Pick a goal and be as detailed about it as you can i.e. I want to loose 50 pounds vs. I want to loose weight. In this situation putting a number on the goal will make you think about whether it’s something you can actually do. Anybody can say they want to loose weight but that’s not detailed enough and therefore not as actionable as it can be.
Now, you need to figure out how you’re going to measure your progress i.e. I’m going to set-up weekly/monthly weight-ins to monitor my progress. This keeps you on track for your overall goal. This way each week you can see if what you’re doing is actually working or not. If it’s working great, if it’s not then you can adjust what you’re doing accordingly. For example, perhaps you’re not following your meal plan or you find it difficult to cook as often as you have set out to do. Now, you can figure out if you need to change your direction.
When you’re setting up your goals you need to keep in mind whether it’s something that you can actually attain. Anybody can make goals that are so out there that it’s virtually impossible to achieve them. You need to really think about your own abilities and figure out if your goal is realistic. For example if you want to loose 50 pounds but you have never exercised in your life, have no access to a gym or home work-out videos or personal trainer this might be hard to accomplish. So you need to be realistic and have a plan to achieve it i.e. I’m going to join a gym or buy workout videos and/or get a trainer.
The last step is to put a deadline on your goal i.e. I want to loose 50 pounds by the end of the year. You can further narrow down your goal by breaking it up into smaller tasks. For example, I want to loose 5 pounds in 3 months. Then every 3 months you have something to keep you in check. This will help you stay on track, measure your results and adjust any behavior in order to accomplish your overall end of the year goal.
Making a plan and setting up your goals is all good and well but you need to ensure you can stick to your plan. How can you do that? You can accomplish this by getting an accountability partner. This is a person that knows about your overall goal and is there to support you. Letting someone know about your plan will help you stick to it. It’s one thing to let yourself down if you fall short of your tasks but letting someone else down is even worse. This person can help you get back on track. They’re there to listen, offer advice and most importantly to give you courage. Make sure you pick someone who is both a good listener and someone who’s very motivated himself or herself. You wouldn’t want to have an accountability partner who’s a slacker and full of negativity.
Speaking of negativity, that’s the real dream killer. Negativity is like cancer, it can spread quickly. You better nip it in the butt ASAP! I’m not saying you always have to be super positive and never get down about a small failure. That’s only natural. After all you’re only human. You’re allowed to have a bad day or two. They key here is not to wallow in your misery for too long or it might overtake you. Take a breather and do something you like. It could be just lying on the couch watching your favorite TV show or movie. Perhaps try getting out of town for a few days to unwind. Whatever it is, just do it and don’t feel bad about it. Once a few days passes you’ll be back to your old self and ready to get back on that horse.
Celebrate Small Wins
This one is my favorite! Make sure you celebrate wins no matter how small they are. This goes hand in hand with staying positive. You’re been working hard for a month following a strict diet and you’re down 3 pounds! This might not be a huge accomplishment for someone else but for you it’s progress. It’s more than you lost a month ago. That’s amazing! You should be proud of yourself. Now, when I say celebrate I don’t mean eat a whole cake and throw your progress down the drain. No, no, no! Celebrate in a way that won’t jeopardize your overall goal. Have that extra glass of wine or treat yourself to a night out at your favorite restaurant. Do something you love! And remember these small wins combined together over time will equal that big win in the end.
So are you ready to tackle your New Years resolutions now? I hope I’ve given you some positive direction and courage to stick to your goals. Do you want more motivation? Feel free to read my post Stop Dreaming, Start Doing and learn a little bit more about me along the way!
You can do it if you believe it!
Are you trying to accomplish something this year? Share with me in the comments below. Do you have a plan on how you’re going to attain your goal?
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