There’s always more than one reason why a new year’s resolution may fail, and it may not even be the result of what you would think or expect. If you’re determined to keep yours this new year, but feeling a little worried as to whether or not you’ll actually be able to, begin using the five easy tips below to transform your motivation & help you meet your new year’s goals!
1. Start Now
When it comes to resolutions, there is seriously no better time than the present to get started on what you want to change. Don’t wait until January 1st, or 5th, or 16th to get started on what you would like to see different this next year. If your resolution is one that quite literally cannot begin until the start of the new year, begin making preparations for it now. If your goal is improved fitness: Clean out your fridge, make your lists, create an organized corner with your go-to equipment and gear, and see #4 to get an accountability partner lined up – whatever you need to do to ensure that when you do start, you are equipped and ready to do so successfully.
2. Frame Your Resolutions with Attainable Goals
It’s great to have a longterm/ideal goal, but without attainable goals incorporated in that process, it’s often just too easy to give up and quit the whole thing. One way to avoid that is by changing how you frame what your ultimate goal actually is. For instance, if your goal is to “lose X weight,” reframe that to be “live a healthier lifestyle.” This automatically allows for a number of smaller goals that are so much easier to attain, like: (1) Exercise for 30 minutes a day; (2) Drink X amount of water; or even (3) Get into a better sleep schedule by going to bed by 10pm every night. Personally, if I have a fitness goal, I love to stick numbered post-it notes on a mirror. For each day I follow through with the plan, I get to remove one post-it. This is a visual reminder of the changes I’m making, which helps so much when the physical changes haven’t started to show yet. Plus, it’s a much healthier mindset since it allows you to be proud of your progress instead of so focused on the end result that you feel overwhelmed and disappointed when the number isn’t yet reaching what you want.
3. Create Rewards for Yourself
This tip pairs with #2 to support your motivation to keep your resolutions. Continuing with the example used in #2: Did you drink X number of water consistently 5 of 7 days this week? Great! Go get your nails done to celebrate, pick up some flowers from your local grocery store (my favorite reward!), or put on that movie you love to watch but haven’t seen in a while. Incorporate these rewards into your calendar so you know exactly when, and exactly what you have to look forward to when you meet certain goals.
4. Get an Accountability Partner ASAP
Whatever your resolutions for the new year may be, it can never hurt to have someone in your corner cheering you on throughout the process – reminding you why you started, especially when you lose motivation and feel like throwing in the towel. This person can be anyone from your spouse (for me, J is a great source of steady accountability), co-worker, or close friend. Whoever he or she may be, make sure you clearly communicate your personal goals, include how you are planning on reaching them, and what exactly you want that person to do/tell you when you are doing well, and when you aren’t doing so great. Everyone communicates differently, so what may feel supportive to them may not be as helpful for you – so it may be best to go over this at the start rather than after hurt feelings or miscommunications have occurred.
5. Write out Daily Reminders
Never forget that you are in control of whether or not you meet these goals. If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, write out what is in your control, and what is not. For everything that is in your control, write a single sentence of how you know you can and will handle it. For everything that is not, draw a single line through to remind yourself that your focus needs to be on what you can control rather than what you cannot. Then, at the bottom of the page, write 3 things that you are proud of or that bring you joy. It’s okay if these positive reminders repeat from the day before – what matters most is that you choose to believe and apply them.
Whether it’s fitness or something else, any resolution is going to take time to become a consistent part of your life, so go after it and enjoy the process. This time next year, you’ll be so glad you did.
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