Once again we’re at the start of something new – a new year, a new decade. At the beginning of each year, we contemplate the past and feel compelled to change something for the future. 2020 holds a new promise for all of us so here’s our guide on how to make resolutions that stick.
1. Don’t overdo it
We’re sure that there are more than a few things each of us would like to change about themselves. This, combined with the excitement each new beginning brings, can lead us to take on more than we can chew. We’re basically setting ourselves up for failure.
While we may have the energy to pursue all of our goals in the first few months (at best), we’ll slowly start to lose focus, feel overwhelmed and lack the motivation to continue. Building new habits and especially getting rid of old ones is a difficult task that requires relentless determination. That’s why we suggest that you pick one main goal this year and a maximum of two supporting ones.
This will not only force you to set your priorities but also let you know what to focus most of your energy on.
2. Think about your “Why?”
Before you start putting any kind of effort and time into achieving your goals think about your “Why?”. Why is this important to you? What will you get out of it? Why now and why not something else?
The reasoning behind your resolution is often going to be the determining factor for your success. If your “Why” isn’t strong enough, then you won’t be able to continue when it gets challenging. You won’t be able to push past your comfort zone or stick to your schedule.
Let’s say your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, one of the most popular resolutions. Before you start going to the gym 7 days a week, think about why you want to lose that weight. Is it to impress someone, so that you can fit in or look better in your clothes? Or maybe you want to get your health back on track? Whatever the reason is, make sure that it’s a good one as it will be your number one motivation when you feel like giving up
3. Write down your goals
Another very useful tip is to visualize your goals. Studies show that people who have written down or visualized their goals are between 1.2 and 1.4 times more likely to achieve them*. Not bad, considering that all you have to do is write something on a piece of paper.
Writing down your New Year’s resolutions can also help you break down how you can achieve them. If you want to get a job promotion, think about the specific steps that can get you there. Then visualize them, maybe in the form of steps on a staircase. This makes your path to success much clearer.
4. Set measurable goals
We know that this doesn’t work with every resolution. However, try to find a measurable component to each goal you set. This will help you keep better track of your progress and also know what you need to work on more.
Let’s get back to the “want to lose weight” goal. Just saying that you want to lose weight isn’t enough. Try to think of measurable steps on your way to success. How many times a week would you like to work out, how much weight would you like to lose, how much muscle mass would you like to gain etc.
This turns your dreams into specific steps, which automatically makes them more realistic and achievable.
5. Don’t get discouraged
Once you start working on your goals, the inevitable moment will come when you’ll get stuck. You’ll question why you even began in the first place, you’ll doubt yourself and you’ll consider quitting (often more than once).
Just remember that this is all normal. Our resolutions are aimed at getting us out of our comfort zone so it’s normal that the mind starts to protest. It wants to get back to a routine and it fools you into thinking that you can’t do it.
The best thing you can do when this happens is to push through. Don’t let one bad day or week ruin your whole year. Allow yourself time to rethink your strategy, get back on track and continue to give your best.
We all want to achieve something bigger and better in 2020. Planning the right steps is half of the work done but not all of it. The hardest part is the daily small decisions and changes you have to make. But if you stick to it at the end of the year you’ll look back and thank yourself for not giving up and for getting up each time.