Every time a new year comes around, we become motivated to better ourselves. We vow to lose weight, become gym-goers, start a new hobby, single-handedly fix our planet’s pollution problem. Yes, we really do get that ridiculous with our New Year’s resolutions, which is probably why 80% of them are abandoned by February. Let’s take a different approach to this yearly problem and see if the statistics change.
One of the most common reasons New Year’s resolutions don’t work out is because we are not very realistic when setting them. This does not mean you shouldn’t be motivated to think big. However, if you are not honest with yourself about what you can manage, you’ll start feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and eventually abandon your unrealistic resolutions. Try to narrow it down to 3 specific ideas to turn into obtainable goals.
Goals are specific, measurable, and therefore more achievable. Take a broad resolution such as “I’d like to be more active” and turn it into a “I will go on a 30-minute run twice a week” goal. Choose goals that really matter to you and ask yourself if you’re choosing them for all the right reasons. According to Life Coach Rachel Cole, “authentic resolutions reflect our values,” so don’t get swept up in popular resolutions if they do not match your lifestyle.
Set a Plan
Once you pick your 3 specific and realistic goals, write them down. Write down what they are and the steps you will need to take to accomplish them in the new year. When will you start and how will you go about it? Research resources that can help you best accomplish your goals and stay on track. For example, Precision Medical’s Better Breathing Series techniques for runners article is a perfect resource for someone with a goal to go on a 30-minute run twice a week.
Track Your Progress
You have your goals, detailed notes of your plan, resources to help you, now what? In order to stick to your goals, you must keep track of your progress. You started going on a half an hour run twice a week. How many miles did you run in that 30 minutes? Did your speed increase after a couple runs? By tracking your progress, you gain rewards which act as encouragements that keep you going.
You got this! Start thinking about what matters to you and set a plan. Here are a few resources to get you thinking: