The arrival of a New Year signifies a chance at a fresh start, a new year, a new chapter. It also brings with it a laundry list of resolutions that are not likely going to make it through the changing of the season. Whatever you are committed to improving, it is widely known that New Year’s resolutions are usually abandoned by mid-February.
If you are struggling with your resolution, you may be looking for ways to reignite the motivation you had coming into the new year. What’s the best way to achieve this? By focusing on incorporating one healthy, manageable change at a time. With any new behaviour, it takes time for it to become a habit and for it to fit naturally into your routine.
Keep your goals big
You may be saying, “but my goal is big, maybe even too big?” It’s okay to have a lofty goal; it keeps you motivated, inspired and is a great measurement tool to keep you on track. Looking to run a marathon? Great, work towards it! You may notice, it will also inspire those around you to participate as well!
Break down your big goals
Now, take that big goal and turn it into smaller, more manageable ones that will ultimately lead you to crush your big goal. Make sure when you are breaking down your BIG goal you make your smaller ones SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. If you want to run a marathon look at running a 5K in 2 months first and then build from there. These smaller goals also give you the incentive and drive as you gain the confidence to build on them and work towards achieving your overall big goal.
What’s the why?
To achieve your goals you need to understand the ‘Why’ behind them. If you are looking to lose weight what is the reason? Is it because you want to keep up with your kids? Reduce your risk of health issues? Or simply want to feel confident in your own skin - understanding the motivation behind your goal will help keep you on track.
Make a Commitment to yourself
You would never cancel on a friend so why would you cancel on yourself? Hold yourself accountable by tracking your progress on a calendar or in a journal. Studies show that people who write their goals down have a higher success rate than those who don’t. Not a fan of writing down your goal - have an accountability buddy who you don’t want to disappoint or look for an online network of people who have the same goal. Your support system will help encourage you to keep working at it even when things get tough.
Skipped a workout? Indulged in too many sweets - that’s ok don’t beat yourself up - one slip up does NOT eliminate all the progress you have made! This is a great time to reassess if your goal is a SMART one along with what’s working for you and what isn’t. Remember building new habits takes time, don’t beat yourself up over a day that was less than perfect. Perfection is unattainable and slip-ups are a natural part of the process.
Don’t wait until you reach your mega-goal to reward yourself. Keep your motivation high by treating yourself along the way - hit your first milestone? Great! Celebrate the win with a reward that will keep you excited, maybe it's a new pair of shoes or a new book whatever it is be sure to acknowledge the smaller successes along the way!
Sticking to your New Year’s resolution is about making small changes and incorporating them into your lifestyle - every step you take towards achieving your SMART goal is one step closer to achieving your BIG goal!