Every new year, we hear the same old resolutions: work out more, drink more water, learn a new language, etc. However, by February, many of us lose steam and even forget what our resolutions were.
Are you making a resolution this year? Although more than half of all resolutions fail, make this year different with yours. Resolutions take time to keep up and so do new habits and skills. So, for this year, your first resolution should be to stick to your New Year’s resolution. How can you achieve it?
Pick the right resolution, something that’s doable and meaningful too. A lot of resolutions fail as they are not the right one for you or it was too vague. Don’t create a resolution based on someone else. It should be what you want. Your goals should be SMART – Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Time-bound.
Specific. Make your resolution absolutely clear. Don’t just be vague about it. If your goal is to lose weight, then you need to set the goal -how much you want to lose and the time frame. For example, 1kg a month is something achievable versus 5kg a month.
Measurable. This is something obvious if its something related to fitness or weight loss. However, what if its something that’s not measurable like biting your nails or reducing the time you spent on social media? You may need constant reminders like a note somewhere to remind you or a log book that you can jot down. This logging process can help you track your behaviour and reinforce the progress.
Achievable. It doesn’t mean you can’t have big goals. However, if you have not been able to achieve your previous resolutions, then its better to start small or this will leave you frustrated. Go with something realistic and within your capabilities.
Relevant. Of course, the resolution you make has to be relevant to you and for the right reasons. If you do it out of force or due to strong passion during that moment, it usually doesn’t last long. But if you think harder about what’s good for you, it changes the structure of your life, bringing people into your life who will reinforce that resolution to give it a fighting chance.
Time-bound. Just like “achievable”, the timeline to reach your goals should be realistic too. This gives you the chance to set smaller goals in order to achieve your bigger goal. Focusing on smaller wins helps you make gradual progress.
Write down your goal, be it in a diary or a sticky note on your desk. Writing something down can make it stick in a certain way and there’s a physical reminder for you too.
Create reminders, because the hardest part about keeping resolutions is when your routine changes. You can break down your resolutions into smaller sections and set a reminder either in your Google Calendar or sticky note somewhere. You can then cross out the items you achieve to keep you on track.
Reward yourself along the way. New habits and skills are difficult to build, especially when you can’t see immediate results. Celebrate your mini-milestones to help you stay motivated.