As the New Year is swiftly approaching, the feeling of starting fresh is rampant. In the first few days of the new year, we have all the motivation to get us up and going. Some of us vow this will be the year that we will finally lose the weight, pay off debt, take that trip we always wanted to take, eat better,… Then there are others that are all too accustomed to breaking their resolutions before they even begin and find it simpler not make any resolutions and stay status quo and not change anything in their lives.
Sometimes the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
If you are motivated, go with it. Instead of calling them New Year’s resolutions, call them goals. Here are some tricks to make your goals stick all year round.
- Limit how many goals you pick: Some years I had a list of about 10 goals to achieve: stop eating crap, exercise every day, stop buying crap I don’t need, write daily in my journal, read a book a month, etc. By the end of week 2, I would definitely fail at one of those things. Instead, write down 3 goals for the year and mark your most important. Start with that one. Remember you can have it all just not all at the same time!
- Make your goals achievable: This one is important because it will keep you motivated longer. For example, if you never exercise and now you want to workout everyday, that may not be feasible. Start off slow, maybe exercise 1 or 2 days per week the first week. Then continue until you feel you can fit in a third day, then a fourth and so forth. Also, no need to spend two hours at the gym, sometimes 30 minutes is all you need. If 30 minutes is too long, start with 10 minutes and build it up gradually.
- Break it down: In order to achieve your goal, just like any other big project, break it down into smaller tasks. For example, say you want to lose 20 pounds. It won’t happen overnight. In fact, a healthy way to lose the weight is to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. Then, it’s important to calculate how many calories you have to burn per week in order to lose 1 or 2 pounds per week (click here to find out how). So if you do the math, it may take up to 4 or 5 months for you to lose 20 pounds in a healthy, non-depriving, bitchy way.
- Make it fun: You won’t always feel like it. In fact, most people abandon their goals after the first 2 weeks of starting. The trick is to keep going. Don’t expect motivation to always be present. Depend on discipline to get you through. Make it a habit, like brushing your teeth, then you will wonder how you got along without doing what you are now so used to doing.
- Review and reward: Once you break out your goal into achievable sub-goals, you can choose to reward yourself after achieving each sub-goal. For example, if you want to get stronger and do 100 push ups a day by the end of the year, reward yourself when you manage to do 25, then 50,… Rewards don’t have to be big or things, it can be as simple as putting a dollar in a jar for every workout or getting a spa day after losing your first 5 pounds. Also, review your goals every three months to see how much progress you made and whether you need to adjust them to make them harder or ease up a bit.
And most importantly, enjoy the process. Learn as much as you can from the journey. You will be amazed how many new things you will learn along the process, the people you will meet and the new experiences you will discover.
Enjoy 2018 and share your goals below…