The new year is a time of resolutions. We all make them, but many of us also fall a little bit short on hitting those goals. That’s OK! But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Check out these tips for how you can keep your New Year’s resolutions this year.
Be Realistic but Specific
The first step toward achieving your 2020 goals is to be realistic but specific about them. For example, there’s the concept of SMART goals—simple, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. These are all valuable but being realistic is important to emphasize because realistic goals mean you have a better chance of staying motivated and hitting your goal. Being specific is also important, because if you are not—you can forget your motivations and give up along the way.
This goes a little against the last point, but the goals should also be something that truly motivates and inspires you to achieve it. Think about stretching your goals to the point that it scares you a bit. It should involve you needing to truly change to achieve them. There’s where you currently are and where you want to be. In between that is the gap that you are trying to cross. Change is when you realize that there is more reward in achieving your goal than there is pain along the way. In order to make it worth it, you should think big!
While a few large goals are important to have, micro-goals are super valuable as well. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds in a month, then you know that means 5 per week which means one pound per weekday. One pound feels more achievable than 20, and this makes it easier for you to stay on target. If you are not, you can get back on track easily and spread your efforts out, so that you don’t have to do everything in one day.
Write It Down
There’s a lot of research that shows that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. If you are able to keep them on a notecard and carry them around you, there’s an even higher chance that you will hit them. Writing them down makes you feel like you are already on the path to achieving them, which is a crucial first step to making it happen. Also, writing them down forces you to be able to clearly articulate them in a way that makes sense.
Create a Vision Board
Vision boards are a cool concept that really bring goals to life. They are where you create a large poster that you add pictures and clips (for example from a magazine) that are relevant to your goals. If you have artistic skills, give this one a try.
It’s essential to reward yourself, especially as you check off your micro-goals on the way to the larger ones. Find a reward that works for you (that doesn’t go against your goal, like a trip to McDonald’s if you are trying to eat healthier). Give yourself some rewards for achieving the micro-goals, so you can stay motivated to hit the large ones.
Share Your Goals
Lastly, tell your goals to someone else so that you are accountable. This can make a huge difference. Those times when you want to give up (we all go through it), your supporters can help make sure you stay on track.
Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions!