We’ve all been there before. We start out the New Year with bold ambitions and lofty resolutions, vowing that this really is the year to finally make that change and reach that goal.
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Most of us are pretty good about staying on track for the first month or so (just take a look at how packed the gym is in January!) but it doesn’t take much to fall off track and end up back where we started. It really can be difficult to break our bad habits and change our routines. Let’s be honest — making that change is HARD, and usually by February, most of us have already given up our resolutions and accepted defeat.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Reaching a resolution is possible; it just takes work — and it’s definitely worth it when you can look back at the end of the year and see how far you’ve come. The best part is, by the time this next year comes to an end, you’ll be ready to set new resolutions knowing you can tackle them and you won’t be faced with the impossibility of the same old recycled resolutions again.
Read on to find out how to make your resolutions a reality.
Write It Down
The simple act of writing your goals down can help you stick to them and make them feel real as opposed to just an idea in your head. Write them down on a piece of paper and display it by your desk, or stick them on a post-it on your mirror. Seeing that real, visible goal and being constantly reminded it of it can help motivate you when you’re ready to give up. When we just keep our goals in our heads, they are not as present in our lives and are much more likely to become an “out of sight, out of mind” situation and slip away. Take this a step further by journaling or tracking your progress. Being able to look back at the steps you’ve made along the way can be a great push to keep going.
Know Your Personality Type
Knowing how your personality type can impact your ability to succeed when it comes to resolutions and your ability to stay on track. When a goal is catered to who you are and how you personally behave, that goal works with you and helps keep you accountable to what you set out to achieve.
Finding a friend or a group of people with the same resolutions can do wonders for accountability. When you have a support system behind you aiming to accomplish the same thing, you have others who are likely to keep you going when you don’t want to, offering encouragement and making sure that you are sticking with it. Furthermore, seeing others succeed alongside you can be incredibly motivating. Find the courage to finally join that run club or see if your colleagues are interested in starting a biggest loser challenge.
Say It Out Loud
We all know that runner who constantly talks about their marathon training even when we haven’t asked. Don’t be afraid to be that runner! Talk about your goals and share them with everyone you know. When we say them out loud, they become a speaking point with everyone surrounding you. You may find that people will then ask you about your goals, which can help you to stick with them. No one wants to tell everyone their goals to then have to explain to them later on that they weren’t able to accomplish them.
Set up a reward system where you vow to treat yourself at each milestone along the way to reaching your goal. Make the rewards exciting, something that will motivate you to keep going. Maybe you’ve been eyeing some new workout gear, been wanting to read a few new books or take a staycation day to relax. Set these up as “rewards” at every step and keep them in mind if you are struggling to stay on track.
Keep It Real
Keeping your resolutions realistic and attainable may be the single-best piece of advice when it comes to be staying accountable to your goals. If you know that working out 6-days a week is not realistic for you, don’t try and reach for something you can’t attain. You want your goals to challenge you, so you do want to push yourself, but don’t push too much. If you are currently working out 2-3 days per week, aim for the challenge of working out 4 days per week. This will already be challenging enough as you will have to make a change in your routine to get there, but it is more realistic than aiming for 6 workouts a week. The more attainable they are, the more you will feel inspired to stick with it and be accountable to yourself. When a goal is too challenging, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and just give up.
Making a change is not easy, but never forget that it is possible. Constantly check-in with yourself as the year goes on and acknowledge your successes and the areas where you can improve. Remember why you resolved to make a change and hold on to that as the year progresses.