It may be a new year, but many of us struggle with the same old habits. Eating poorly. Exercising rarely. Sleeping too little or spending too much. These are just a few of the personal patterns that can hold you back from being your best. So a new year seems like the perfect time to resolve to change our bad behaviors. The only problem? Most of our resolutions are completely forgotten by February. But you don’t need to give up on your goals! Use these seven strategies to turn your ambitions into achievements.
- Get Real About Your Resolutions
In reality, we struggle to stick to our resolutions because they just aren’t realistic. Don’t sign up for a marathon if you’ve never jogged around the block! Setting your expectations too high only sets you up for disappointment. Instead, choose goals that challenge you from the beginning, but won’t be so much of a challenge that you don’t see them through to the end.
- Write ‘Em Down to Keep ‘Em Up
Studies show that putting your goals on paper can actually help you stick to them. How? By keeping you accountable and reminding you of your goals. So this year, grab a pen and the nearest notepad and write down your resolutions. Taking a couple of minutes to put your plans on paper can really help you stay on track.
- Plan for Success
Failing to plan is essentially planning to fail. One of the biggest mistakes when setting goals is beginning without a plan. You may have a general idea of what you want to achieve, such as eating healthier or spending more time with family. While it’s good to have such intentions, it’s better to have a plan. In fact, experts say that successful resolutions always include a plan of action. Start by making a calendar with something to do every day that gets you closer to your goal. This will make it easier to track your progress and take your success step-by-step.
- Break Big Plans into Small Steps
The thought of a big goal can be exciting, but the reality can be overwhelming. It’s better to divide a large, lofty resolution into small, sensible steps and schedule the activities that help you advance toward your goals. By breaking a major goal into manageable steps, you’ll be able to chart your progress and gain the confidence of accomplishment all along the way.
- Count On Friends & Family to Keep You Accountable
What’s the secret to staying committed? Not keeping your goals a secret. You don’t have to post them all over social media, but share your resolutions with your close friends and family. Then the next time you see these people, they will ask about your progress and make it harder to give up. In addition, these people can provide you with the support you need to succeed.
- Think Big, But Celebrate Small
Stay focused on your larger goal but acknowledge your little successes all along the way. Celebrate even the smallest of victories by treating yourself to gifts that won’t derail your progress. If you’re trying to get more exercise and made it to the gym all week, reward yourself with a massage, a movie date or a new piece of fitness equipment. Treating yourself on a regular basis will boost your motivation and morale, which will make it faster to achieve your goal. Now that’s really something to celebrate!
- Cut Yourself Some Slack When You Slack Off
Nobody’s perfect. Beating yourself up over a minor misstep will only set up for failure. Remember, little lapses are totally normal. Just don’t use your slip-up as a reason to give up! It’s no big deal if you had some ice cream while you’re trying to get in shape. What’s more important is moving forward and getting back on track.
Remember, bad habits are meant to be broken, but resolutions are meant to be kept. Luckily, these savvy tactics will help you do both.