Year after year, we decide to implement change and somewhere along the road to achieving our goals, we lose our way. Whether your object is to travel more, lose weight, save money or ditch a bad habit, you need to implement a series of support systems and strategies to guide you. To help you see your resolutions through, we have compiled a list of 5 bulletproof techniques to keep you motivated.
1. Be Realistic
Often we are ambitious with goal setting but we fall short on the follow-through. When making a long-term commitment that includes a lifestyle change, it is best to set realistic expectations for yourself. Try starting small and working yourself up to a level that you want to be at. Focus on taking your goal one day at time. If we establish expectations that are too high, failing to meet them can lead to disappointment and cause us to quit altogether.
For example, if your goal is to save money you should set aside a realistic amount each month that works in your budget. Although it would be nice to save every dime we earn, that is not realistic because you still have bills, groceries and other expenses to account for, not to mention letting yourself have a little fun!
2. Create a Plan
It is simple to say you want to lose weight, but just saying it doesn’t make it happen. After you have your goal for the year, you need to map out a plan on how you will go about accomplishing it.
For example, if you goal is health and wellness you will need to map out a plan change your eating habits and participate in daily exercise. In order to stay accountable, will you ask a friend to join you on your health journey? Are you going to join a gym? Do you have a plan for improving your sleep? Are you starting a 30-day food and diet program?
In order to achieve your goal, you need to have concrete strategy in place to help you get there.
3. Share Your Resolution with Friends and Family
If you are serious about obtaining a specific resolution inform the people around you. Notify them about your goals so they can support you and help when temptation comes knocking. Try influencing them to make some positive changes in their lives as well. This way you can motivate each other.
4. Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress is the number one way you help yourself stay ambitious. Whether you lose 5 pounds or 15 pounds, always acknowledge the small and large accomplishments. Try keeping a journal of your progress and reflect daily or weekly on how you feel. If you struggle with self-depreciation, practice writing 3 things you did well that day. This could be avoiding the cookies at work or jogging for 30 minutes. If you find yourself getting off-track that is okay. Understand that we are all human, look back at your notes and start again the next day. Each of us has our own journey to success and thinking constructively and recognizing your accomplishments will motivate you to push through the speed bumps.
5. Reward Yourself
Hard work without any fun can cause a person to be burnt out. As you hit your specific goals, make a choice to treat yourself as a way to honor your dedication. You want to choose a reward that does not conflict with your resolution. For example, say you lost 5 pounds; you could treat yourself to a spa day. Or, if you saved $400 dollars this month, you could treat yourself by hosting a fun game night at home with friends and family.
With realistic expectations, a plan of action, sharing your journey, tracking your progress and rewarding your successes, you will have the tools you need to achieve your New Year’s resolutions.