5 Ways to See Your New Year’s Resolutions Through to December
It’s no surprise that most New Year’s resolutions fizzle and fade by the time the snow melts. Anyone with a gym membership knows that attendance spikes in January, but most new gym-goers are gone by March. In fact, a study showed that less than 50% of resolutions make it past six months. Use these strategies to ensure that your resolutions don’t fall flat as day-old champagne.
Set Measurable Goals
Rather than setting resolutions with vague statements like “be healthier” or “lose weight,” instead use the SMART method of goal setting. The SMART method involves crafting goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-based. When creating your statements, avoid setting goals of doing something on a daily or weekly basis because this sets you up for failure. As soon as you miss one day or one week, you’ll end up discouraged and more likely to quit altogether. Rather, focus on the benefit you are looking to achieve. Is it dropping a dress size? Or is it to be able to do five consecutive pull-ups? If that’s what you’re after, then set a measurable goal around it, rather than something vague.
Take Baby Steps
When setting your measurable goals, break these down into smaller stepping stones, making your end-of-year goal the biggest. When you reach each step, you’ll feel that much closer to your year-end target. This method is perfect for encouraging the formation of new habits. In his TED Talk, Matt Cutts spoke about how 30 days is the perfect amount of time to start a new habit. Rather than trying to achieve something once then going back to your old ways, focus on changing your habits and lifestyle.
A 2015 study showed that if you tell a friend or family member about a goal or resolution, you will be more likely to achieve it. Find an “accountability buddy” to check your progress regularly. This year as soon as you’ve put your new goals to paper, tell someone about it. Share it on social media, send an email to family, or choose to check in regularly with your buddy. If you and a friend are working towards the same result, you’ll also get the benefit of a built-in gym buddy!
Remember the “Why”
Say you set a goal in 2017 to get healthy. You have a brand-spankin’-new workout plan and a motivation to finally conquer those free weights. Nevertheless, you will undoubtedly have a day when you would rather stay under the covers than hit the gym. At times like these when motivation is flagging, remember why you set this goal in the first place. Maybe heart disease or diabetes runs in your family, and getting healthy means you won’t be another healthcare statistic. Maybe you want to improve your cardio, so you can play longer with your kids. Whatever the reason you’ve set your goal, remembering the why will help you get out of bed and working hard to improve yourself.
At the end of the year, look back on your goals and see how you did. With SMART goals, it is super easy to check in at the end of the year to see how you did. Use this time to track your progress. Each year, the process will get easier, and you’ll see yourself improving for good.
When reviewing, don’t penalize yourself for not reaching goals due to circumstances out of your control. Last year, I set a goal to finish a half marathon but never competed due to a running injury. This shouldn’t immediately count as a failure but as an opportunity to learn and grow in the year ahead. Maybe you try again, or maybe you find a lower-impact sport and focus on that (as I did).
With these strategies in mind, you’ll be in a much better position to achieve all the goals you set this year. Go forth and conquer!10