We all know the drill of New Year’s resolutions; it’s the same every year. We say that on January 1st, we will start to do the thing, ‘the thing’ being a goal that will be achieved by year-end, or something that we will have accomplished during that year. Often, however, we give up halfway through, or even shortly after we’ve started working towards our goal. As a result of this, I thought that a post on how to stick with New Year’s resolutions would be the perfect way to help you get what you want.
Focus on one thing
We often like to think of five or more things that we could be doing to better. We create lists of what we need to accomplish, but because our lists are so long, we get demotivated. We stop wanting to work towards any of the goals we’ve set because we’re going after too much at the same time.
I often find myself trying to think of all the different things I want to accomplish in my life, like progressing my career, getting fit, making my blog a success, etc. But this year I thought better of it all. This year, I will focus on one thing alone; becoming healthy (stripping right back to the starting mission of this blog, and creating a healthier lifestyle for myself). As part of my resolution I bought some new workout gear of course. I wore one of my new tops during today’s Zumba session at home:
Create a goal
Setting a New Year’s resolution alone is all well and good, however, you need to go a step further and create an end goal. You also need to set up milestones along the way, otherwise there’s not much point in setting a resolution to begin with, as you won’t want it enough to keep to it.
My end goal for this year, is to become fit enough to start and complete a Level 2 fitness instructor qualification. Am I looking for a career change? No. Am I looking for something that will keep me motivated and working for my resolution? Definitely. Unless you have an end goal, you will not want your resolution badly enough, and you will end up finding excuses not to do it.
Create a habit loop
I recently started reading ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg (available here). The book is all about habits, how they are created, and what we need to do to change them. The theories outlined in the book can be applied in business and in our personal lives.
We all have habits. Habits like brushing our teeth, driving a car, and even the way we answer a phone, are part of our daily lives. We don’t even think about these habits anymore; they’re automatic.
To stick with your resolution this year, try to create a habit, make your resolution automatic. Creating a habit is fairly simple in theory. You must create a routine, consisting of a trigger and a reward. For instance, if you go to the gym, you can have a treat such as a smoothie or some sushi later that day. It is a mini celebration that your brain will start to expect once you get into the habit of going to the gym. It is important to pick a sustainable reward, as this will need to be consistent every time that you ‘pull the trigger’. Habits can only be created through consistency, remember that.
Plan your week
Planning your week makes most sense if your resolution requires time input. It is important to ensure that you have set aside time each day (or week) to accomplish what you want to, to prevent you from giving up due to a lack of time management.
I have bought a brand new diary to help me plan my week. In my diary I have set aside time for blogging, and time for gym classes. I have a separate planner for meals. I plan all of my meals for the week, and create a grocery list to do the shopping for the week. This will help keep me on track in terms of healthy eating, to avoid the temptation of those nasty takeaways and the stress eating that can sometimes occur.
Remember why you started
Remembering why you started is so important, especially during those times when you start to question why you decided to take up your resolution. Knowing why you want to do what you’re doing, and making sure it’s what you (and only you) want, is so important to help you keep going.
In my case, I am changing my lifestyle because I want to be the best version of me that I can be; healthy, fit, and happy.
Make sure you have chosen a resolution that works for you, and that will keep you working at it for the whole year. Good luck, and feel free to use the comments section to share your resolutions and any additional advice on keeping new year’s resolutions.
As always, thank you for reading Coffee Guaranteed. x