Now that the new year is here most of us have a slew of resolutions for the year ahead. The problem is that despite our best intensions we often lose motivation for these goals as the year progresses. For me, I am usually super excited about all the improvements I plan to make. But, many times I throw in the towel within the first couple of months. This year I am going to implement a few basic strategies to increase my chance of success and decrease the chance of being very disappointed in myself by mid February.
Make sure your goal is realistic. It’s great to have high aspirations but if you are not real in your resolutions you are only setting yourself up for failure. For example, sweets are one of my biggest weaknesses. I can’t even count the number of times I have decided to give up the delicious demons for good. I have been to many birthday parties with great hopes of not having even one bite of cake only to fail miserably the second the candles are blown out. Break your goal into small realistic steps like “I will only eat desert two times during the week” rather than never ever again.
Be specific in your goal. A big part of making your goals realistic is to also make them specific. Rather than resolving to “lose weight” or “be healthier” decide on something concrete and have an end-point to evaluate how you are doing. Once you have your specific goal set, remember to write it down. This will help you remember when you evaluate how you are doing. This year, my resolution is to go to the gym or run outside at least 4 days a week. At the end of the month, I will hopefully be meeting or exceeding my goal. If not, I will need to re-evaluate.
Anticipate bumps in the road. Be realistic in your expectations of yourself as well as the goals you set. You are not perfect (no one is!). So when you backslide, just pick yourself up and keep going. Instead of beating yourself up, acknowledge what you have accomplished. Look at the setback as a learning opportunity. This way, you will know how to deal with the problem the next time you run into it. Give yourself compliments and acknowledge your progress. Hey, you set the goal in the first place so obviously you are at least trying to improve. This is something to be proud of!
Believe in yourself and let others believe in you too. Your beliefs about yourself and your goal are incredibly important. Visualize yourself achieving your goal and do this daily. Talk to supportive people about your goal and look to them when you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of yourself. Just remember to keep going and you will Discover Your Best Self yet!