It’s officially 2019, which means many are getting started on their #newyearnewme resolutions. Every year, millions of people set goals for the new year, but only a fraction of them actually follow through. Actually, 80% of those who make resolutions are no longer following them by the second week of February.
Why do so many give up on their resolutions so soon into the new year? Most likely their resolutions are too broad, too strict, or too many. Getting started on a new life improving habit is hard, but by applying a few tips you can set yourself up for success to meet your New Year’s goals.
Want to be a part of the 20% of people who actually keep their new years resolutions? Here’s how to make attainable resolutions that boost self-improvement, without leading to early burnout.
Read on for how to make your resolution actually stick beyond January
Make it relevant
First off, start by making a resolution that is important and relevant to you. Be honest with yourself and think of something that you can actually keep. And remember to let the motivation come from within and not from the expectations of others.
Not sure where to start? Think about goals that will benefit your life in a significant way. Whatever that may be, make sure to be specific! The more specific you are — the more direction you will have. For example, if your resolution is weight loss, set a goal of losing a certain amount of weight by a set deadline. With a specific goal in mind, you can measure and develop a path to success.
Make a plan
Since you have given yourself something specific to work towards, now it’s time to create a well-defined path to follow. When making your plan, start small and build up as you go. Take your resolution and translate it into actionable steps, creating benchmarks and milestones along the way to check your progress.
For example, if your resolution is to exercise more, do not start by scheduling workouts five times a week. That is too strict and can lead to early burnout. Instead, start at twice a week and build from there as you find workouts that you enjoy. This will help you to not see your resolution as a punishment.
Create an environment for success
Now that you have a plan, it’s important to find ways to fit your resolution into your current life. Sometimes we need to reassess our current life to better accommodate those new year goals. Small aspects of your environment can hinder your progress, so make adjustments to better set yourself up for success.
For example, if waking up early to fit in a workout before work is a a challenge for you, try laying out your workout clothes the night before and keeping your alarm at a distance. This way, you have to get up to turn the alarm off and don’t have to waste a single second thinking about what to wear for your workout!
Track your progress
Once you’ve identified your goal for the new year and have a specific plan set for how to achieve it, track your progress! Think about how you can measure and chart your resolution, because nothing helps to keep you going like seeing your progress. Maybe consider creating a visual representation of your progress (like a calendar or list) since being able to cross things off as you move forward is rewarding in and of itself. Tracking your progress shows a bigger-picture analysis of improvements, especially if they may not visibly “show” yet.
Stay motivated by taking steps to make yourself accountable for your goals. Sharing your resolutions and discussing your progress with friends and family can help keep you on track. Maybe even get an accountability buddy so you and a friend can work towards your resolutions together!
Show some self-compassion
As you already know self-compassion is the new self-care, and the same applies to achieving your new year’s resolution. Make sure to congratulate yourself when you are doing it right and celebrate when you hit a new milestone. If you mess up, just tell yourself that today was a bad day and that you’ll start again tomorrow. Be compassionate with yourself, acknowledge the fact that you slipped up, and move on. Remember that achieving your resolution is not a game of all-or-nothing.
Real change does not come in the form of a quick fix or a magic pill. Goals take time to achieve, and if you want to be successful in your resolution, you must acknowledge that. Creating or breaking a habit requires repeating a behavior over and over again until becomes automatic.
It can be tough getting started with a new resolution, but if you follow these tips, your new habit will gradually take less effort and you will be doing it without thinking!