Are you starting off 2019 with a resolution or two? While it’s great to have goals, it’s important to stick to them past the initial rush of adrenaline. According to Forbes, just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. So how can you make that January momentum last throughout the year?
Set Goals that Really Mean Something to You
Lose weight. Watch less TV. Clean the house more. Sound familiar? While there’s nothing wrong with pursuing goals like these, it’s important to make sure you’re motivated to accomplish them because you actually want to do it, and not just because society says you should. What good would it be to have a resolution to stop eating chocolate when you absolutely love chocolate? Don’t set yourself up for failure by listening to what you “should” do—the only thing you should do is live a happy life, and that looks different for every person on the planet. Make sure to create resolutions that will make you happy instead of miserable so you don’t quit a few weeks in.
Take It One Step at a Time
Patience is a virtue, and it’s one that many of us don’t possess. But it’s important to remember that when it comes to achieving major goals, it’s not going to happen overnight. Outline a step-by-step plan for completing your resolution and figure out a reasonable timeline for you to accomplish each step. Don’t try to fast track your progress—be honest about how long it might take. Once you know how to put one foot in front of the other, you can take small steps toward achieving a larger victory.
Constantly Measure Your Progress
It’s easy to get discouraged when you can’t see how far you’ve already come. If your goal is to drink less caffeine, keep a journal that documents how much coffee, tea, and energy drinks you consume each day. As you train yourself to form new habits, you’ll be able to see how you’ve improved since day one. When you can measure something, you can change it. If you can’t find a way to track your progress, you might want to rethink your resolution to something more realistic. And remember to celebrate all of your small successes, not just the final result!
Use the Buddy System
Whether you want to exercise more or travel the world, it always helps to have a friend to motivate you along the way. Set up resolutions with your partner, best friend, sibling, or parent so you can hold each other accountable for taking all the necessary steps to achieve it. Plus, once you reach your goals, you’ll have someone to enjoy the finish line with.
Practice Positive Thinking When You Slip Up
You’re going to slip up—it’s only human nature. Accomplishing a meaningful goal takes a lot of work, so you’re bound to get caught up in the day-to-day worries of life and miss a deadline or two. When this happens, remember that it’s not the end of the world. A little bit of progress is better than no progress, and you have the self-discipline to get right back up on the horse. Tell yourself that what you’re doing is hard so it’s only natural that the going might get tough. Being kind to yourself is the number one way to keep your new year’s resolution. Otherwise, you’ll be bogged down by too much self-loathing to keep fighting the good fight.
Do you want to clean up your spending habits? Make a monthly budget and stick to it. How about getting outside more? Try adding a hike to your schedule one week, and then two hikes the next. With patience, dedication, and determination, your 2019 goals are well within reach.