Here’s how to join the elite few and take your New Year's aspirations from overreaching to achievable.
When the clock strikes midnight on December 31, people around the globe vow to kick it into gear by setting New Year’s resolutions.
We’ve all been there, but how often do we actually succeed? The failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is a whopping 80+ percent, and most people lose their motivation by mid-February!
Can you relate?
The good news is that another year is on the horizon, and this is going to be the year you make resolutions and actually keep them.
Step 1. Make your resolution realistic and tangible.
One of the biggest causes for failure is that people set the bar a little too high for themselves.
Rather than stretching yourself thin and struggling to reach a grandiose goal over an entire year, aim for a realistic, short-term goal. This should be something you can achieve within the next month or two.
These smaller, more tangible goals have a snowball effect, allowing you to gradually achieve your “big-picture” desires down the road.
Step 2. Do it for the right reasons. It has to matter to YOU.
Take a moment and picture the life you want to create for yourself. Think about what you really want to achieve, not what someone else, social media or society makes you feel like you “should” want for your life.
Your resolution has to be for you. So, hone in on what matters to YOU.
Step 3. Be specific and clearly define your goal.
The problem with goals is that most are entirely too vague.
For example, you’ve been wanting to shed 15 pounds and fit back into those skinny jeans for years. Your plan of action has always been to eat better and exercise more. A goal to reach a healthy weight sounds great, but your plan to simply eat better and exercise more doesn’t include any direction regarding how you’re going to take action, follow through and actually get there.
Without a specific goal and a concrete plan of action, how will you know what steps to take and in what order so you’re able to meet the expectations you’ve set for yourself? Can you see why attempting to execute a goal without a plan easily backfires and rarely ends in triumph?
It’s like two people trying to get from one side of the river to the other. One goes to the river with a boat and paddle, prepared for the journey. The other stands along the riverbank empty-handed, scratching their head and wondering what went wrong.
When we’re able to set a realistic and tangible goal and come up with a strategy to streamline reaching that goal, we prosper!
Step 4. Break your goal into practical bite-sized chunks.
Desmond Tutu once said, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.” Essentially, small steps toward a common goal build on one another and gradually add up to something HUGE (without being overwhelmed).
Once you’ve identified your goal and are doing it for the right reasons, think about what has worked well in your life and what hasn’t. What obstacles may arise? What small steps do you need to take to continue moving forward and achieve success?
Come up with a strategy to break your big goal down into mini goals. Then, determine realistic time frames in which you can execute those mini goals (for example 1 week, 1 month, 2 months from now).
Step 5. Put it on your schedule.
How often do you hear people say they can’t find the time to do something?
Your brain, when given an option, tends to choose the path of the least resistance for obvious reasons. The result is that many of us choose not to find the time, rather than challenging ourselves to come up with a way to make it work.
The truth is, we all choose to spend our time the way we want to—whether that’s sleeping in or setting an alarm a few minutes earlier to fit in some strategic self-care.
If you want to achieve success, you have to make your new goal a priority and actually schedule it on your calendar.
If you have a fitness goal, schedule time for your workouts, even if it’s only 5 minutes here and 15 minutes there. If you want to declutter your home, block out time to organize a specific room or area once a week (even if it’s only for an hour). If you want to save money, put a weekly budget review on your Sunday afternoon schedule.
Your energy levels are essential for successful follow-through, so don’t schedule these tasks when you typically “hit a wall.” If you’re affected by the mid-day slump, pencil your plans in first thing.
Think of these time blocks as important appointments, just like you would an appointment with a doctor. Don’t automatically bump your plans to schedule something else when time is tight. Remember, your goal is important too.
Step 6. Plan ahead.
Studies have shown that highly productive people plan the next day before the previous one is over. They start each day with a general plan regarding what they need to accomplish and how they’ll do so. This clear strategy allows them to work efficiently and maximize their time.
Think about what challenges may arise and how you can prepare in advance to be more proactive.
If you schedule a workout for tomorrow morning, set your clothes out, fill your water bottle and decide what your exercise routine will look like the night before.
Have time blocked out to organize and declutter your home this weekend? Decide which room, cabinet or closet you’ll focus on and what it will entail.
The more you can focus your time and efforts directly on the activities that advance you toward your goal and eliminate tasks that get in the way or waste precious time, the more productive and successful you’ll be.
Step 7. Celebrate your successes!
The most important and profound changes in our lives come one step at a time. These small adjustments build on one another and add up to something HUGE. But while we’re in the thick of the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, it’s easy for these small wins to be overlooked.
You deserve to pause and celebrate your progress.
By doing this, you’ll reinforce the motivation that will carry you through the next achievement. These small wins lead to monumental changes, allowing you to gradually achieve your big-picture aspirations down the road.
Make your goals happen.
So this year at midnight, say goodbye to the overwhelming and unachievable. Instead of vowing to reach lofty goals, commit to one short-term New Year’s resolution and the secrets above to making that resolution actually stick. Once you achieve it, move on and make another!
- Make your resolution realistic and tangible.
- Do it for the right reasons. It has to matter to YOU.
- Be specific and clearly define your goal.
- Break your goal into practical bite-size chunks.
- Put it on your schedule.
- Plan ahead.
- Celebrate your successes!
If you’re ready to supercharge your health, make your goals a priority and finally take care of yourself this upcoming year, we have the perfect system for you!
Meet your new favorite self-care tool: The Healthy Living Log. It’s the accountability buddy you never knew you always needed. With The Healthy Living Log by your side, you’ll have everything you need to eliminate overwhelm, create healthy habits and finally be part of the elite few that reach their goals next year. The best part is that it can all be done in under 10 minutes each day.
You deserve to be truly present in your life. Head into the new year with a roadmap to self-care and make this the year you achieve the results you desire!
Let’s make this the year we make resolutions and actually keep them — together!
P.S. We know it can seem scary to invest in yourself and in your wellness, but don’t let that fear keep you stuck. Rest assured, The Healthy Living Log will guide you every step of the way!