How to Hold True to Your New Year Resolutions
As the chaos of 2018 comes to a close and 2019 quickly approaches, many of us are considering the ways we can make the next 12 months better than the last. Whether it’s a weight loss goal, earning that promotion, or simply paying off a chunk of your student loans almost everyone has something important they want to accomplish in the new year. However, it’s easy to talk big in the first few days or weeks– staying true to your goals year round is an entirely different monster to conquer. Here are a couple helpful tips to keep you on track and checking off milestones all year long.
This one is incredibly important. If you set goals that are unrealistic or, at the very least, incredibly difficult to obtain you will quickly become unmotivated to try at all. It’s hard to stay energized about a specific resolution when you don’t feel there is any progress being made. Therefore, telling yourself you’re going to drop 70 pounds in two months is a recipe for disaster (and is incredibly unhealthy). Take some time to really look at what you’re weekly schedule is, what realistic capabilities and resources you have to achieve this goal, and plan accordingly.
Make a plan
Schedule, schedule, schedule. This cannot be emphasized enough. When the grind gets tough and you’re feeling like you’ll never reach your goal, a set plan can work wonders to keep you on track. If you’re just free-wheeling it with the expectation that your own dedication will get you through, you’re one bad day at work away from dropping the whole resolution. So, schedule, schedule, schedule! You can make it as simple or complex as you want; the key is to do what works best for you. If it’s a fitness resolution, add your workout regimen to your monthly calendar. Pick specific days you want to dedicate to certain workouts or food groups and lay them out plainly among your other monthly commitments. Invest in a supplement plan to help keep your body working at full capacity every workout, every time. If it’s a work goal, outline milestones throughout the year that you need to meet to achieve your goal. Same thing for financial resolutions; what amount needs to be saved by when to show you are on track for you yearly goal? A thoroughly thought out plan helps to keep you on track, motivated, and documenting your progress throughout the new year.
Hold yourself accountable
This is a tough one. Without accountability, resolutions don’t exist, weight doesn’t get lost, money isn’t saved, and that promotion stays just out of reach. It’s hard to find ways to truly hold yourself accountable but when you find one that works for you, it’s like injecting your resolution with adrenaline. Accountability can come in many forms; from your friends constantly reminding you of your financial goals when you’re out at the bars, to pre-portioning your food for the week so you don’t over indulge, to signing up for fitness programs that only give you your money back if you make it to your goal weight. Find the kind of accountability that motivates you best and go all in. You can do this, you just have to keep yourself going till the end.
All work and no play… well, you know the phrase. It’s important to reward yourself when you hit your milestones. Especially with things like weight-loss, adding in a cheat day here or there to celebrate your accomplishments will keep you motivated and fighting for the next milestone. If you’re trying to save money, budget a night out here and there to give you a taste of what life will be once you hit that financial goal. If you get a good recommendation from work, buy yourself a drink. It’s easy to get down on yourself when trying to reprogram your daily life, so remember to reward the little wins and remain positive even when you fall a bit short. Any progress is better than no progress!
This journey doesn’t have to be a solo one. Find a friend or family member that has similar resolutions and join forces. At the very least, find someone invested in your well being and future to be around when things get hard, even if it’s just an ear to vent to when you’re frustrated with yourself. Knowing that you have someone in your corner when the going gets tough may just be the motivation you need to push further. When someone else has invested their time, energy, and focus into helping you achieve your goals it becomes significantly harder to bail on your resolutions without feeling extra guilty. Your family and friends love you, they want you to be better and to achieve your goals, why not let them help you get there?
Let’s make 2019 our year
You’ve got your resolutions. You’ve got your tool kit. Now, all you need to do is take the first step. Remember to be realistic with the expectations you set for yourself. Lay out exactly what you need to do to get to those goals and what the milestones on the journey are. Hold yourself to a higher standard than you previously have to keep yourself accountable. Celebrate your successes, big or small, and reward the hard work you are doing. Let your loved ones in to the journey and lean on them when you need it. 2018 may be have been chaos but 2019 is the year you achieve everything you’ve been dreaming about.