Did you know that almost 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fall off the wagon by February?
New Year’s resolutions are a perfect way to set intentions for the coming year… but most of us are really bad at keeping the vows we make to ourselves.
The good news is, this year you can become one of those rare people who actually stick to their resolutions all the way through.
Follow these 5 simple steps to rock your resolution game!
1. Set Doable Goals
Unrealistic goals are the number one reason for failure. Dream big, but think tiny: if you are planning a massive project, make sure it gets broken down into a series of small, truly doable steps. In other words, it’s okay to plan to run a half-marathon… as long as your resolution is getting a little bit further every time you go for a jog, rather than being able to run 15 miles by Thursday.
It’s counter-intuitive, but you will have a much better chance of success if you don’t overcommit. Slow and steady wins the race!
2. Limit the Number of Goals
We tend to set way too ambitious goals and to further complicate things, we also often set a hell lot of them. We decide to move more and eat healthier and quit smoking and start attending the yoga class and cut the carbs and do a plank for 15 minutes a day, every day. In other words, we are trying to stuff unreasonably much onto our plates.
There are plenty of things that would be nice to do, but it is physically impossible for you to be everywhere and do everything at the same time. Don’t overwhelm yourself. We recommend picking three major goals – at most.
Doesn’t sound ambitious enough? Let’s be honest: achieving three goals is better than failing to achieve twenty.
3. Be Very Specific
Make sure to accompany all of your goals by a solid, detailed plan on how you’ll get to those goals. Resolutions to “eat healthier” and “stress less” lack specificity and are bound to fail because of that. Plan SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive.
Numbers are key. “Exercise more” is not a specific goal – two workouts per week is. To make your goals attainable, let your numbers describe the process, not the outcome. Instead of saying “I want to be skinnier”, say you want to do 20 squats every day before breakfast and skip your dinner twice a week. Talk about what you want to do, not what you want to be.
4. Learn from Your Failures
Let’s face it: if something didn’t work for you for the last 20 times, an attempt #21 is doomed for failure. Look back at the failed attempts in your past and reflect on the lessons they hold. Were your goals too ambitious, your expectations too high, your rewards too low, your list of resolutions longer than your holiday shopping list?
What went wrong? What’s your plan to prevent it from happening again?
5. Make a 21-day Game Plan
Ever heard that it takes twenty-one days to form a new habit? The validity of that exact number is actually questioned by many. According to the latest update on the “magic number”, it might as well be sixty-six, and we still don’t even know that for sure (different people, different goals, different results). However:
The clear benefit of the 21-day rule is that you can do anything for 21 days. It’s not a scary commitment to make, and we already talked about the importance of goals that are doable.
Pick one habit, stick with it for 21 days, pick the next one, repeat. Doing it one habit at a time gives you an excellent chance to stay in the loop.
Be patient and see your new daily habit become a consistent part of your life.
Here’s to your healthier 2018!