We all know the drill a little too well. It’s January 1st and we set our New Year’s Resolutions. We head to the gym and we have to wait to get on a treadmill because the room is packed with people doing the same. We are motivated, dedicated and hopeful. Day 1: KILLED IT! Drank water, ate veggies, got that workout in. Day 2: Rinse and Repeat. Day 3: We are tired, another 30 min in bed won’t kill us. Now it’s Day 20 and we are right back where we started. Regardless what the resolution involves, they are often forgotten in a short period of time. Was it even worth it to try in the first place?
Making consistent, lasting change is not a simple task. Doing small things over time, staying consistent and being accountable are great ways to make changes in your lifestyle, whether it be eat better, exercise, work more/less, sleep, start a new recreational activity, etc. Changing your mindset can set you up for success. Start by being positive. Use affirmations. Tell yourself it can be done. Positive thinking is one way to set yourself up to achieve more. Next, instead of a resolution (a "I have to" or a "I should), consider setting a goal (in X amount of time I will accomplish Y). The goal can be short term (1-3 months) and updated each quarter so that over a year the payoff is much greater than starting strong and fading out quickly. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound. This is what is known as SMART Goals. Write the goal down. Place it where you can look it frequently: tape it to the wall, make it the lock screen on the phone or the laptop screensaver, create a goal tracker. If you like to search Pinterest, here are several examples.
Do one thing each day to work toward that goal. Small actions over time lead up to big changes in the long run. Once a week, journal what you have done to reach your goal (it does not have to be fancy since only you are reading it!) It is about accountability, even to yourself. Or, find a friend who may also be working toward a goal - same or different from you. Make a plan to check in with each other through phone, text, or whatever works for you. Even if the goals are very different this can serve as a great way to stick to the plan. Accountability is a great tool to keep you on track.
Each month, go back and read where you were, where you are and where you want to be. Acknowledge the progress; it’s not just about getting to the end but the journey is equally important. When the smaller goal has been met, set a new one. In the end you will be surprised how much easier it is to stay consistent and accomplish more!
Good luck achieving your goals this year!