Staying on Track with Your New Year’s Resolution
When a new year begins, new resolutions seem so fresh, shiny, and attainable. Then, just a few short weeks later—especially after the year 2020 brought us—we find ourselves sliding away from keeping those resolutions, or even completely stopped in our tracks. But don’t throw that resolution away because it’s not the end of the world! Now is the perfect time to get back on track with your New Year’s resolutions.
“Is this a resolution worth keeping?”
That’s the first question you should ask before jumping right back into it. There may be a good reason that you lost momentum in the first place. The first step is to ask yourself some probing questions to get to the bottom of why the resolution may have been so hard to keep in the first place. Perhaps it was too unattainable, and you need to scale it back. Maybe you’ve lost interest and a new resolution is in order. So, ask yourself…
- Is my resolution too involved to be done in the timeframe I’ve set?
- Are there smaller resolutions that I can start with to get me closer to my larger goal?
- Am I still interested in this resolution? Do my reasons for picking it still stand?
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Goals and resolutions often veer off track because we don’t set ourselves up for success. Most goals need a plan—even a small goal like a trip to the grocery store requires making a list, bringing along your reusable bags, and planning a route to the store. So, resolutions that we aim to keep for a longer period of time should definitely be set up with a plan. A S.M.A.R.T. goal has certain parameters that make it easier to achieve and to track your progress. These goals are:
If you need help preparing a S.M.A.R.T. Goal, check out this additional blog to get you started!
Employ the Buddy System
If you’re having a hard time remembering or getting motivated for your resolution, find an accountability buddy. Find someone to help you to stick to your goals—or someone who has the same goals as you—so you can keep each other motivated and keep your resolution on track.
Set Up Check-In Times and Rewards
Sticking to your goal or working towards it is a great reason to celebrate. It’s not just about the destination, but the journey that gets you there! Schedule regular times to check in with yourself or your accountability buddy and take a moment to recognize your progress, assess your next steps, and reward yourself for your hard work. This can be as simple as picking a day of the week to reflect on your progress, or you can set up calendar reminders with motivational quotes to keep your resolution energy high.
Prepare for Obstacles
Most resolutions are going to have their setbacks and obstacles. Rather than giving in to them or finding yourself surprised by them, simply map them out, study them, and create a plan for each one so you’re prepared when it strikes. For instance, if your goal is running three times a week and you haven’t run much in the past, you may want to plan for a week off or a week with only one running day to allow your body to adjust to a rigorous exercise schedule.
Often, we set resolutions to improve ourselves, and while these goals may be serious, we need to make sure there’s a little fun involved as well. Having a resolution feel like a job or schoolwork could make it seem less desirable and lead to fatigue, stress, and resolution failure. Get a pep talk from your accountability buddy, celebrate your wins (no matter how small), and remember: you made this resolution for a reason!