We all know the feeling-- you set a goal for yourself for the coming new year, and you are so excited to make positive improvements for your life. "New Year new me!" says you and about half of the people living in America. Nothing is as exciting as a fresh start. And then a couple of weeks go by, and the new year feels like just the same old boring routine, and you have already given up on your resolution to eat better, or exercise more, or to not text back that one guy that you know you shouldn't be talking to (yeah, you know the one).
We all know New Year's Resolutions are hard to keep, and that keeps many people from even making them in the first place. According to Statistic Brain, 41% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions, and only about 9% are successful. 17% of Americans infrequently make resolutions, and 42% absolutely never make them.
So what can you do to be a part of that 9% of Americans that actually see success with their resolutions? Well, here are some tips.
Don't make your resolution too big.
There's nothing wrong with aiming high and shooting for the stars, trust me. However, if you want to tackle a big goal, it is best to break that goal down into smaller, more attainable goals. This way, you have something new to work towards each week (or month) and don't feel overwhelmed by something that feels impossible. Setting a goal that is too big and not giving yourself a plan to get there will leave you feeling defeated and discouraged.
Instead of setting an ambiguous goal like, "I want to read more." Try something like "I want to read 20 books by the end of 2018." A specific goal helps you know if you are on the right track or not.
Don't make too many resolutions.
Make one to three resolutions that you are really passionate about and focus on those, preferably with one "bigger one" that will be your main focus and other smaller goals (like to stop chewing your nails).
If you are a C or D student, your goal probably shouldn't be to get a 4.0 next semester. Instead, maybe your goal could be to get all B's, or get an A in one class.
Do your research.
Say your goal is to eat less meat in 2018 (yay, amazing!). Well, you should open up google and hit the library. Learn about protein, look up recipes, and understand macronutrients. This goes for any goal-- knowledge is your tool to success.
Work it into your schedule.
You are more likely to be successful at achieving your goals if you make new routines and habits. This involves sitting down at first and figuring out a time of day each day of the week to work towards your goal. Maybe your goal is to be less stressed, so you set aside 5 minutes in between classes to find a quiet spot and meditate. Write it down! Make it as non-negotiable as a doctor's appointment or work schedule.
Make sure you are highly motivated to achieve this goal.
If you are just making this a resolution because its a popular one, or your friends or doing it, or your mom said so, you probably won't be as motivated to succeed. Make it personal! This gives you every reason to stick to your resolutions.
Track your progress!
This one is super important in terms of staying with your goal. Your resolution will begin to lose its sparkle after a while. That being said, you have to remind yourself WHY you're doing it, and the results you are beginning to see. One of my favorite ways to do this with my fitness goals is with progress photos (weight can be discouraging, and muscles weigh more than fat, duh!).
Envision your goal.
One great way to do this is by creating a vision board. This can be inspiring quotes, what you envision life will be like when your goal is achieved, and the reasons why you're doing this. You can add things to the board as your goals evolve and change. Blogs, Pinterest, and backgrounds on your computer and phone are other examples. Envisioning makes your goal more tangible and keeps the excitement.
Join communities for people with similar goals.
There are so many online communities for all different types of goals. Talk to other people who have similar goals as you-- this can be nice when you hit a tough patch. You can talk about your successes, and gain insights on how to overcome specific obstacles. Follow social media pages that fall in line with your objectives too.
Tell your friends and family about your resolution, and find someone that you know will be supportive and encouraging, but also will keep you on track. This person should be someone who won't judge you, and who you can be vulnerable to, but also someone who you know will hold you accountable.
Know it's okay to mess up sometimes.
I don't know about you, but the hardest time to stick to my goals is when I make a mistake. Just remember, that you are human and everyone slips up! So if you messed up and texted that guy that you resolved to not ever text in 2018 because you had one too many at Sigma Apple Pie, don't give up! Just pick yourself up, feel bad for yourself for a moment, and then put your big girl/boy pants on and get back to it.
Reward yourself for progress.
This is one of the most fun parts... You put the work in, don't forget the reward! Pick something that is special for you, and reserve it for when you have successes in your progress. Say your goal is to put away a certain amount of money into your savings in 2018, and one month you contribute a good chunk of change. Don't blow all your progress by spending all that hard earned cash, but take a bit and buy yourself something nice or go out for drinks with your friends.
So there you have it! Hopefully this brings you closer to achieving your goals and resolutions this new year. Good luck and Happy New Year!