Setting goals and making resolutions can be a great source of motivation, but often by the time February arrives, our iron wills have slackened and we find ourselves on a slippery slope. According to Forbes, only around 8% of us follow through with our resolutions; 90% don’t make it past the second week of January.
The suggestions below will keep you on track year-round, and help you stay motivated as you work toward achieving your goals for 2017.
Setting Yourself up for Success: 6 Tools for Sticking to your Resolutions
- Choosing the Right Resolutions: Make resolutions that come from a place of positivity and self-love –- not self-loathing. For example, resolving to lose 30 pounds so you look less like the Michelin man may not be helpful or particularly encouraging. Instead, resolve to give your body the care it deserves because you love it (and not because you hate it). Set healthy, and positive goals that inspire and motivate you, and forget about those that make you feel small or inadequate.
- Don’t Overdo It: It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of a brand new year, and go a little overboard with our list of resolutions. While it’s tempting to go whole hog and craft a lengthy list of resolutions that will keep us busy from January until December, you’ll find more success by choosing a handful that really inspire you.
- Set Small, Achievable, and Measurable Goals: Setting small goals and celebrating these milestones can help you stay focused and on the path to success. If you’ve resolved to be more active, I wouldn’t recommend signing up for a marathon. Start small, and work your way up. Devote 30 minutes a day to being active. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. These small changes may not seem like much, but will create healthy habits that will keep you moving towards your goals.
- Create Visual Reminders: Making lasting changes is difficult, and we all have our moments of weakness. Setting up visual reminders in spaces where you know you’ll find temptation will help keep you on track. If your resolution is to spend less money, tape a sticky note in your wallet as a reminder. If your goal is to make healthier choices in the kitchen, leave a reminder for yourself on the fridge. Use your environment to set yourself up for success.
- Accountability Buddy: Recruit a friend or family member with similar goals to help keep you on track. A partner can offer an incredible amount of support and encouragement when your resolve is wavering, and will help keep you accountable for your progress (or lack thereof).
- Forgive Yourself for Slip-Ups: It’s nearly impossible to make it through the year without the occasional slip-up, and that is okay. When the inevitable happens, use the opportunity to refocus, rather than to beat yourself up for your shortcomings, and don’t let one small mistake interfere with your overall progress. Practice taking one day at a time, trust in the process, and the results will follow.