It’s January, and that means that you’re probably a few days into your New Year’s resolutions! Millions of people each year set new goals for themselves, but many fail to realize them. We wanted to pull together some simple ways to help you stay on track and hold yourself accountable when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.
Hopefully, you can use them to help reach your goals!
1. Break your goals down into manageable steps
It’s important to push yourself to reach big goals. However, if your goals are too vague, you may have a hard time achieving them. For example, resolutions such as “learn a second language” or “get in better shape” sound nice, but in practice, they are not very actionable.
Breaking your goals into smaller, more manageable subgoals is a great way to keep yourself on track.
For example, instead of “get in better shape,” try setting specific goals like running ten miles per week, cooking more meals at home, or going to the gym every morning.
Instead of just setting the goal of learning a second language, make your resolution something like “spend 15 minutes every day studying a second language.” Picking up these types of habits will put you on the path of reaching your goals, instead of just letting them be a distant dream.
2. Keep a journal of your progress
Journaling is a great way to keep yourself accountable when it comes to resolutions! You will be more likely to stick to your goals if you keep detailed records of your progress.
For example, if your goal is to stick to a workout plan, writing down the dates and times that you go to the gym will encourage you to stay accountable and stick to the plan. The sense of accomplishment that comes with achieving your goals is a great feeling. It’s also nice to have a record of your progress so you can keep tabs on how far you’ve come!
While it’s hard to recognize in the moment, slow progress adds up to big changes over time. On days where you’re feeling unmotivated, it can be helpful to look at how far you’ve come.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail
Being bad at something is the first step to being great at something!
Sometimes, we scare ourselves into thinking that small failures are the be-all and end-all when it comes to our goals. Often times, we psych ourselves out of doing things we want to do for fear of looking foolish. However, most of the time, those fears are unfounded!
While it can be intimidating to start a new goal, we forget that most people have the same fears. It may be a little scary, for example, to walk into your first dance class, keep in mind that most people there will have that same fear.
We forget that most people are too busy worrying about their own problems to even notice us. Not to mention, the more seasoned veterans will probably remember their first day and will be excited to help the newcomers.
Even if your first day at the gym is a little intimidating, or maybe you feel a little awkward in a new social situation, the first step is the hardest. Your personal growth is what matters the most, so don’t be afraid to fail at first!
4. Reward yourself (the right way)
It’s important to celebrate personal victories! When you reach a goal, reward yourself! However, it’s important to reward yourself in a way that’s true to your goal.
If your goal is to eat healthily, don’t reward yourself with a giant bowl of ice cream! If your goal is to save more money, don’t reward yourself with a shopping spree! There are tons of ways to reward yourself in a way that aren’t counterproductive to your goals.
If you make it to the gym three times a week for the whole month, reward yourself with a movie night, or a nice hike somewhere scenic! If you stash 10% of your income in your savings account, reward yourself with a bubble bath and a good book! Putting a fun spin on rewarding yourself is a great way to keep your goals exciting.
5: Don’t get discouraged
While it’s easy to compare yourself to others and get down on yourself, it’s important to stay positive when it comes to your goals! Always remember that slow progress is better than no progress. Just because something is taking longer than expected doesn’t mean that you’re not doing a good job!
Often times, getting discouraged is the first step toward giving up completely. However, just because you slip up once or twice doesn’t mean that you need to give up!
We all have an occasional lazy day or cheat meal. Sometimes, all it takes is to catch a cold or have a bad day at work to throw off your goals for the week. That just means you have an opportunity to bounce back!
These are a few ways that you can stay on track with your New Year’s resolutions. By incorporating these methods into your routine, you can keep your progress going all year long.
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