If you are starting to lose interest or feeling yourself losing the motivation to stick to your New Year’s resolution, these helpful tips and tricks will show you how to keep your goals alive for longer.
This is the time of year that people make promises to themselves that they can’t keep and while the gym was full on January 1st, by now you are back to just seeing the regulars. It doesn’t matter whether they are personal or professional resolutions, with most of the population struggling to achieve their goals it can be a contender for the January blues.
According to recent statistics, resolutions are more common in the younger generation as over 40% of American people in their 20’s make resolutions compared to only 13% over 50. Yet, of these people, 42% said they never kept to their resolutions and this is partly because only 58% make it past the first month. With odds like this, if you’re struggling, you’re clearly not alone, New Year’s resolutions are notoriously flakey and in some cases turned into a bit of a joke, when was the last time you heard of someone actually sticking to theirs? A big reason for failure is that some will pick common goals but that they were never really serious about to begin with.
The other main reason for failure is the size of the goals, New Year’s Resolutions indicate that it is something to achieve throughout the whole year, that’s 12 months, which as eventprofs will know is a long time in the event industry and it’s even longer for your personal life. These types of goals don’t support success because you are expected to work hard for an uncharacteristic change with no real specifics or details and you may find that what you wanted at the beginning of the year is no longer what you want half way through.
To change this pattern and cycle, here are some useful tips that successful resolution keepers follow when trying to achieve their goals. Even if you have broken your resolution it isn’t too late to restart it, or to focus on achieving a goal that is important to you.
It’s All In The Details
Look at your resolution and make sure that you have filled it with specifics. Specificity can help you to measure your success, think properly about what you want and make sure the goal is tailored to your needs. 21.4% of people this year picked weight or health related goals, while 12.3% wanted to make life or self-improvements. What does that mean for you? How much weight do you want to lose or gain? How can you personally be healthy? For some, healthy means eating more fruit and vegetables while others it’s getting more protein or a lower fat diet, so get all the details down about what your resolution actually means to you and you will find it more relatable and beneficial further down the line.
Make a Plan
You’ve got your details, how are you going to achieve this? Make a plan or get a calendar so that you can schedule in relative activities such as workouts or opportunities. Making a plan forces you to think in depth about how to achieve the details you have laid out and makes you more likely to remember them. Writing everything down and putting the time commitment into a plan also makes you more likely to achieve your resolutions because you have thought it through completely without making hasty decisions.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Tell family and friends not only about your goal but about your plan, not only will this hold you accountable but can help to see potential problems from a new perspective and allow you to adjust accordingly. You may like to add the extra commitment of using social media to share your goals with your followers and this can also be an excellent platform to share progress as well, social media can provide you with a few extra cheerleaders and may even inspire others to stick to their goals so it’s win, win.
In the form of photos, written notes or drawings, visual cues can help us to remember what we are trying to achieve. If you have an eventprof goal in mind, add pictures or tips around your desk or on your screen so that they are a reminder what you are working towards. Personal health or weight goals can be helped with visual reminders near the fridge or kitchen where you are most likely to slip up. You could opt for photos of yourself or even someone you admire to remind you what you are working towards and having a visual aid in front of you makes it more real and roots the resolution in your life.
This seems pretty obvious, but most resolutions fail, not because we don’t want to achieve them anymore but because we convince ourselves it’s not worth the hard work. This can be fixed and is a simple lack of motivation. Try different techniques to find what suits you, such as audiobooks, quotes, success stories or even videos of someone who has achieved what you are aiming for. You can find motivation in different places and people so never stop looking for something to inspire you to continue.
If you have decided to tackle a larger, long-term resolution it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to achieve it, but you should to consider the effect of working towards it over a longer period of time. Set yourself smaller milestones of achievement to act as stepping stones to not only track your progress but motivate you. A milestone is simply a smaller goal that by achieving it, works towards the long-term, these can be invaluable when you are struggling to see some of the benefit of your hard work or for resolutions that take a while to notice.
Change Your New Year
Contrary to popular belief, you can make changes and set goals to better yourself throughout the year and for some people this can mean less pressure for some people. Don’t be afraid to start again, scrap your old goals and pick something different, it’s all about you anyway so don’t try to force things you don’t want if your perspective has changed just because you are restricted by the New Year Date, pick your own New Year and start from there.
Do It For Yourself
Your New Year’s resolution should be about you, what you want to achieve and how you want to progress and succeed. Although it is common to recruit partners to help motivate each other, you need to learn to be your own cheerleader so that you’re doing this for yourself and not someone else. Goals that include quitting smoking or those that have physical changes can be particularly mentally challenging and while a partner or friend can help you, they can’t say no for you when temptation comes knocking.
Give Relevant Rewards
There is no harm in rewarding your positive progress and this can help to keep you motivated and focused. The key is to make them both relevant but not a hindrance, for example, if you are looking to lose weight then usually you enjoy food so restricting yourself should be rewarded if you reach some of your milestones. However, rewarding yourself with unhealthy food creates a negative association with healthy food and links the unhealthy to a reward, while the healthy is restrictive, which is counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve! Instead opt for a reward that doesn’t relate to food but is still relevant, for example some new clothes that will also boost your motivation as you see how much better they fit.
Don’t Fall At The First Hurdle
A common mistake with resolutions is thinking that if you make a mistake or slip up, it means you haven’t achieved your goals. The opposite in fact is true, making a mistake is part of the learning process for anything from business to personal goals and not a single person will do everything perfectly the right time (it wouldn’t be a goal to achieve, it would just be your normal behaviour). The important part is to carry on and avoid giving up. Making a mistake early on doesn’t mean that you have failed, it simply means you are on the right track and that you should continue.
You don’t have to opt for long-term goals. Start with something smaller that works towards your future aims and see how you get on from there. Often larger resolutions don’t even get off the ground because they are too daunting and you may feel like they are unattainable, instead make a step in the right direction and choose a smaller short-term goal instead.
Make It A Habit
Regardless of what you are trying to achieve, find an activity that positively compliments your goal and repeat it until it forms a habit. For example, for eventprofs, if you are aiming to improve your productivity as a goal, make it a habit to get into the office 15 minutes earlier every day, it will allow you to get your procrastinating out of the way and start being productive at the right time. Although an early start isn’t exactly related to your goal, creating an extra 15 minutes per day gives you over 2 hours of extra time each week which compliments your goal and helps you to achieve it in a positive way.
New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be daunting, and you can be part of the 58% of people that succeed if you make a plan and stick to it. The key is to make it specific to you and your life and keep yourself motivated but the point is to never give up, it’s okay to make a mistake, but make sure failure isn’t an option.