For many people, there is an annual tradition of making New Year goals, only to break them a few days, weeks, or months, later. Stop the insanity! If you truly want your resolutions to “stick”, whether you are resolving to live healthier, save money, or move up the corporate ladder, a little planning can help ensure better odds of success.
Here are some tips:
1. Don’t go for “lofty” goals
Setting unattainable goals is one sure fire way of ensuring failure. Discouragement is common, because the goal post looks so far away, and slow progress and setbacks make it seem impossible to ever get there. If you think of change as a series of increasing goals, you can gain momentum and motivation by successfully reaching smaller goals.
2. Make plans
Plan ahead so you are ready to start working toward your goals on January 1. There may be some steps you need to take in advance, such as getting a health assessment or meeting with a nutritionist, so you know where you need to start. Do your research, collect recipes, and have a work-out plan ready to go.
3. Anticipate challenges
As you are doing your pre-planning, you should also anticipate the challenges you may face, and build in plans for how you will overcome obstacles. How will you avoid temptation when faced with breakroom bagels or the smell of java from the corner cafe? when the desire for a cigarette hits you at 10pm? If you decide in advance some techniques you can use to conquer temptation, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
4. Write it down
Writing goals down make them more “real”. It’s no longer in your head, but right there in black and white. For added motivation, post your goals on the refrigerator door or hang it up in your office – some place where you’ll see it every day and be reminded. Include a list of pro/cons with your goals, so you can also see the trade-offs. What are you giving up versus what you’ll gain?
5. Don’t Keep it Inside
One of the keys to success is having a good support system. If you keep your goals to yourself, then your friends and family cannot help you along the way.
6. Reward Yourself
While achieving your goal is the ultimate reward, it can do a lot for your motivation if you can look forward to little treats or rewards along the way. A shopping trip, some new workout clothes, or movie with friend can be a great motivator.
7. Track your progress
Another way to motivate yourself is to see where you are in relation to where you’ve been. Having a record of your successes and all the hard work you have put in will help you stay motivated. In addition, tracking your progress may help you notice things that will help you improve – like when you’ve hit a workout plateau and need a change, or if certain foods affect your mood or energy levels.
8. Don’t sweat mistakes
Beating yourself when you have a set back lowers your motivation. Mistakes happen. Just be prepared for it. If you have planned for how you will deal with temptation and challenges (Step 2), then you can easily get back on track. Make adjustments when necessary. But cut yourself some slack.
9. Don’t expect immediate results
It takes time to cement new habits and for lifestyle changes to become part of your normal routine. Experts say it takes up to 21 days for new habits. It can take up to six months for the changes to feel natural. Just be patient.
10. It’s OK to reset
Resolutions aren’t just for New Year’s day. You can start or restart a resolution at any time of year. For some resolutions, such as quitting smoking, you may need to re-commit yourself every single day. So, if you find that by mid-February you are losing focus your excitement is flagging, you can start over. Just don’t give up. Take it day by day if you have to.
Best of luck to you and Happy New Year! Whether you are buying or selling in Fountain Hills, Susan Pellegrini and Karen DeGeorge are ready to put their care and expertise to work for you. Buying or selling, our first-class service comes with a wealth of experience and eye for detail, ready to focus on you. Visit our website to learn more and contact us or give us a call at (480)- 315-1575, we’re here for you.