Struggling to Stick to your New Year's Resolutions? Read this.
We blinked, and now it’s February! We’re officially 2 months into this new year!
While this month usually marks the celebration of Valentine’s Day and Black History Month, it is also the month in which most New Year’s Resolutions fail!
According to US News, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February!
Yikes. That’s not cute.
It’s time we take charge of our goals and become more intentional in reaching them. What better time to start than now?
Here are a few tips I’ve found to be helpful in helping me stick with my goals more consistently.
Bring your vision to life!
Set yourself up for success by bringing your goals to life. You can do this by making a list on a sticky note or by putting images on a vision board. When you transfer your thoughts from your mind to a tangible medium like paper, you’re forced to clearly and explicitly identify what you want to accomplish. This allows you to hold yourself accountable
Make your goals specific and attainable.
You don’t just want to lose weight. You want to lose 20 lbs by June for your trip to Bali.
Being specific allows you to gauge just how close you are to your goal, how much progress you’ve made, and how much further you need to go.
Wherever you chose to write your goals, keep the list or vision board in plain sight as a daily, gentle reminder to keep pushing!
Make it easy
Another way to ensure that you meet your goals this year is to make it easy for yourself.
A study conducted by researchers from Cornell showed that apple sales in eight different elementary schools increased by 71% when apples were sold sliced instead of whole. The researchers hypothesized that serving apples in ready to eat slices made it more convenient and thus more likely for kids to buy and eat apples at school.
This concept is known to some as the “nudge” theory. The nudge theory suggests that individuals are more likely to change their behavior by tweaking their smaller behavioral patterns to favor their ultimate behavioral goal. In other words, the easier you make it to reach your goals, the more likely you are to reach them.
Struggling to get up early in the morning and hit the gym? Sleep in your gym clothes and pack your bag overnight, so all you have to do is wake up and head out the door.
Spending too much money during the week? Leave your credit card at home and only carry a set amount of cash for emergencies, so you have no choice but to refrain from spending money.
Want to eat healthier? Meal prep so that you have healthy cooked food on hand at a moment’s notice.
Want to spend less time on your phone before bed? Keep it in another room, so you physically have to get up out of your warm bed to get it.
Make reaching your goals easier, by adopting behaviors that favor the new habits you want to form. Identify the obstacles standing between you and your goals, then eliminate those obstacles.
Break your goal into smaller goals
Instead of overwhelming yourself with one large goal, break your goals into smaller goals that are easier to tackle. This concept goes hand in hand with the “nudge” theory.
Take these goals for example:
Goal #1: I want to lose 20 lbs.
I want to hit the gym 3x/ week
Goal #2: I want to save $2000 this year.
I want to set aside $200 every month for the next 10 months.
Goal #3: I want to keep up with my family and friends more.
I’m want to call my parents and two friends at least once a week .
Breaking your goals into smaller goals makes them feel less overwhelming and more attainable. Keep the bigger picture in mind, but start small to get the ball rolling.
Track your habits daily. Use a planner.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes we do everything right and make progress. Then one day we look up and realize that we’ve been slacking on our goals for 3 months! We get busy, forget and fall out of routine.
Happens to everyone.
You can avoid this by setting daily goals in a planner and by tracking you habits with a habit tracker.
Take a few moments at the beginning of the day to jot down a few goals in your planner or the Notes app on your phone. Use a habit tracker to monitor your progress.
I tend to use a planner for my day to day to do list.
I use a habit tracker to monitor the progress I’m making on habits I want to form over time. For me, some of these habits include: read a book, journal, workout, drink tea.
Each time you do one of these things check it off of your habit tracker. The cool thing about habit trackers is that it allows you to get a bird’s eye view of how you’re doing on your goals on a weekly to monthly basis. Seeing a snapshot of your progress will allow you to notice trends more quickly and keep you from falling off. I’ve included an example below. You can find tons of free habit trackers online.
You can also track your habits on your phone with apps like Momentum, Habatica, or Streaks, just to name a few.
Life is too short not to be serious about what we want. Set goals, and be intentional about meeting them! What’s on the other side will be so worth it! Keep pushing, and when you fail or fall off get up and try again tomorrow. You can do this!