2020 is here and I am so excited to see what this year brings!! A lot of people like to make New Year’s resolutions this year but give up on them by February. I am totally guilty of this myself, but I have found a few tools that make it a lot easier to stick to my goals so I put together 3 of my most helpful tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions this year.
1.Make it S.M.A.R.T
If you haven’t heard of smart goals before, SMART is an acronym to help you remember the steps to setting an effective goal that you’ll actually be able to follow through on.
A specific goal is one that clear and straight forward. This includes making sure you know the who, what, when, where, and why of your goal. The more specific you can get the better.
It can be hard to think of a goal that include all of that right away, but that’s okay! Write down the first one that comes to your head and add, adjust and rearrange from there until you can perfectly pin point a goal that gets you excited to start working towards it.
You need to be able to know when you’ve reached your goal. Adding in numbers is a good way to do that. Say your goal was to save money. You’d want to take “I want to save more money” and turn it into “I want to save $2,000.” Already you have an end point to your goal. From there you can increase the value once you’ve reached it, or set a new one.
Once you’ve reached your goal you can either make a new one or build on it, which I’ll touch on more later. The satisfaction of actually accomplishing something that you challenged yourself to do can be great motivation to do it all over again.
You need to make sure you have the things needed to reach you goal at your disposal, or have a plan on how you can get them. You need to ask your self how far you are able to push your boundaries with this goal, because goals are all about growth, but make sure it’s not so far that you won’t be able to stick to it.
You don’t want to make your goal to read 300 books this year because unless you were reading about a book a day, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If you can read an entire novel every day and still have a life please share your secrets. Or witch craft.
This is also sometimes substituted for relevant, but the general question is this goal something that is reasonable for you. If your goal is to run a marathon in 6 month and you can barely run a mile, perhaps a half marathon or 10k would be a more realistic goal to set yourself up for success. Again, you can always build on your accomplishments!
Your goal needs to have an end time. Now that can be two weeks or two years, but you need to know that there’s an end. If you don’t have a time “limit” you open up a door for a never ending cycle of “I’ll do that tomorrow.” You can still do that even with a time limit but you’ll be more likely to feel like you’ve let yourself down when the deadline comes.
Always think about what little things you can do each day to work towards your goal. If you’re trying to run that half marathon but you’re really not feeling a run today, do some strength training or take a walk. If you’re trying to save up for a vacation, put that change from your coffee in your piggy bank until you can add more on payday.
2.Break it down
We all know the saying “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” That applies not only to Chipotle burritos, but your goals too. It’s great to have big goals and ambitions, but sometimes they can be really overwhelming. Breaking them up mini goals will help you tackle your big plan, and set up small milestones that you can use as markers for your progress.
A really good example of this is a big fitness goal. You can treat yourself to a new workout outfit or that expensive class that you’ve been wanting to try out when you reach one of your mini goals. In return, those rewards will help to motivate you to get started on the next mini goal. Once you break it up and reach your big goal by way of mini goals, you’ll realize it wasn’t as hard as you first thought it was going to be.
3. Write it down
Write down your goal. It will make it more concrete and permanent and hold yourself more accountable. If you write down your goal and come back and find it a few months later having not made any progress on it, you’re more likely to feel like you’ve let yourself down. Obviously you shouldn’t g o beating yourself up if you can’t reach your goal or it takes longer than planned, but you should be striving to do at least one little thing each day to work towards it even if there are some bumps in the road.
I like to write things down in multiple places to help me remember better. I write it in both my planners (yes I have two), on my phone either in the calendar app, reminders or notes and usually on a Post-it that I stick on my monitor. Seeing it multiple times a day in different places helps me not only to remember better but also more motivated to do it so I can check it off in a couple places.
There is no better feeling than look back at the year, or even a month, and seeing that you’ve accomplished so many of the things your set out to do a the beginning. It takes time, practice and discipline to get to where you want to be but I promise in the end it will all be worth it. Properly construing an effective goal, making it manageable and keeping yourself reliable are all tools that you can use to help set you up on the right path, but the hard work is all up to you!
If you have a great method that works for you that I didn’t mention above leave it below in a comment or shoot me an email, I’d love to hear what you have to say! If you think your friends or family could use some of the tips in this post make sure to hit the share button down below.