It's 2020. The beginning of a new year and new decade. You've set yourself up with personal resolutions, or maybe you've been planning to.
At the start of every year, we tend to see a fresh start in front of us with hope and optimism. We set resolutions in place to promise ourselves a newer, improved version of ourselves. But what also tends to happen is we end up letting go of those expectations after January. After we fail to take the necessary steps towards our goals, and we slip back into old habits, we abandon them one after another until we find ourselves giving up on our resolutions altogether.
If you’ve struggled to stay on track of resolutions in the past, here are 5 tips for sticking to New Year's resolutions, and actually achieving them.
Focus on progress and break down your goals into small steps
Sometimes it’s not a lack of motivation that results in failing to achieve our goals but the lack of clarity. It could be that you’re set on a big goal but you’re not clear on the where and how to start. It's human nature to want immediate results without actually committing to the necessary steps and changes to our lifestyle and habits. A big goal without clarity and focus can then start to feel too overwhelming, so we give up before we've even started.
Break down your goals into small tasks. Make daily, weekly, and monthly intentions. Focus on small commitments that you can stick to, and increase them gradually over time. Instead of eating out three times a week, cut it down to twice a week until you allow yourself to only eat out once a week.
Stop setting yourself up for failure
Create resolutions that are doable and attainable for you. Many people make their New Year’s resolutions too difficult and challenging, increasing stress and decreasing the likelihood of sticking to them long-term. Setting up your environment for success and having a positive mindset is also important.
If one of your resolutions is to be healthier and make time for more self-care this year, you could start by cleaning out the processed food in your pantry, spending time with people who have healthier habits, or starting simple self-care routines like enjoying a cup of tea while taking a one hour digital detox at the end of each day. Instead of attempting a 30 minute meditation on your own, you could commit to a 5 minute guided meditation instead.
Create a vision board
Create an inspiring vision board or a list of your goals and dreams on a blank piece of paper. Place it somewhere you can see every day to inspire and motivate you. If your goals are too personal, you can keep them in your journal to reflect on every morning or night. Read your goals and intentions aloud each day, track your progress, and regularly remind yourself why you set your resolutions in the first place.
Find your accountability partner
Goals are easier and more enjoyable to achieve when you have an accountability partner to share the journey with. It could be your partner, your best friend, your sister, or your coworker. This person can help you track your progress, be your workout partner, or remind you when you’re slipping back into old habits.
Don’t limit yourself to a deadline
Become better at being kind to yourself and forgive yourself for the days you slip up or feel you've had a lack of progress. In fact, the most important thing is to keep your intentions and the reasons behind your goals and resolutions close to you. Whether you achieve your resolutions this year or not, long-term commitment and progress is more important than achieving them by a certain date.