Written by Kristin Anchante, Project Manager
We tend to get that "New Year, New Me" mentality at the start of each year, and it quickly wanes by February, or if we're really lucky, March. Why is it so hard to stick to our goals?
Often we get excited by the idea of a fresh start or new year and decide to go big or go home. In December we make elaborate plans to lose 50 pounds, travel the globe, or pay off thousands in debt. Then reality sets in and we realize how overambitious we were. And instead of revising the goals, we quit altogether.
How to Stick with Your Goals This Year
If you want to stick with your goals, there are a few things you can do to help: start small, keep track, be consistent, and reward yourself.
Setting elaborate goals means setting yourself up for failure. The key is to start small or break big goals down into smaller tasks that you can easily achieve and check off your list. Instead of saying you want to lose 50 pounds right away, try setting a smaller goal, such as losing 5-10 pounds a month until you reach your goal. That's something you can easily track and measure, and it's much less intimidating. Keep it simple to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Monitor your goals in a timeframe that works for you - weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. You may want to plan out your steps in a calendar or track your progress in a journal. A simple Google search will yield many tools - planners, whiteboards, apps, etc. to keep track of any goal you might have. You may want to experiment with a few methods to see what works best for you.
Nothing happens overnight - or as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. Small steps repeated or compounded each day will lead up to big results. If you get off track or slip up one day, you'll have 364 more days to get it right. A lot can change in a month, let alone a year. To help yourself stay on task, think about where you want to be this time next year and work towards that.
A good way to stay motivated is to reward yourself when you achieve certain milestones. If your goal is to lose weight, you might want to gift yourself a new piece of clothing or exercise equipment when you meet your workout or weight loss goals each month. You'll give yourself something fun to look forward to and keep you inspired.
Keep in mind that none of us are perfect. It's easy to lose momentum if we're having a bad day, feeling under the weather, or facing a mountain of stress. But one not so good day doesn't have to completely derail your goals. Progress is progress - whether that's running a mile, taking a walk to the mailbox, or just putting on your shoes. So start the new year off right with a different outlook and take small steps that will lead to big results.
Wishing you much peace, light, health, and happiness in 2021!