Although many of us start the New Year full of hope and excitement for making things happen, many of us quickly give up on our goals and wait until the following year to even think about them again. But we set resolutions for a reason: we hope they can improve our lives somehow. So if you want to set goals you can keep this year, here are three tips to help you make it happen.
1) Set Realistic Goals That You Really Can Keep
The start is with your goals. Are they realistic? Are they something that you can see yourself achieving in the coming year? By all means, push yourself with your goals, but do it within the limits of what’s possible! Planning to work out for 2 hours every day isn’t realistic for most people, nor is it realistic to think that you’ll cut out all sweet food entirely if you like your sweet treats.
It’s also essential to ensure you try only a few things simultaneously. First, plan to improve your guitar playing skills, get healthier, and learn a new language, but try focusing on just one goal. Once you’ve made the first goal a habit or reached the milestone you were aiming for, you can move on to the second.
2) Understand The Way You Feel
Although not all our New Year’s resolutions are about giving something up, understanding how you feel about things like overeating, or other habits you may have, is crucial to seeing your goal through to the end. For example, if you’re trying to give up drinking or a specific type of food, understand that cravings come and go like waves, and do the best you can to learn what triggers your wishes to avoid them.
The same goes for things like exercise. Think about how you feel when you can’t be bothered to exercise, and put it off until tomorrow – you probably feel like you let yourself down. But when you do exercise, not only are you happy that you’re meeting your goal, but you may even get a rush of those endorphins!
3) Reward Yourself, Don’t Punish Yourself
We work better towards certain rewards rather than avoiding punishments. So decide on some ways to reward yourself for completing goals. For example, instead of criticizing yourself and feeling guilty for not doing something, think of how you’ll feel and what you’ll do when you do something you want to do. For example, pick milestones relating to your goals, such as one month without a drink or five days of exercising every day, and give yourself something nice as a reward (a new CD, a nice meal, etc.) Rewards are far better motivators than fear!