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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Making Resolutions Stick

I love Januarys as it always seems full of promise and everyone is on a mission to improve themselves and improve their lives. However, I have recently come to find a lot of people do not think New Year’s resolutions are realistic. I totally disagree. I think New Year’s resolutions are more realistic than making resolutions in the middle of the year when life is in full swing. 

1. Be realistic 
Have goals. By all means, have big goals. But just be realistic about it. If you want to be a best-selling author for instance, start out by writing short stories, then write short novellas and then start writing that book. You can’t write a whole book in one day; so give yourself some time and be patient with yourself. In a day, just write a few paragraphs, maybe a few pages even and if you’re feeling really inspired write a chapter. Take baby steps so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. That way your projects are less likely to get ditched.

2. Remember it’s all a process 
Rome was not built in a day. You won’t write that book in a day. And unfortunately, you won’t be ripped in a day either. But that’s okay. The secret is to remember it’s a process and your goal should be on the process rather than the end goal. So, don’t think about looking good in a bikini this summer. Instead focus on eating right and going to the gym regularly. Focusing too much on the end goal can be exhausting. Also you end up thinking you have more time than you really do to achieve your goal- this could lead to procrastination. So, take it one day at a time.

3. Schedule it 
One sure fire way to achieve your goals is to schedule it into your planner/diary/agenda/ Filofax/phone. Once you have time allocated to your call, it becomes a lot easier to use that time and focus on the goal.

4. Leave room for error 
It is okay to slip up and have a chocolate or two. Don’t beat yourself up over small things; forgive yourself and move on. A slip up does not and should not mean that you quit on your goals altogether. You’re trying to establish a new habit in your life and it’s okay to mess up sometimes. 

5. Keep track of your progress 
Even the smallest action towards your goals counts as progress. Take note of what you have done towards your goal and how much time you’ve dedicated towards it each day. Not only will it make you see your actual progress but you can also use this as a motivational tool whenever you start to feel overwhelmed and lethargic about your goals.

6. Stay positive 
Nothing is more draining than a negative can’t do attitude. Whenever you feel overwhelmed and like you cannot do it, remember you can. Write positive affirmations down when you’re in an upbeat mood and look at them when you start to doubt your abilities. There is nothing you can’t achieve and having the right positive can do attitude will help you get there faster.

7. Complete tasks 
You will struggle to achieve your goals if you don’t see things through. Break your goal down to bite size doable tasks and make sure you do them before moving onto harder, challenging tasks that are in line with your goals. 

8. Keep things interesting  
To avoid things becoming boring for you, make sure that tasks you do are challenging and yet are within your capabilities. Anything that is too easy can quickly become boring. Anything that is too difficult can be overwhelming and you can become quickly drained. Find the right balance so you are constantly challenging yourself. This is a great way to improve your skills in anything you have chosen to focus on. 

9. Look for alternative solutions 
If you are struggling to stick to your resolutions because they are starting to bore you, you might need to change things up and perhaps look for alternative solutions. For instance, if your resolution is to get healthy but you are bored of the gym, then why not take up swimming or cycling or dancing? The possibilities are endless. Don’t just stick to one thing. Vary it up and enjoy all the options out there. 

10. Reward yourself 
If you’ve been good to yourself and have been working hard on your goals, then you should give yourself some treats. It could be something as small as buying a coffee from Starbucks to something as lavish as buying a designer handbag. Reward yourself when you feel you’ve done good or when you have reached certain milestones. Don’t just wait for the end goal to treat yourself. Reward yourself as you hit the small targets you set for yourself.

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