We are more than 2 weeks into 2014! How many of you are still keeping your resolutions—and how many of you have already abandoned them?
Resolutions are tricky. Despite initial motivation it is easy to get lost and off track.
I am a big believer in setting goals for myself— not just at the start of the new year—but all the time. This process has taught me some tricks to keeping these resolutions that I hope you will be able to apply to your own 2014 resolutions.
How to stick to your resolutions:
1. Be Specific. One of the main reason people abandon resolutions is because the original resolution lacks specificity. A resolution of “get healthy” is ambiguous- does it refer to diet? Exercise? Mental Health? Consequently it is difficult to know how to go after your goal, asses progress and ultimately know when you’ve achieved it. A more successful resolution is something quantifiable such as “follow a strict paleo diet.”
2. Dream Big. Sometimes when we set resolutions we are so worried about breaking them that we don’t go for real change in our lives. A resolution that doesn’t take you outside your comfort zone won’t inspire a proactive response. After all we are creatures of habit. However, if you set a goal outside of what you know the adrenaline that starts pumping when you think about it has the capacity to push you further in achieving it.
3. Plan Your Attack. Often (especially when dreaming big!) resolutions seem daunting. What are the first 3-5 small steps you can take in pursuit of it? And I really mean small. If your resolution is to get a six pack (of abs, not beer) your steps could be 1) research top ab exercise videos 2) create a workout schedule for the week 3) replace all sugary beverages with water. Be sure to write down the first few steps. (Personal tip: I usually only need 3 steps to get me going, but if I get lost or off track going back to writing down the next few steps helps me refocus)
4. Attack. Seriously right now. Go do number one. I’ll wait. Done? Excellent. Now cross it off your list. The goal is to check off the next step on your list every day before lunch. Don’t let the day’s emergencies/issue/etc. get in the way—because given a cm (I live in Singapore—we use the metric system) they will. And beyond that getting even step one completed gives you a sense of accomplishment that will carry you onto day two. (Personal tip: Using 3 and 4 on this list I have already made major strides in my 2014 goals).
5. Be Accountable. Whether it is to yourself or to a group, accountability is crucial in keeping goals (that’s another reason why number 3 is so helpful—writing down the goal and steps makes it more real). Share your resolutions with a trusted confidant or simply write them out and hang them somewhere you will see them every day. I have a remind set in my phone that asks me twice a day if I have accomplished my goals for the day. I can’t tell you how many times that reminder has gotten me off Facebook and onto my Attack list.
What are your keys to keeping your resolutions? I’d love to hear how you are proceeding with them thus far this year!