It’s the last week of the year and apart from eating, drinking and looking forward to new years eve, the big issue on everyone’s mind is New Years Resolutions. Most of us come to the conclusion that after a few weeks holiday of binging and gluttony, January is an opportunity for a fresh start.
Unfortunately for most of us, our big plans for change in the new year tend to fade out and fail even before the end of the first month. Most of us fall victim to wanting drastic changes in both our personal and professional lives, then get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of habits we’re trying to change and inevitably fail.
We’re all capable of change, but too often try to do too much, too fast. In this post, we’ll explore how you can develop realistic goals and stay on track to New Year’s resolution success beyond January 31st.
For a lot of us, our resolutions fall into two or three similar themes
The problem with choosing something along these lines is that these goals are not fixed, concrete or particularly measurable and too easy to fail. The reason these goals are easy to fail is because they’re too drastic and have nothing, in the end, to prove whether or not you managed the goal. Essentially, the more ambiguous the goal, the less likely you are to achieve it.
However, there is nothing wrong with having an ‘ultimate’ goal. You may say to your friends that you’re going to get a promotion, but you need to plan out the appropriate steps to get there with a series of mini-goals. For example, you may plan to pick up another skill to improve your CV by February or make efforts to find a professional mentor by March. These are much smaller, much more manageable goals that will, if nothing else, give you a great sense of achievement and will build into the ‘ultimate’ goal of landing that promotion.
The idea of developing mini-goals is nothing revolutionary. We as humans have a few things in common. We overestimate what we’re capable of and we get pleasure out of a sense of achievement. So by breaking these ‘ultimate’ goals down, we become far more likely to develop long-term habits that actually help us achieve our New Years resolutions.
Like we enjoy achievement, we all love consistency, it makes us comfortable and is why we all develop habits in our day-to-day lives. It’s easy to track progress. If it’s something like improving your finances, you can set goals and trackers within most modern banking apps. Or to keep it even more simple, you could direct debit £20 in your savings every month when you get paid. This way you know that you’re keeping a streak and being consistent towards achieving your New Years resolution.
Alternatively, get yourself a calendar, write your resolution on the front of it and every day you are successful, mark that day with a big red ‘X’. The longer that streak of crosses gets the less likely you’ll be to break it. Do you want to improve your fitness? Every day you manage 20 push ups, mark it with a cross. Imagine the satisfaction of starting every day in 2017 with a little but of self-accomplishment.
We’re blessed to live in the app generation, where no matter what our interest or our goal, there’s an app for that! Want to improve your mental health and delve into the world of mindfulness? Try out the brilliant Headspace app. Want to develop new skills on the go? Get Coursera on your phone and take your personal development with you wherever you go. Want to get into running for fitness but don’t know where to start? Couch 2 5k is one of the most popular apps on the market for a reason.
Whatever app you choose to satisfy your goals, download it, put it on your home screen and set daily reminders either within the app or on your phone to make sure you spend at least 20 minutes a day using that app. After just 66 days, you can develop habits that last a lifetime. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a long time!
If you really want to make that change in your life, follow these three top tips and in no time at all you’ll be able to reflect on possibly the first time you genuinely stuck to and achieved a New Years resolution. Keep it realistic, measure your progress and make use of tech. 2017 could be your best year yet!
How have you found success in sticking to your New Years resolutions? Give us a tweet @Cute_Resource and let us know!