The New Year is an exciting time to create goals in any area of life. It’s an
opportunity for reflection, gratitude, and the possibility of an even brighter year to
come. While resolutions are not an original concept, completing them appears to
be. A discouraging article from U.S. News stated that 80% of New Year’s
resolutions fail by mid-February (face-palm). This tells us that our hearts are in
the right place, but our follow-through seems to be lacking.
Setting a goal is just the beginning. In tandem with what you want to happen,
there must be a plan of action around how, why, and by when. Here are four
healthy strategies to keep you out of that 80% and into your best year yet!
1. Baby Steps
The New Year can present a newfound energy that often has us jumping into
large goals headfirst. We’re pumped, and our motivation tells us this time’s going
to be different. The problem with this approach is it launches one into ‘Black and
White World.’ You either do it perfectly or you’re a failure – no in-between.
Instead, break a goal into small actionable steps that allow you to build the
muscle necessary to accomplish it long-term. It’s important to remember that any
positive change we’d like to make isn’t just meant for the year the goal is set. The
hope is to be smoke-free, thirty pounds thinner, fluent in Spanish - long after that.
Start small and learn how to handle each day with grace.
Abandon the all or nothing mindset. Going cold turkey might make you
miserable, which could anchor the feeling of misery with quitting your vice. This
wouldn’t necessarily be true if you cut back little by little. And unfortunately when
we fail at something, it’s that much more discouraging to get back in the ring.
2. How Many and By When?
Specificity, specificity, specificity. Create goals that state exactly what your
change should look like. Let’s say you want to give up diet soda…
Poor Goal Example: I’d like to be healthier.
Specific Goal Example: I’d like to quit diet soda.
Then state a timeline, or you could be “wishing” for all of 2018.
“By when” Example:
For the first week I will allow myself to have one soda per day.
The second week I will have one soda every other day.
The 3rd week…
The 4 th week…
I will be soda-free by (INSERT DATE)
Clarity is key.
3. Ditch Some Goals
Doesn’t sound very motivational? Hear me out. Last year I made a resolution to
run a marathon - it sounds cool and I wanted one of those metals. Soon after
making that goal I ran my first 5K and had a realization: a marathon sounds
miserable. Mad respect to the runners out there, but it isn’t for me.
I was at a crossroads… continue torturing myself for something I don’t care
about, or let myself off the hook. After feeling like a failure for a few months, I
decided the goal should be dropped. Sticking with it would have taken space and
energy away from other goals – ones that really mattered to me.
Change is difficult and we only have so much willpower, motivation, and time. I’m
an active person and a marathon wasn’t necessary for my health. I took up Krav
Maga instead and love it. Let’s make goals count with the things in life that
matter. Gear up for challenges you believe in and let the rest be a hobby.
Speaking of believing in goals…
4. Have a Strong ‘Why’
Know why you’re making changes and write them down. Goals won’t be
achieved long-term if we don’t have a strong purpose. Most goals we set will, in
some way, make us uncomfortable. We’re creatures of habit who love staying in
our comfort zone. A strong ‘why’ provides fuel where motivation can’t be found.
Use strong visuals, stories, or letters to yourself as reminders of the core reason
you’re incorporating change. For example: one more cigarette might not seem
like a big deal. But if you see a visual of someone affected by smoking, or read a
letter that reminds you that one more cigarette is how you became addicted -
you’ll likely feel more motivated to stay strong.
Stay hungry for change and you can’t fail. The biggest shifts are often the
hardest but they’re well worth the effort – especially when your health is
concerned. Truly’s Natural Products was built upon a strong ‘why.’ Learn more
about this family business and why it came to be!