This post is slightly delayed (hey, at least it’s still January!) because my blog was under maintenance for the past couple of weeks, but it’s back in full swing. I didn’t want to leave this post out because even if the hype of New Year’s has died down, your goals should still be intact. Here’s my tips to set New Years Resolutions, and actually follow through with them.
Keep it minimal
At the beginning of the year, everyone has these massive goals like learning a new language and finally playing an instrument and starting gym and-and-and… While it’s good to be ambitious, it’s not good to bite off more than you can chew. Goals should be limited to one per area of life (more on that below) and realistic enough to actually achieve before you throw in the towel.
There are 7 main areas in your life that constantly need attention; being able to give the right amount of attention to each area is basically perfect balance. Although it’s hard to achieve that, you should have a goal in each area that you’re aspiring to. The areas are as follows: Spiritual, Mental, Physical, Social, Career, Financial and Family. So something like learning a language and learning an instrument may be tugging at you too much mentally and you may not end up achieving either one of those goals.
Have a Game Plan
“I want to start gyming” is not a goal, it’s a statement with no value. “I will gym at 7 am every day, starting off with 40min a day and increasing my time by 5 minutes workout time every month, using the Women’s Health daily fitness guide, so I can have toned legs, abs and arms by June 2017” – now that’s a goal. It’s specific, it says exactly how you’re going to do it, what will be the outcome and when the deadline is. When your goals are this specific, it makes it easier to work towards every day.
Also worth noting: keep your goals positive. “I want to lose weight” feels so negative and demotivating, however changing it around to say “I want to increase my fitness level” is a lot better.
Write it down
Writing down goals helps you to be more specific and somehow makes it feel that much more real. If you have a goal in mind, it should be somewhere on paper. I’m a huge believer in vision boards to help you attain what you want, however, I don’t have the time (or energy) to look for pictures in magazines to cut out and paste onto an actual board. I use Pinterest (follow me if you don’t already!) for my vision board – I set it to a secret board and post daily affirmations, quotes that inspire me, places I want to travel to, etc on there. I try to make a point of viewing it and adding to it at least 3 times a week.
Divide and Conquer
Dream big, but remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Set mini goals that you can achieve daily to get yourself to the big goal; if your goal is to learn a new language and you’re attending a once a week class, you can still set a weekly To Do List with easy-to-do goals such as sign up for online tutorials, learn 5 new words a day, buy a book in the new language, find a friend in the area who you can speak the language to as practice; the opportunities are endless. In addition to this, set aside 15 minutes a day to dedicate towards this goal. Try and keep it around the same time every day (maybe the last 15 minutes of your lunch break). Believe me, those 15 minutes add up.
Use a reward system
I kept this one for last because it’s one not everyone will agree with, but it works for me. The reason not a lot of people like the reward system is because achieving the goal should be your reward, however, a little extra motivation never hurt. But a reward system needs to make sense and the rewards should only aid to getting to your goal, not hinder you from it or slow down the process. The reward for nailing that spinning class at the gym shouldn’t be a tub of chocolate ice cream, but rather you could treat yourself to a healthy lunch out with a friend instead of eating the leftovers from the night before, or maybe finally buying those cute gym tights you’ve been eying for a while.
How do you stay motivated for your goals?