As January gets underway, many of us are refocusing on our goals and setting up resolutions. Unfortunately, according to Statistic Brain, only about 9.2% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
Even if you start out strong, it’s common to lose motivation after a few months. If you truly want to make a lasting change and stick to your goals, here are a few tips you can use to set yourself up for success.
- Start SMART
SMART goals are a project management tool that helps keep goals attainable. Each letter in the acronym provides a guideline that your personal goals should follow in order to create objectives you’ll be better able to stick to long-term. Your resolutions should be:
For example, while getting healthier is an admirable goal, there’s no action items or end-goal to help you measure your success. Instead, your New Year’s resolution can be to eat at least two cups of vegetables per day every day of the year.
This goal is specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. You can easily set up a section on your planner to track progress and celebrate milestones.
BONUS: Identify the greater purpose of these goals. What will happen once you achieve them? How will your life be better? Don’t let the goal drive you, let yourself strive for the bigger picture.
- Road Blocks
While mapping out your goal, anticipate obstacles and form a game plan.
For example, do you foresee your summer vacation being an obstacle during your new diet? Try making some changes to your meal plan during vacation to make it easier to stick to. Alternatively, you can allow yourself to enjoy all kinds of meals during your break, but set up your pantry and kitchen so that you have no excuses when you return.
Another way to tackle road blocks is to create accountability. Reach out to friends and family if you feel you may need their support. When others are aware of your goals, you’re more likely to stick to them.
- One Day at a Time
Small, daily accomplishments add up to BIG results. Even when you have a bad day, don’t lose sight of your big picture goal. Even if you stumble, don’t give up.
Break down your resolution into small and manageable actions. There are many ways you can track your progress. For example, add checkboxes to your calendar where you can track how many days you reach your 2-cup vegetable goal. Similarly, you can download a habit-tracking app to manage goals on your phone.
You can set regular calendar reminders to check in on your resolutions. Daily or weekly reminders will help you remember your goals.
Remember that you can make this your year. You have the power to turn your resolutions into habits. When you set sustainable goals, hold yourself accountable, and take it day by day, you can do anything.