As we get ready to bid farewell to this crazy rollercoaster of a year we call 2020 (finally!), it’s around this time most people start thinking about what they want to achieve in the next year aka start making their New Year Resolutions.
We’ve all heard the usual well-intended promises before, “I’m going to get in shape!” or “I’m going to save more money”. Heck, we’ve probably even made them ourselves. *Raises hand* But we all know that, more likely than not, the motivation will wear off after a few weeks and you’ll have officially fallen off the bandwagon by February. After all, there’s always next year right?
Enough of that! If you want to beat the curse of the New Year resolution once and for all, you need a plan of attack.
That’s why we’re sharing our top tips guaranteed to improve your chances of sticking with, and achieving, your goals. The best part is, our list doesn’t just apply to 2021, but for the rest of your life too!
Let’s do this!
1. Think about what didn’t work in the past
While there’s no point in beating yourself up about not achieving past New Year’s resolutions, it is worth thinking about what went wrong. Maybe your goal wasn’t specific enough which made it harder to follow through, or perhaps you let fear get in the way.
Being honest with yourself about what held you back in previous years is difficult, but can help you understand what needs to change in order to successfully moving forward.
2. Make SMART goals
It’s good to dream big, but it’s also important to think SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound)! Giving yourself a big, bold New Year’s resolution can be pretty intimidating, so be careful not to set yourself up for disappointment and instead, break it up into smaller, more easily attainable goals.
To better explain this, let’s say that your aim is to save money. Rather than making a vague statement about having more money in your savings account, a good goal would be “having saved $5000 by April”.
Making goals that are more achievable and sustainable is a better way to set you up for success and also increases the likelihood you’ll stick to it long-term!
If you need help thinking of SMART goals, it could help to ask yourself the following:
- What do I actually want?
- What might prevent me from achieving this?
- How will I go about achieving it?
- What does success look like?
- How long will I give myself to achieve it?
3. Lay down the groundwork
As the saying goes – “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”.
Putting yourself out there to accomplish something requires a bit of forward planning, whether you need to learn a new skill, creating a tracking system to make sure you are on target with tasks or milestones, or even getting an accountability partner who can guide you and motivate you to stay on track.
Start by writing down your goal and why it’s important to you. The physical act of writing it down will make it feel more tangible, which means you’re much less likely to forget about it or brush it off.
The goal should then be displayed somewhere you’ll see every day, such as on your computer monitor, on the back of the bathroom door, or on the refrigerator door to act as a constant reminder. It sounds insignificant but you’d be surprised at how much it helps!
4. Shift your mindset
It’s so easy to view challenges or failures as a sign that you should give up, but imagine if Edison gave up after his first or even 900thtry when inventing the lightbulb! Some of the most successful people in the world will tell you that tenacity is key because no one succeeds on their first try.
Instead, reframe setbacks into something you can learn from and get one step closer to success!
5. Be patient
Lastly, remember it takes time and commitment to achieve your final objective, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t manage to make a huge difference right away.
For example, if your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, you need to define exactly what that would include but also plan out how you would slowly make lifestyle changes so it’s sustainable for you but still helps you move towards your end goal.
Maybe your action plan includes drinking eight cups of water per day, eating more vegetables, quitting smoking and doing more exercise. Now imagine if you had to make all of those changes at once. Not only would you be miserable, it would be super difficult to maintain, and would most likely result in you resorting back to your old lifestyle.
On the other hand, if you made those changes one at a time, you’ll find it far easier and will be more likely to stick with a few healthier habits long-term.
At the end of the day, as long as you keep putting the effort in and regularly set aside time to review your progress, you’ll get there in the end!
Do you have any tips to add to our list? Let us know! Just email the BOOQED team at firstname.lastname@example.org!