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2019 is just around the corner. For most people, this means setting new goals. Unfortunately, sometimes those goals are tough to stick to. Whether you’re a new year’s resolution person or not, we can all use some help sticking with our goals.
According to ABC News, the top resolutions of 2019 include losing weight, exercising more, saving money, traveling more, and making new friends. While these resolutions are great, why aren’t they sticking? We’ve got some tips to keep turn those resolutions into results.
1. Remember to keep your resolutions SMART. I’m sure you’ve heard this tip a thousand times, but it truly works. Be sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Basically, get a specific goal in mind and set parameters around reaching that goal. For example, instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight this year,” try, “I’m going to lose 15 pounds by December 2019.” This gives you a specific goal, a time frame, and a way to measure success.
2. Start Small. It will be easier to stick with if you start smaller and work your way up to a bigger goal. If your goal is to exercise more, but you currently hit the gym once a week, do not make your goal to hit the gym seven days a week. That’s a huge jump! Start small with 2-3 days a week. Once that becomes second nature, move up to 4-5 days and so on. By moving slowly, the resolution becomes a part of your daily life.
3. Share your goals! You are more likely to succeed if you share your goals and progress with others. Some people enjoy telling the world through social media. This will really motivate you to stick with it! If you are more private, however, find a partner you can trust. Confide your goals in that person with the expectation that they will continue to motivate you.
4. Hold yourself accountable. Whether this is by finding a gym buddy you don’t want to stand up or by creating incentives (or disincentives). Having a partner through the resolution process is great, however you have to rely on the other person to be just as dedicated as you. Sometimes, rewards and punishments work better. Set milestones for yourself. Once you reach those, buy yourself a treat. For instance, every five pounds you lose, treat yourself to a pedicure or a movie or a new book. Alternatively, if you are more motivated by punishments, find an organization you dislike. Each time you do not reach your agreed upon goal, make a donation to that organization.
5. Avoid the all or nothing mentality. Resolutions aren’t meant to be easy. It’s only human to mess up now and then. However, don’t let one mistake derail the entire goal. Have you ever thought, “well I already ate an entire pizza, I may as well have dessert, too?” I’ve been there! But that’s not helpful. Doing something, even if it’s small, is better than doing nothing. Maybe you decided to spend an hour a day learning a new language. Even if you don’t have a full hour one day, don’t give up. Spend 20 minutes on it and call it good!
6. Stay patient and don’t give up! Big goals take time. Even if your progress is slow or stalled, it’s happening. Trust the effort you’re putting in. Give it time and you’ll see improvement. Track your progress so you can stay motivated. You got this!