The start of a new year is always met with such great hopes, plans, and ambitions for the 12 months ahead of us. It’s an exciting and positive period, most people on their social media posting on what they will be leaving behind in the past year.
As much as we celebrate the fresh start the new year brings, undoubtedly, the only thing that changes, for all of us, is the date. All other changes to some extent are intangible or based on where one is in life. For example, the majority of the people, at one point or another, have made a New Year’s resolution that included the phrases go to the gym, lose weight, get in shape and many of them then committed to purchasing a membership. Many end up failing to be consistent on their gym membership.
Often, one can find themselves going back to the monotonous cycle of past habits and through processes that they are accustomed to but had initially planned to get rid or overcome in the new year. Over time the years start looking the same and the point of setting new year resolutions loses meaning.
How do you avoid reverting to old habits that will steer you away from your goals?
Here are 5 ways to help keep you on track on your new year goals and resolutions.
1. Write them down.
It’s easy to make declarations on the things that you want to change in the new year but there is one thing my mentor told me, the weakest ink is stronger than the strongest memory. It’s easy to forget what you said especially when you are in the feeling. But as we know, no matter how enthusiastic we are to change, the feeling leaves us and we can easily forget.
Take a notebook and write down your goals. Seal the commitment in ink and turn to it when as many times as possible.
2. Remember the WHY
Starting a new habit isn’t easy in the beginning. You have been used to doing things a certain way and now you are trying to reprogram. Life gets in the way and you begin to think you can either pause and start at a later date or just procrastinate your way to the end of the year having achieved nothing.
Every day as you start your day, take 2 minutes to remember where you’ll be AFTER you successfully achieve your goals. This is why it is important to write your goals down. In the long run, it helps in keeping you accountable.
3. Forget willpower, focus on progress
Emotional factors like inspiration are unreliable. One morning you wake up motivated to crush your goals, and other mornings all you want to do is sleep in or watch Netflix. Effectively and progressively chasing your new year goals means establishing routines that are conducive to making quantifiable progress every day. When you’re not feeling the spark of motivation, your solid processes can sustain you.
Remember commitment is doing the things you said you would do, even when the feeling has left you.
4. Be patient
Starting something new is dynamic. It continues. You’ll see some results right away, but other victories unfold over time. Look forward to surprising yourself with the skills you master, and the goals you achieve. If you focus on seeing results right away, you will end up frustrated and thinking what you are doing doesn’t work. Trust the process.
5. Be realistic
Empires aren’t built in a day! If your goal is to write a book, it won’t be written overnight. There is a fine balance to be had between ambition and realism. Work hard and success will come, it may take time. A touch of realism is necessary. Without it you may become disillusioned and demotivated. This could lead to you deciding to give up. Manage your own expectations.
You have to set the goals, and then work to achieve them. You have to deliver both the performance and performance review. This is no easy feat. That’s what the tips above are all about. In every instance, it’s about being your own manager, and giving yourself the guidance and support you need to excel.
Take a moment today, and re-embrace your commitment to breaking new ground for yourself in 2019. Whether you’re ahead of your goals already, or only just getting started, it’s important to check in with yourself, to make sure you feel good, and to make sure you have what you need to succeed. Use the tips above to help you stay focused and in the right mindset. Most of all, keep learning!