It’s February already! That’s right, January has come and gone and we’re off to a quick start to the year! However, when we look back and realise that January is already gone, it’s common to see that most of us gave up on our New Year’s resolutions a while back. From getting up a little earlier in the morning, eating healthier or making it to the gym more often our New Year’s resolutions are often the first thing that we throw out the door when we jump back into our regular routines.
As February has just started, it’s the perfect time to look back and see where we dropped the ball on our resolutions and develop a game plan to jump back on track to our New Year goals. So if you made New Year’s resolutions and haven’t been able to stick to them, here are a few tips to help reignite your motivation and turn them into habits.
Re-evaluate your ‘why’
Like most things we do, one of the most important parts of any new habit is the ‘why?’ When you first set your goals, you probably had a lot of reasons why this year was going to be YOUR year. Now, it’s time to reconnect with that motivation and dig deeper to keep your reasons and goals aligned.
When re-evaluating your habits, keep asking yourself ‘why?’ This will help you get to the real reason that you’re setting these goals – if weight loss is your goal, your reason could be: I want to feel more confident or comfortable in my body.
Celebrate the small things
As humans, we love to be rewarded for our efforts and just like when we are at work, we like to be acknowledged for our achievements, and to be recognised for our hard work when it pays off. By celebrating our small wins, we can continue to build a positive feedback loop around our efforts and progress.
In the wise words of Ferris Bueller – “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So why not take a moment to celebrate the little wins, this will also help keep that motivation and momentum for progressing with the next step.
Here’s an extensive list of ideas that you could use to reward yourself for achieving a goal or milestone. Just remember to reward yourself with things that get you closer to your goals, rather than those that will set you back.
Make your goals more attainable
If you’ve heard of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound), you may have realised that your NY goals might have been a little too ambitious and you may have bitten off more than you can chew. If you don’t want to completely re-do your goal list, splitting your goals into smaller more manageable steps can be a great way to make them more attainable and to keep you on track.
If we use Mount Everest as an example, you don’t just rock up one day and start the climb. There are a set of smaller steps you need to achieve before you can consider tackling the summit. From building up enough mountaineering experience to acclimating to the altitude, there are smaller more manageable steps designed to prepare you for the challenge ahead.
Make your goals real
We already know our goals need to be realistic, and attainable. However, making your goals real is about writing them down or telling your friends what you want to achieve. By voicing your goals to those who care about you, or having written them down they are now ‘real’. As such, you can be held accountable for your progress or lack thereof towards your goal.
Be sure that the people you choose to share your goals with are supportive of them, as you don’t need to be surrounded by negativity.
Trim the fat
Although sharing your goals and making yourself more accountable for your progress is a great way to make sure you continue to work on your goals. It’s important to remember to scrap any goals that are no longer working for you. That way you can redirect your energy where it’s needed most.
What do we mean by ‘trimming the fat’? It’s about knowing when to let go; and moving on if something isn’t working for you. This will help reduce the number of goals you have, possibly allowing you to find some time to rest and relax – important for avoiding burnout. If we approach our goals in a similar fashion to a famous quote from Coco Chanel – “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” We may find that simplifying our work load allows us to dedicate the required time and energy to the goals that are most important.
Time for action
Although the process of achieving our goals is hard work we can use some simple tricks to make the journey much more enjoyable. There are even apps (like HabitRPG) available that help transform your goal list into a ‘game’, with rewards, progress points and other features that become available as you progress through your list.
If you’re able to make the process more enjoyable, achieving your goals can become less of a chore and more of an activity – or habit. By making fun a priority, you can shift your momentum and reignite your motivation for smashing your goals this year.
Remember; stay strong and realise that failure is simply a part of trying something new!
As always, please let me know if there are any particular topics you would love us to look into or if you would like to feature in an upcoming issue of Wellness Matters.
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