I love new beginnings. Clean slates. Opportunities to start fresh. There is just something about a new beginning that is incredibly motivating and inspiring. The first of a month, the beginning of a new week, the start of a New Year… these are a few of my favourite things (cue Julie Andrews here)!
Another one of my favourite things is creating lists. I have lists for everything. Heck, I even have lists of my lists (I wish I was kidding but the Type A runs deep over here, my friends)! So, naturally, New Years Day is one of my favourite days of the year because it is not only the ultimate new beginning but it is also a chance to make one heck of a list about all the things I want to accomplish that year (that’s Type A heaven right there, folks)!You know what they say though: even the best-laid plans can go awry.Life happens. Routines get thrown. It’s easy to fall back into old habits. And on and on it goes… So, being the neurotically over-organized person I am, I created a list (a list for my lists – ha! I told you it runs deep!) of tips I find help me focus and stay on track with my resolutions and goals.Hopefully they help you accomplish your New Years Resolutions too!
Set measurable goals.If there is any one thing that is guaranteed to make accomplishing your goals highly unlikely, it is setting unmeasurable goals.How can you track your successes and set-backs if you can’t measure your progress? You simply can’t! And if you can’t measure your progress, it is incredibly easy to lose focus and motivation to accomplish a goal.By way of example, instead of setting a goal to “work out more”, set a goal of “work out 3 times per week”. You can even get more specific than that and specify what type of workout you want to do (ex: run twice a week and swim once a week).By setting quantifiable goals, you can actually see your progress, which is motivating in itself!
Break your goals down.Big goals feel daunting; breaking big goals down into manageable, small goals makes success much more likely.For instance, if your goal is to run a 10km road race this year, break it down into as many small goals, such as benchmark distances (1 km, 2 km, etc.), and over as much time (1km by end of January), as you need (only you can know this!).By breaking big goals down into smaller ones, you experience more successes as you progress towards your bigger goal, which instills confidence and motivates you to keep going.
Keep goals front and centre.Put them “in your face”.Write them down on post-it notes and stick them all around the house.Keep a log on your successes and set-backs in your phone. Schedule a calendar appointment for yourself to re-visit your goals every month and track the steps you have taken to date.The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” came from somewhere, folks!The more often those goals “get in your face”, the more likely you are to focus on them.
Tell people about your goals.There is just something about telling others about your goals that fosters a sense of commitment; it creates accountability.Share your goals with people you know will encourage your progress, who will motivate you.Heck, one of those people may even want to join you! Having an “accountabili-buddy” (someone you have to account to) will increase your chances of accomplishing those goals exponentially!
Plan for great rewards.Rewards are motivating, plain and simple.They are the proverbial carrot on the stick. They don’t need to be elaborate, but they do need to be desirable.They should also be comparable to the goal (set small rewards for small goals, bigger rewards for bigger goals).My personal favourites are “me time” rewards. As a working mama of two with a husband who exclusively travels for work, my “me time” is pretty limited so small things like a manicure or a long soak in our oversized and incredibly glorious claw foot tub are pretty incentivizing.Choose things that appeal to you; I promise you, you will enjoy them so much more when you are relishing in them after accomplishing one of your personal goals!
At the end of the day, change is hard.You will have set-backs (everybody does!).What matters is not the setbacks, but how you deal with them. How you pick yourself up after you fall. Stay strong and try again, and again and again (you get the idea)!Some changes take longer than others.Keep trying, you just might surprise yourself at what a little persistence can do!
Do you have any other helpful tips to add to this list? I would love to hear from you if you do!Please share below.