Each year, untold sums of people make personal and professional goals through the form of New Year’s resolutions. Deciding to finally get in shape, they purchase a high-quality heart rate monitor found at Scosche. Determined to learn that new skill, they acquire a handful of new books. Dedicated to the idea of finally getting organized, a day planner is ordered.
Then February rolls around and all of the optimism and enthusiasm they had for achieving new goals begins to wane.
If you find yourself in this boat, worry not. There are a multitude of ways for you to remain strong and achieve your New Year’s resolution. Here are some of the most effective tactics.
Write Your Goals Down
In order to achieve your New Year’s resolution, the first step is to write your goal down in a detailed manner.
When setting these types of aims, most people simply come up with a loose concept for what they wish to achieve and keep that ambition in their head.
This is a losing strategy.
As is noted when discussing the neuroscience of writing down goals:
“Vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success, and people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t.”
Therefore, the first step to success and staying strong throughout the year is to physically document your goal.
Various studies on exercise and executive functions in the brain have shown a positive correlation between acute physical exercise and enhanced executive functioning. This is important as sticking to your goals requires engagement from this part of the brain.
While there is a good chance that exercising more is one of your New Year’s resolutions, the fact is that sticking to this one goal makes it more likely that you will achieve other objectives as well.
If you find yourself running into a wall when it comes to actually going to the gym, try making a playlist with your favorite workout songs that make you feel like you can take on the world. If you’re into podcasts, find a few to work into your rotation so you never run out of listening material. And because there’s nothing more frustrating than snagging wires on machines or free weights, you can pick up a pair of true wireless earbuds that eliminate the hassle altogether.
However, getting sick is a great way to derail your exercise routine. Therefore, it is highly advisable to pick up a portable sanitizer to bring with you on your gym visits to sanitize any equipment you decide to utilize.
Break Larger Goals Down into Smaller Tasks
When considering how you are going to achieve your lofty New Year’s resolutions, the best strategy is to break down big goals into smaller, actionable steps.
For instance, if your goal is to lose 60 pounds this year, you must transform this ambiguous aim into concrete steps by outlining ways in which you will do this. This might begin by setting a monthly weight loss goal of five pounds. From there, you can start looking for actionable strategies such as implementing workout routines, changing your eating habits, altering the amount of food that you eat, integrating intermittent fasting into daily life and the like.
No matter what your goal for the year is, much like writing down your ambitions, breaking large goals down into small tasks is a critical step for staying strong throughout the year and ultimately achieving your New Year’s resolution.
Monitor Your Progress
In addition to writing your goals down and breaking them down into smaller subgoals, it is also necessary to consistently track your progress. Therefore, on the sheet or planner where you have everything else written down, start checking off boxes for smaller tasks that get completed. Taking this approach gives you a definitive picture of your progress and how close you are to achieving your ultimate goal.
Celebrate Little Victories
Persistence and perseverance are undeniably important when setting out to achieve goals. However, instead of constantly gritting your teeth and pushing through, it is essential to give yourself some positive reinforcement throughout the process by celebrating little wins as you get them.
One of the reasons that it is important to break big goals down into small ones and to track your progress is so that you can have the opportunity to celebrate your growth and tenacity, thereby helping to give you the motivation to keep going.
Celebrating little victories will help to reinvigorate you and remind you of what you are working toward and how far you have come to achieve your ultimate aim.
Staying Strong and Achieving Your New Year’s Resolution
Most New Year’s resolutions don’t get achieved because they forever remain vague, intangible notions that folks put in the back of their minds, hoping to achieve at some point throughout the year.
This approach is sure to end in failure.
If you want to ensure that you see your New Year’s resolutions through to fruition in 2020, implement the steps listed above and document, break down and track your goals, thereby creating a roadmap to success.
However, don’t get so fixated on getting to where you want to go that you forget to celebrate your progress along the way.