One month down, eleven to go. You’re already kicking butt on your New Year’s resolutions, right? Right!
…okay, let’s get real. Chances are, you made your New Year’s resolution with the best of intentions. But maybe it hasn’t gone too well, or perhaps you forgot about it altogether. That stinks, but you should know that you’re not alone: New Year’s goals are broken all the time.
The good news is that you can always get back on track. The following tips will make you refocus and recommit to your New Year’s goals.
Evaluate the Bad
New Years is supposed to be all about the positive. If you’ve lost that positivity, start with the most basic question: Why did you quit?
Evaluating what went wrong is crucial to analyzing your choices. Maybe it’s an easy answer like your January was way busier than you had planned or you got caught up in the start of a new semester that you forgot about those goals. Those are easy fixes. But sometimes it’s deeper than that, and the question is harder to answer honestly or objectively.
Still, do your best to look back at January and figure out what may be at the root of your problems. That answer will help the next steps and beyond.
Make a Clear and Comprehensive Plan
One of the biggest reasons why we let go of our goals is because of a failure to plan ahead. Go pick up a calendar and start by looking at this week. What can you do this week to put you ahead. If your goal is to pay down debt, use a budget to pay an extra $5 to your credit card. Or, if you’re trying to get healthier, replace all candy bars you’d normally have with a piece of organic fruit.
Then, keep the calendar open and work on the month. Where do you see yourself at the end of this month? Remember that you already failed once, so don’t be too ambitious. Start slow and small. You can always go big when you hit your first few goals on time.
Some people do best when there is a social aspect of a resolution. For example, posting your goal progress on social media accounts or setting up a blog to share with others can be extremely powerful and motivating — and it’s a great way to stay accountable. We know that we are more likely to stay on track for longer terms when we know others are in on the goal line.
Another idea is to put money on the line. Sign up and pay for that 5k race or pre-pay for a tutor or trainer. When money is part of the picture, you’re less likely to want to waste it by falling behind. Plus, your target will feel more tangible when you invest in yourself and your plan.
Go Easy On Yourself
For the majority of goal setters, resolutions don’t make it to the end of the year. There are many reasons for it from just forgetting or life getting in the way. A year is a long time to keep to a goal, so it’s important and valuable to celebrate the accomplishments you do make whether big or small.
Putting pressure on yourself to perform every single day will burn you out fast and may even set you up for failure for other goals as well. Instead, treat each day as a chance to start over or move yourself a little bit closer to the goal line whether it’s January 1 or December 31.