Each year it’s the same thing: on January first I resolve to exercise more, eat better, drink less, watch less TV, read more books, call family on their birthdays, etc. And by mid-February, I’m drinking wine in front of the television (oblivious to the fact that it’s my niece’s birthday). I’ve started to ask myself, “What is the point of making these resolutions that I’m apparently incapable of keeping?” So, this year I’ve turned to the experts (other bloggers on the internet) to gain some new insight into making these 2019 goals stick.
Pick the right resolution
Ok, this may seem a bit oversimplified, but if you know you hate running you probably shouldn’t make it your goal to run a half-marathon. Your goals should not only make you better, but they should make you happier. Avoid resolutions that are based on what others are changing, and narrow in on what YOU want to change. You stand a much better chance of keeping your resolutions if you are invested in and enjoying the process.
Make goals that are measurable and achievable
If your goals are too vague you will struggle to measure your success. Saying “I want to lose weight this year” is less effective than saying “I plan to lose 5 lbs. in the next two months.” Setting smaller goals gives you the feeling of achievement when you hit those milestones. It’s also crucial to choose goals that are achievable. Making a goal of eating a completely vegan diet for the year is a large undertaking, but saying you will eat meat-free every Thursday is easier to stomach (literally).
Focus on one change at a time
If you decide that you are going to quit drinking, quit watching TV, exercise every day, follow a paleo diet, and save an extra $200 a month, you probably will find that you aren’t able to succeed with ANY of your goals. We have a finite amount of willpower each day (have you noticed it is harder to stay away from junk food in the evening?). To avoid this willpower burnout, focus on the goal that means the most to you first. Once you have made a lasting habit out of that goal you can move on to the next one.
Consider setting weekly goals
A year is a long time! It is easy to lose interest or feel that you have “blown-it” and give up on your resolution. However, if you set intentions for the week each Sunday night you can keep focused on your resolution and see each week as re-set. If your goal is to eat healthier, each Sunday you can make a meal plan and shop for the food you will need. Continually re-setting goals keep them fresh and in the front of your mind.
Make your goals public
Let’s be honest here: shame can be a big motivator! Ok, we don’t need to be publically shamed, but telling our goals to others helps keep us accountable. Announce on Facebook that you will read a book each month for the year, and then follow through by posting the books you have finished. Tell all of your friends that you are quitting smoking and ask that they call you out if they see you reach for a cigarette.
Not every resolution we make will be a success, but the important thing to remember is that trying to make positive changes is never a waste of time. So maybe the biggest goal of all should be treating ourselves with kindness this year. We should celebrate the small victories, and not be too hard on ourselves when we have setbacks. Let’s truly make 2019 our best year yet!
While I can’t help you curb your Instagram addiction, if you have resolved to move into a new house or office space in 2019, that is a goal that I can definitely help you achieve!