Just about everybody makes New Year’s resolutions and say, “New year, new me!”—this author included. But who actually achieves their goals? How do they do it? Creating them is the easy part, but sticking to your New Year’s resolutions is a difficult thing for many.
Here’s a hint: there is no special, magical shortcut in accomplishing a worthwhile task. People who aspire to, and consistently do, great things generally do so by simply doing the work. They set a simple goal, they break the goal down into bite-sized tasks, they track their progress and alter the game plan if necessary, and they are forgiving of small setbacks.
Keep it Simple
When setting out on a new venture, no matter what it is, it helps to have a concrete vision of what you’re looking to accomplish. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to hit a certain savings goal? Do yourself a favor in the beginning and take the time to visualize exactly what it is that you want. Instead of saying “I want to lose weight,” say “I want to lose X amount of pounds by Y date.”
As you visualize the new you, make sure you’re doing so in a positive way. What I mean by that is, instead of dreading all the hours you’ll need to put in at the gym, focus on how great you’ll feel when you can show off your summer body. Keeping your mental focus on all the good that will come out of your goal will help you stay on track.
Create a Gameplan
Along those lines, it helps immensely to break your goal down into small tasks. Otherwise, your goal just morphs over time into this big monster of a thing that you have no idea how to conquer—which then makes the goal all too easy to abandon.
So instead, figure out exactly what it will take to get to your goal and decide what you can do on a consistent basis to get to where you want to be. If you have a certain weight loss goal that requires putting time in at the gym, set a weekly goal for attending the gym, and then break that target down by what you plan to do at the gym. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance here—a little expertise in the planning stage will go a long way.
And just to keep it positive, do yourself a favor and try to make sure these small tasks are something that you’ll actually enjoy doing. Going along with the weight loss goal: if your small task is putting time in at the gym and you hate spinning, then DON’T make yourself do spin class. Finding another, more enjoyable, option will make it easier on you as you work to achieve your goal.
Track Your Progress
Find a way to keep track of your progress as you work towards your goal. I personally recommend the Strides app—it’s easy to log things on the go, and I always have a way to see where I stand on the things I want to accomplish. Of course, an app isn’t necessary here—the point is to find a way to hold yourself accountable for your progress.
Forgive Small Setbacks
But sometimes, life gets in the way of our goals –We get sick, or tragedy occurs. What matters most is that you pick yourself up again and keep working towards that goal. Forgive yourself for slipping, then carry on. Simply having grit and determination will take you further than you might think.
Good luck and happy Sugaring!