The end of January is fast approaching and we have some questions for you:- Have you managed to keep your new year resolutions? How are you getting on with achieving your goals? Have you absolutely smashed them or have your promises fallen by the wayside?
Let me share with you how I’m doing with mine: Terribly. In fact it’s not gone very well at all! The first week was alright but all of my positive aspirations about getting fit, losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle have all been given up on since then. I know I’m not the only one this has happened to either.
January is a miserable month. The days are grey, the nights are long and we’re all perpetually skint as we recover from the annual Christmas overspend. As our social lives grind to a halt, we end up moving less and entering a period of hibernation where you would think we’d have the time to concentrate on self-improvement. Unfortunately January tends to be a busy month work-wise for most people, so that ends up occupying the majority of your time.
In short, January generally finds the majority of us feeling cold, tired, poor and grumpy! It’s probably not the best time to embark upon a series of positive life changes. Or so you would think. The truth is that many people kick-start their resolutions in January and keep them going and achieve their goals! Bastards! So what are we doing wrong and how can we get our resolutions back on track for success? That’s what we’re going to look at in today’s blog.
If we’re not getting anywhere with our goals maybe it’s time to rethink them. Rather than making a resolution to ‘lose weight’, we might need to make it more specific. Using the SMART framework that most of us are familiar with from years of office training courses will help us to set ourselves Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Realistic and Timely goals.
Using the methodology, we can take the resolution to ‘lose weight’ and tailor it to make it work as an achievable goal. So specifically, we might want to lose 2 stone in 4 months. To measure the goal, we have to weigh ourselves and keep track of how much we lose on a weekly basis, adjusting our diet accordingly.
We need to ask ourselves if the goal is achievable with our current lifestyle choices and if it’s not, change them up. The goal is realistic as long as we’re motivated and we have an idea of how much weight we lose on a weekly basis. We know what timeline we’re working towards as well, so we have everything we need to start working towards achieving the goal.
Try this method with all of your resolutions and you will find that they suddenly become more realistic and focused and your desire to succeed will increase.
Time for You
If we don’t make the time for ourselves to work towards our goals, then we’re just not going to get anywhere at all. We need to acknowledge the fact that even though we may have busy lives, we still need to make time for ourselves. If you’re working towards self-improvement goals like losing weight, getting fit or learning a new skill then the only way to achieve them is by setting aside the time.
Our lives are busy so you may find that taking time for yourself requires sacrifice. This may mean giving up an hour in the evening when you would normally be doing chores, watching television or just chilling out. It could also mean sleeping a little less and getting up an hour earlier every day to make the time that you need to achieve. Whatever your situation, if you look at your schedule and want to complete your goal badly enough, then you have to make the time for yourself that you need.
Write it Down
Staying on top of your goals is all important so that you can track your progress and measure your success. Write everything down on a daily basis so that you can chart your progress. Not only will it help you to keep track but it will also serve to hold you accountable.
Once you commit your goals and your progress to paper, it’s physically and psychologically ‘on the record’. Make sure you take note of how you’re feeling each day so that you are able to identify any triggers in patterns of negative behaviour. That way you’ll be able to work out the obstacles that hold you back.
Find Your Motivation
Most importantly, the thing that we all need to keep our resolutions and achieve our goals is motivation. As we all know, it can be hard won sometimes. You need to find that fire within and reignite the spark that gets you moving forwards to change your life for the better.
Try adopting a mantra that you say to yourself everyday. Look in the mirror and repeat your mantra between 3 – 5 times every morning to get yourself in the zone and start your day the right way. Another idea to stay motivated is to make yourself a dream board.
Write all your goals down, cut out pictures of things that represent your goals and pin them all to the board. Look at it every day to centre yourself and visualise the future that you are consciously moving towards. It might sound like pie in the sky bullshit, but trust us, it really can work to get you motivated.
We hope that this exploration of ways to get you back on track with your New Year resolutions has helped you to refocus yourself and keep striving towards self-improvement. It’s certainly helped to remind us of our goals and the need to keep reassessing them. Remember, if you have the right plan and plenty of drive and determination, you can do anything you set your mind to.