We are officially halfway through January and I can’t help but wonder how many of us have gotten off track for our New Year’s Resolutions.
I know I have which has inspired me to write a three-step “cheat sheet,” if you will, for ways to achieve your new-year-goals. I think we can agree that the new year symbolizes a fresh start so naturally, we dive in head-first to try something new, whether it be hitting the gym more or making specific career moves. It is easy the first couple of days when everyone is recharged after the holidays, but once we fall back into routine, everything falls back into routine. So how do we fight this?
The first thing to do is remind yourself that each day is a fresh start. I regroup at the end of the day to see which goal needs work. For example, how much of the day did I spend complaining? If I was relatively positive, I see what other resolution I could have done better on. If I spent most of the day complaining, however, I remind myself to pay attention to it the next day. It sounds unrealistic to sit down at the end of each day and reflect, but that’s what the shower is for, right? (I know I’m not the only one who contemplates the meaning of life when I take a shower)
The second thing to do is set personal deadlines. Where do I want to be at the end of the week? End of the month? End of the season? Deadlines are a great way of monitoring your progress. Let’s say you want to lose x amount of pounds this year; instead of looking at this from a 365-day perspective, try looking at your progress per month. You will not only be able to better monitor your actions as you go, but you will also relieve some mental stress of feeling like you need to micromanage yourself all day, everyday.
Third and finally, give yourself a cheat day. It’s natural to fall off course, but you will definitely feel less guilt if you plan for it. Take weekends, for example. They are designed for you to be lazy. Instead of wondering what part of the day you can be laziest, just take a whole day! This can help be a catalyst for you the other six days of the week because your cheat day is equally your extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Obviously, we all function differently on a daily basis, but let’s be real–we live for rewards.
The Year of Realizing Things is over and now it is time to do something with these realizations. Goals are supposed to be rewarding, not a process of self-defeat. If you see any of your resolutions as a form of punishment and/or not self-motivated, it definitely should not be on your list. So whenever you are feeling down about not making progress on one of your resolutions, take a step back, breathe, and remind yourself of what you have already done and what you are still capable of doing. We’re only halfway through January after all.
You got this.