3 Ways to Get Back On Track with your New Year's Resolutions
You already know the stats: more than 80% of New Year's Resolutions are ditched by mid-February. Heck - some studies suggest the New Year's Resolution "Quitting Day" is more like January 19th.
But, if you're like me, often times when you set those resolutions, you think: "that won't be me - I really am going to __fill in the blank___ THIS YEAR!"
But then, three weeks later... crickets.
We've all been there! There is ZERO judgement here. We know that making and keeping resolutions, and goals in general, is REALLY DANG HARD.
So today, I simply want to provide you with a few tips and tricks to help you not let those resolutions go by the wayside... and if they already have, it's NOT too late! You still have almost 11 months to get them done!
OK - first of all, WHY do resolutions and goals fail?
Obviously it could be a million different things, but in my experience, it's usually one of these reasons:
a) the goal was unrealistic
b) the action plan was unsustainable
c) it was the wrong goal to begin with
Let's break these down.
a) Unrealistic goal. (This is the WHAT.) For us #overachievers out there, it can be easy to create a big lofty goal. But then we often quickly realize that we left no room for error which makes the goal basically unachievable.
Perhaps you made a goal to save up $15,000 this year to make a down payment for your first home (go you!). However, maybe the budget you outlined failed to consider any unexpected expenses like medical bills - or even having a reasonable "cushion" for the occasional self-care/gifts for friends/entertainment, etc. and you are feeling the pain of this by now. Well, maybe it's a good idea to review your budget, build in some extra cushion, and adjust your goal to $10k in savings.
Solution? Review your goal through a fresh, post-New Year lens and determine if you need to reset your expectations and adjust the goal.
b) Unsustainable action plan. (The HOW.) Every goal should have an action plan - the "how" for how you are going to achieve said goal.
Sometimes, we think we can achieve a goal faster than we reasonably can, by planning to take huge action.
For example, maybe your goal is to run a marathon this year. Let's say you tell yourself you are going to run 4x a week, at 6am. But by the third week of Jan, when you are working late nights at work again, getting up at 5:30am is pretty rough. Next thing you know, you ditch your weekly running goals altogether.
Instead? Perhaps you need to come up with a more attainable action plan. Maybe you can only commit to running 2x a week, and decide to do it once on the weekend and once during the week, at lunch time. It's totally OK to scale back the plan to achieve the goal, even if it means it will take longer to achieve the goal! Who cares if you won't be ready to run a marathon until December, versus June? (And if you end up changing your goal to running a half marathon or even 10k, that is still freaking awesome!!!!)
c) Wrong goal. (The WHY.) Sometimes, we really want something, but we confuse it with something else. In order for a goal or resolution to be successful, we have to get to the bottom of WHY we want something.
Only once we know our true "why", will we really be able to formulate and commit to a goal that we will be truly motivated to achieve.
Building off the down payment goal... Consider WHY do you want to purchase a home? There are many reasons why you might want to, and none of them are wrong! But consider the true "why" it all. Is it because you see others doing it and feel like you "should" too? If so, maybe it's not the best reason to buy a home.
Perhaps you are looking for an investment to grow your net worth? Awesome! If so, perhaps you can consider other more immediate investment opportunities that you can pursue with a smaller amount of money (and thus you may even be able to watch your money grow more quickly!).
Perhaps you want a space to entertain friends? Maybe you just need to get creative and initiate more gatherings at the park or so forth.
Let's take the running a marathon goal. WHY do you want to run a marathon? To prove to someone else that you can? That's not a great reason. Now if you want to prove it to yourself - that is a great reason! But maybe you just want to be healthier - and that's your real "why".
If so, there are plenty of other ways to be healthier! Maybe you should instead focus on building smaller healthy habits in your life. Going for a 20 minute walk at lunch... Cutting out soda... Upping your veggie and healthy fat intake... Doing 5 minutes of mindfulness each day, focusing on reminding you of your value and beauty as you already are.
TO BE CLEAR - there is NOTHING wrong with either of these goals (or pretty much any goal) at all! They are both incredible and bold.
My only point is consider "why" you want to do something... if you are doing something for the wrong reasons, you won't be truly bought in - because that's not what you really want.
AGAIN - I am not saying that you should give up on your goals easily! I'm simply saying it's important to be REALISTIC in your expectations for yourself. And sometimes you don't realize whether or not something is realistic until you start doing do it.
So, it's WAY better to course-correct and adjust to something more attainable and realistic, than just ditch the goal altogether!
You can do it, you #goalgetter you!