By: Marissa Miczek
- Exercise more
- Eat healthier
- Save Money
- Stop Procrastination
- Enjoy Life
These are some goals that may be on your 2023 New Year’s Resolutions List. Only the problem is, within a month, maybe a week, or even a day, we find our goals slipping away and being ignored or forgotten. So how do you make them stick? What should you do? I don’t have the answers but the general problem is often easy to solve.
First off you have to plan ahead before New Years, you may have a list already, and if you don’t, don’t stress because it’s quite simple to make. You want to be realistic, you don’t want to reach too high or you’ll fall back into your old habits. You want to take small steps toward your goals and you have to remind yourself that nothing happens overnight. Write some goals down and then set up a plan for each one. It’s important to set goals that are fun to come back to. You can do this by linking fun activities with your habits. For example, if you love to listen to music, set up your favorite playlist that you can listen to while you work out. The same goes with setting up your environment, like putting running shoes next to your bed so you exercise in the morning. If you want to eat healthier, don’t leave a plate of cookies in your kitchen, you will be setting yourself up for failure because whether hungry or not, you’ll find yourself eating one. Flexibility is crucial because say you want to exercise in the afternoon, but you also have to study for school, this can create a conflict. Habits need to be planned and created in a way where you can meet them every day without creating these types of conflicts. This means planning ahead, creating routines, and again, being flexible with your goals while still meeting them. It’s important to remember that goals should be small, and great goals are also measurable. Wanting to exercise more or lose weight is a broad goal that is hard to follow. Therefore, be specific in where you exercise, when, or how much weight you want to lose. Like I said before, be realistic with your goals and start small. Instead of losing 30 pounds, try to lose 5 and build on that. Intimidating goals are “unattractive” and won’t be kept. Once you have created a general list of resolutions, stick to them, keep trying, and don’t beat yourself up. A great way to stick to your goals is by sharing them with others. By sharing your resolutions with your friend, you may find that you motivate each other and push through. That being said, you have to surround yourself with the right people. This means that if you want to exercise more, join a local gym club and find people with similar goals. If your family doesn’t follow the same goals as you, it can be hard to stick to them. This DOES NOT mean you should leave your family, because regardless of this, you can be sure that they support you. While you work on your habits, track your progress because small accomplishments will keep you motivated, especially when outcomes can only be seen in the future. Another way to stick with your goals is to reward yourself with every small accomplishment you have. It is very important to remember that rewards shouldn’t contradict your goal. If you eat desserts like candy or cake after working out, you won’t be setting yourself up for the healthy life you imagined. Rewards should be something that motivates you to try even harder and expand with your goals. If you ran a mile, you could reward yourself with new running shoes to make the experience more enjoyable! All in all, you must start small and stay consistent.
The English Times states that according to research, only about 16% of people are able to follow their resolutions. Many give up within weeks and this may seem surprising to you, or maybe not. You can find many articles and videos about goals and habits that highlight certain areas I’ve mentioned above. To follow up on the question of why habits can be hard to keep, to achieve your objectives you have to apply what I’ve mentioned before. Having self-doubt, lack of accountability, and failing to track your progress, are some of the reasons why habits are quick to fail. If you want to go deeper into the science of habits, I would recommend Atomic Habits by James Clear, mentioned below. This is a fun book to read and is bound to help you, as long as you take action in your life.
It may be hard to develop habits and goals that can stick with you the entire year, maybe even your entire life. Atomic Habits by James Clear focuses on taking action in your life and finding ways for improvement. If you don’t have this book next to you right now, buy it, get it, and read it. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts in habit formation, created this guide by distilling complex topics into applicable behaviors in our lives and work. He also inspires readers by sharing real-life stories of those who have used the science of small habits to master their craft. My hope is that you read this book and see improvement in your life like I have!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!