3 weeks into January and, like many, you may find the motivation to stick to your new goals already dwindling. 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Why does that happen? Most of us are probably setting goals that will only make us better versions of ourselves like being healthy, working out consistently, or learning a new language. So why are they so hard to stick?
New Years is a time for self-reflection, a time where we take into account everything that has happened to us over the past year and ‘resolve’ or make adjustments to be better. This often leads to people setting very broad goals, too many or too big.
“I think we try to set not only too extensive of a goal but also too many goals,” said Dr. Stephen Graef, a sports psychologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “We might really try to shoot for the moon too quickly and that doesn’t work out, or not only do we want to go to the moon but we want to go to Mars and Neptune and Saturn. And if we try to do all of those, we don’t have the mental and physical resources to be able to accomplish that.”
If losing weight is something that you would like to do in 2019, try to be specific. When? How much? How will I do this? Just saying I want to lose weight is not an actionable plan that you can work towards. Not only that but saying I want to lose weight, donate my time, spend less/save more, quit smoking and learn piano. Well, that’s just setting yourself up for a disappointing new year.
According to Mental health Foundation UK, here are some tips to help when setting new goals for yourself.
Be honest with yourself
Setting too many goals creates a daunting mountain that you have to climb. Be realistic and keep your changes small but manageable.
It doesn’t need to happen all at once. Set benchmarks, and steps for how you are going to achieve this goal.
Develop a support network
You definitely do not need to do it on your own. Get your friends and family involved, who knows maybe you share common goals with someone.
Measure your success
This is a great way to stay motivated and see how far you’ve come. Every time you hit a benchmark in your plan, check in with yourself and reflect on the changes. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by goal deadlines or thinking that you are not where you are supposed to be so a weekly or monthly reflection can show you just how far you’ve come.
Keep it fun, and not all work. Maybe it’s having a glass of wine with dinner or a weekend getaway.
Treat failure as a small setback
Of course with anything we do, there are bound to be mistakes or slip ups. But don’t let that halt all the progress you’ve made. Don’t obsess over them, after all we are only human. Learn from them and get back to it the next day.
Make your changes stick
It wont happen instantly, but the effort you put in now will directly affect the outcome later on. After all it takes 21 days to create a new habit.
Check out some more tips for setting intentions in 2019 here!