It can be exciting to approach January as a fresh start, a chance to hit the “reset” button and embrace brand-new resolutions. Sustaining that enthusiasm, however, requires a deliberate and self-compassionate approach.
We’ve all been down this road, setting ambitious resolutions and veering off-course shortly after. Consider these five practical tips to help make your New Year’s resolutions stick:
Connect with Your “Why”: When setting your resolutions, take the time to delve into the intention behind your goals. Ask yourself: “Why do I want to achieve this? How will it make me feel?” You’ll be far less likely to abandon your goals once you clearly articulate why they matter to you. This will connect you to a profound sense of purpose, cultivating lasting motivation and commitment.
Start Small and Set Realistic Goals: Avoid the pitfalls of setting overly ambitious resolutions by focusing on sustainable habits. Develop a clear plan with specific actions, milestones, and deadlines. Begin with small, manageable steps to gradually build long-term, sustainable progress. For instance, if you want to improve your fitness, start with 15-20 minute workouts two to three times a week, then incrementally increase the intensity as you go.
Share the Journey: Build a support system by sharing your resolutions with friends, family, or a support group. You may also consider seeking out an expert, such as a coach or therapist. Sharing your progress will provide valuable insights, fuel motivation, and hold you accountable. You don’t have to take on the journey alone, and connecting with others can make it so much more enjoyable and rewarding.
Track Your Progress (and Celebrate Yourself): Regularly monitor and assess your progress, using a journal, a tracking app, or any method that suits you. This will eliminate guesswork and help maintain motivation. You’ll see where you need to course-correct, setbacks won’t feel as discouraging, and you’ll be reminded to celebrate your wins. Remember: joy is found in the journey, not the destination.
Allow for Flexibility: Often, we dive into the New Year coveting perfection, but this inevitably sets us up for disappointment. Instead of chasing perfection, embrace flow, fun, and flexibility – elements that we adults tend to under-value. No one’s path progresses in a simple, straight line, so grant yourself grace in the face of obstacles, acknowledging that ups and downs are part of the process. Focus on incorporating actions to make each day a little better, being kind to yourself as you grow.
Consistency and gradual progress are the keys here, rather than quick fixes. Here’s to a year filled with success, fulfillment, and the joy of navigating life’s twists and turns with ease and flow!