In my last post, I wrote about the importance of a review in order to set a baseline for your resolutions for the New Year. For many, just the idea of a New Year’s resolution has negative connotations, or maybe it only brings a weary smile. Why is this? Most people connect resolutions with ideas that were never followed up on, or failed attempts to change some things. It doesn’t have to be like that.
According to a study carried out by American professor John C. Norcross, 71% of resolutions are already cast overboard within the first two weeks. This underlines the fundamental importance of a good approach when starting out with a new undertaking. Once you’ve stuck with your intention for three months, then the likelihood that you’ll give up falls to just 1% . The following six points should help you establish a resolute and successful start in the New Year.
Among all your ideas for things you’d like to tackle this year, you probably have one or more ideas that you’ve been carrying around for a while. You need to have the courage to let go of ideas that are weighing you down, the ones that you don’t really inspire the motivation to implement them. Instead, concentrate on the things that are actually important to you, and avoid unnecessary distractions along with stress.
No goals are given higher status than those the ones that come to mind on the night of January 31st, even though one’s thinking might not be clear at the time. Like for the review, you should avoid excessive exuberance in the formulation of your goals for the New Year. Your high energy will quickly fall flat in the face of your everyday life, and your goal will almost certainly fall by the wayside. High motivation, in contrast, allows you to maintain a clear vision.
Try to formulate your goals as concretely and exactly as possible. Setting vague goals like “I would like to lose some weight” is neither substantial enough nor clearly achievable, and you can’t really come up with tangible steps that would be essential in terms of moving forward. When you set clear expectations and know what has to happen in order to accomplish your goal, at the same time you’re creating an important source of inspiration. Now you know exactly what you want, how you want it to be, and why.
In order to change one of your habits or to establish a new habit, you also have to be ready to make changes to the way you live. Relatedly, you should also keep in mind that the most important factors in achieving your goals are in your hands – that means they can be influenced by you. Don’t make your goal unnecessarily dependent on external factors, and be ready to make adjustments to your everyday life.
Be prepared for occasional dips in motivation on the way to whatever you’re trying to achieve. Your old habits will not be so easy to give up, and you might be thrown off course. For such times you should have someone who can get you back on track. In elite-level sports, this is normally one of the everyday tasks of a trainer. You should find someone who you trust…a person with whom you can talk about the things you’re working on. From time to time, let your trusted person know about your progress, and likewise share your successes and seek support if you feel the need.
We’ve already covered this a few times in the Goalify blog, and once again we can only underline the importance of this goal-setting fundamental. Break your goals down into the smallest possible parts and start to implement them immediately. Do everything you can to make success certain right from the start. In that way, you’ll keep working on what you want to achieve for the first two weeks…and you’re also more likely maintain your motivation and consistency through the crucial first three months.
Even if it initially seems difficult to start something new, don’t give up!
We have developed Goalify to support you along the way – it helps you to stick with your goals and resolutions. You can use it to stay on top of the steps you need to take as you move toward your goal, and you also get practical reminders and advice so that you don’t lose focus on your plans.
What are your resolutions for this year? What would you like to stick to in 2016? Maybe you’d like to tell us some of your personal tips for successfully implementing resolutions? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we would love to hear from you!