January is just a few days away, which means friends and family are starting their New Year’s resolutions. Across the US, about 40% of adults will resolve to change their lives in some way starting on January 1. Not surprisingly, the largest category for resolutions involves weight loss. This is followed by:
- Career success
- Eating better
- Managing stress
- Quitting smoking
- Focusing on personal relationship
But, did you know in 6 months, 60% of those who made their resolutions abandon them? How do you make your resolutions stick? The best way is by implementing the following strategies to stick to your goals
1. Find your motivation
Everyone is motivated in different ways. You have to find your motivation style before establishing goals. You can be either extrinsically motivated or intrinsically motivated.
If you’re extrinsically motivated, you’re going to be compelled by forces outside of you. If you want to work out, your friends encouraging you to join will get you to the gym. Find an accountable partner and develop a rewards system for yourself.
If you’re intrinsically motivated, your motivation comes from inside you. So, how you feel after working out will get you going back to the gym. Focus on why you want to achieve your goals in the first place, like writing it down on notes to yourself.
2. Actions over results
It’s easy for people to identify what you want to change in your life, but it’s harder to identify how you will change it. If you want your goals to succeed, focus on the actions you’ll need to take to achieve that goal.
How are you going to lose wait? What will you do to stop spending? How will you find your dream job? By dividing how you will do things, you are dividing the long-term goals into short-term goals which makes everything more manageable.
3. Be realistic
People will most likely stick to goals if they’re realistic. For example, if you tell yourself you’re going to stop eating sugar and work out for 3 hours every day, it’s a lot different than saying you’ll include vegetables in your meals and work out at least 3 times a week. Small steps toward an achievable goal will make your goal less intimidating rather than setting the bar too high.
4. Plan your success
Optimism is key if you want to succeed. Think positive and see your success. It’s also important to anticipate challenge so you’re not surprised when they happen. Brainstorm your possible obstacles and how you will overcome them.
5. Have your support system
Accountability is the best way to stick to your goals. If we are the only ones aware of our goals, we’re more lenient to let ourselves off the hook too many times. If you commit to your goal by letting your friends know and sending them actual evidence of you completing your goals. This is especially helpful if you’re extrinsically motivated.