If last year’s New Year’s resolutions barely made it past the end of January, then try some of these ideas for making meaningful ones that don’t set you up to fail:
Be realistic about what you can achieve and when.
Mindset coach and business strategist Jenni Donato says: “Believing you can achieve what you set out to is key - if you believe, you’ll take action and then you’ll see results and that reinforces the belief to go on to achieve other things.”
You’re more likely to give up if you try to change too many aspects of your life, so keeping things simple will help you stay on track.
Research the best way to reach your chosen goal.
There may be an online or in-person group you can join where others share similar aspirations, or an app that can help monitor your progress.
It takes time to form a new habit and Jenni Donato says getting into a routine is key: “If you want to start going to the gym, then the most important thing to start with is actually getting to the gym, not what you do there.
“Set the routine of getting in your gym clothes and going twice a week, even just to sit in the jacuzzi, and slowly build on that routine.”
Don’t turn your whole day upside down to accommodate your resolution as you’ll risk losing motivation quickly – even a consistent ten minutes a day can be enough to form a positive habit.
Remind yourself why you want to achieve your goal by placing post-it notes around your home or setting alerts on an affirmations app. These could be specific to your resolution, or just generally motivating words to put you in a positive mindset.
Was your goal unattainable? Were you trying to change too much about yourself? Perhaps you can take the same resolution but alter it to fit your personality and lifestyle better.
Writing a journal chronicling your achievements and struggles can help you to process your thoughts and become a resource to reflect back on.
Having a distinct goal you can visualise will give you a focus to return to each time you feel like giving up.
Jenni Donato recommends a ten-point plan to her clients, where the first point is something easily attainable and the points build towards the end goal: “When you think ‘I can see that happening’, you’ll have the belief you can achieve what you set out to do and that will lead to action and results.”
If your resolution is making you miserable or stressed, then, rather than give up on it, be prepared to adjust your expectations. It’s better to successfully achieve half of what you set out to do than give up and accomplish nothing.