OK OK, we are 2 weeks into 2021. How about them New Years Resolutions? How are they going so far? You had great intentions and you still really want to accomplish them. However, Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail.
Here are Some Goal-Setting Strategies to Try Instead
As a new year begins, many people feel inspired to set lofty goals in the form of New Year’s resolutions. Often, however, the surge of ambition quickly fizzles out : studies indicate that January 17 is the average day by which most New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned. We are approaching that day this January 15.
While you may feel guilty or discouraged if you find that you are no longer pursuing your resolutions with the same fervor you had when you set them, the problem might not be you or the many other people who “fail” to achieve their new goals—it could lie in the fact that most New Year’s resolutions are written with an end goal in mind, without detailing the process by which that goal will be achieved.
Whether you’re planning to make formal New Year’s resolutions or you’re just thinking about things you’d like to improve in 2021, here are a few strategies to consider for setting attainable goals:
- Focus on the specific steps you will take in order to move closer to your goal. For example, instead of resolving to lose 15 pounds, promise yourself that you will exercise for 30 minutes three times a week. In addition to creating a process that is easy to follow and track your progress on, framing your resolutions like this will help you focus on the behavior changes required to move you in the direction of what you’d like to achieve—rather than setting a one-time goal that may leave you feeling discouraged if you fall short.
- Be realistic. Another common pitfall when making New Year’s resolutions is to try to tackle too many or too challenging goals at once. As you think about what you’d like to achieve, be realistic about your time limitations and other obstacles you may face. Start small, with a focus on creating specific, achievable habits, and then expand on those habits as you gain momentum.
- Know your triggers and try to avoid them. Whether you’re trying to build better habits or eliminate negative ones, there are probably triggers that make it easy to fall back into your old ways. Recognize what these triggers are and make an effort to avoid them. For example, if you tend to buy junk food when you get hungry while grocery shopping, plan to have a healthy snack before a shopping trip in order to make the temptation less appealing. If you’re trying to have more productive mornings but tend to oversleep, place your alarm clock on the other side of the room to make pressing snooze more difficult.
- Celebrate your triumphs. Recognizing and rewarding yourself for achieving milestones—however small—on your journey to fulfilling your goals will help you maintain momentum and avoid getting discouraged when you encounter the inevitable setbacks.
Sources: usatoday.com & inc.com
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