As we near the end of January, I just want to check up on how your new years resolutions are progressing? Are you thriving and still as keen as you were on the 1st? Are you just starting to lose motivation and prioritise other things? Or, have the resolutions already been postponed till next year – again?
Well, as an act of support and a subtle nudge of motivation this article includes five tips that can help you stick to, progress with or get you back on track with your 2015 resolutions. Here they are:
1. Make it a SMART Target
Although you have already created your resolution, refining it into a SMART target could be crucial to your persistence and commitment. So, what is a SMART target? SMART is an acronym for five components that, if followed, will ensure you stay motivated and continually progress.
Specific – A goal should be a clearly outlined target not just a general statement. For example, instead of just saying “I want to lose weight” the goal should be something like “I want to lose 3kg”.
Measurable – Being able to quantify progress is a key factor in helping to stay motivated. Using the same example as before, if the goal is just “to lose weight” then you have no definitive target in which to compare, measure or define progress.
Attainable – We all have long term idealistic goals but when setting targets it is more effect to focus of repeatedly reaching smaller landmarks. Again this is key for motivation; if you are continually succeeding you will be more encouraged to pursue with your resolution. Whereas if your target is unrealistic then progress, however positive it is, will never leave you satisfied.
Realistic – It is important to be sensible when setting a goal, be sure to honestly evaluate your ability, lifestyle (eating habits) and opportunities (e.g. time available to exercise) and use them to structure and create your targets.
Timed – Having a realistic yet definitive time frame of when to achieve your target by will help ensure you stay committed and motivated. It will also help gauge your progress and ensure you keep on track to achieve your goal.
2. Write it down, Tell somebody…
To stick to your goal you need to seek the help of others. By expressing your target – whether it be confiding in a friend, telling the world on Facebook or, even better, by posting it in the comments section below this article – you will feel a sense of responsibility to uphold your commitment and therefore be less likely to dismiss the resolution.
3. Plan Ahead
Despite your best intentions – let’s say to eat a healthy lunch or attend an exercise class after work – changes in your schedule or a momentary lack of motivation may disrupt your plans. To stop this happening, plan ahead! Take pre-prepared healthy meals into work with you to avoid a lunchtime dash to fulfill your unhealthy craving. Also, commit in advance and pre-book onto exercise classes instead of letting your post-work mentality decide whether to attend.
By monitoring your actions you increase your awareness of what you do, then over time you become more knowledgeable about your daily habits and lifestyle. Activity bands and food logs are good examples for health and fitness but monitoring can be done in a vast variety of ways.
5. Enjoy! – It’s not a burden, be positive!
Finally and most importantly, enjoy the changes you are trying to make. Don’t see them as forced or a burden, see them as a challenge and something you want to work towards. Positivity is such an underrated factor, use it to your benefit and I promise it will pay off.
I hope you find these five tips useful, that they help to increase your commitment and motivation and, ultimately, that they help you to accomplish your new years resolutions. Also be sure to help your friends and family achieve their goals by sharing this article!