The new year has been going for about 2 weeks now. And right about now it starts getting hard to keep the new years resolutions and goals going. I want to give you a few tips on how to keep going and how to make this year the best one yet.
Everybody has them: new years resolutions. A well known concept that everybody knows and also forgets within a couple of weeks. It is good to set new goals and resolutions, but they should be able to be maintained/achieved. However, in reality most people quit after a couple of weeks. I think it is because most of the time people set these resolutions and goals in a time when they are filled with emotions. Either they are filled with joy and enthusiasm from the holidays. Or they reflect on the past year and are in a melancholic state. Either way it leads to goals that are (mostly) unachievable. If not the goal itself then maybe the timeframe that it is set in.
I firmly believe that setting and having goals is beneficial to your life and will give you a sense of direction. I want to help you to set your goals (or resolutions) in a way that is beneficial and achievable! Of course, you have to set the goals yourself. But if you apply these tips it will help you to set better goals and maintain the habits.
Tip #1 - Answer the WHY question
Maybe the most important question to ask yourself first is WHY. Why do I want to achieve this goal or change this habit? This is a very powerful question. It will give you a reason for a goal or changing a habit.
Important is to remember that this is not a right or wrong question.
It is something very personal and only you can feel if it is right or wrong, nobody else can say that for you.
If you know your WHY you are more likely to stick with it because it will give meaning to your goal. If you just say "I want to get fit" because it sounds good on instagram or to tell your friends, then it is not personal tailored to you. When it is not YOUR WHY then you are less likely to stick with it.
If you are interested in reading more about the WHY question I highly recommend to read Start With Why by Simon Sinek!
Tip #2 - Set SMART goals
Now we have answered the WHY question we are ready to set a goal. Most people are familiar with SMART goal setting. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. These are the core principles in setting goals. If you go along these lines, it will be easy to set up achievable goals and maintainable habits.
I see that within SMART goal setting people often make one of these two mistakes:
Setting your goal to generic.
Setting Unachievable goals
What is my starting point?
How much time can I spend per week towards the goal/habit?
How much time should I spend in order to achieve the goal?
Do I have a support/accountability person or group?
Tip #3 - Create a plan
Most people fail because they won't prepare. As Benjamin Franklin once said:
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail"
Once you have set your goal, make a plan. Write down what you want to do to work towards your goal. Once you have that written down (or put in you Icalander) you have it scheduled and are more likely to follow through. It doesn't matter where you start or how big the steps are, as long as it fits with you and your schedule!
Also, make sure that you are able to make steps. If you immediately start with the end goal it might be too much at once. For example, when I started to take ice baths I started with a 15 second cold shower. From there I build it up to a full on ice bath in freezing temperatures. These step by step increments are not only important on a physiological point of view but also mentally.
Tip #4 - Be nice to yourself
In the proces you are going to make mistakes. And that is okay! Everybody makes mistakes, it is what makes us human. The most important thing is to learn to forgive yourself. This might be a hard one to execute (at least it is for me) but one of the most important tips. I'll share two ways in which you can start being nicer to yourself when dealing with goals and setbacks.
Tip #5 - Take action
Lastly, A goal is a good road map. But with a map alone you are not going anywhere, you have to get going!
Just setting a goal is a good start. However, the most important part is to take action! You can make mistakes along the way, these will give you the opportunity to adjust and move on. The most important thing is to start. If you wait for the time to be right to start you can wait forever like James Clear said in his book Atomic Habits (also highly recommend you read that book!)
"Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement."- James Clear
SO GET UP AND GET GOING!!!
I hope that this helps you on your way to set those goals, create new habits, start improving, and become a better one step at the time!