By this time in January, the majority of people have already dropped the ball on their New Year’s Resolutions. What seemed like such a great idea/plan on January 1 has already been abandoned – so how can you avoid the same outcome?
To help you have a better chance of sticking with your resolutions, you will need to dig a bit deeper into your motivation and also to show yourself that you mean business – because let’s face it, we can be hard on ourselves and also let ourselves slide on our commitments all too easily.
Step #1. Understand your Motivation
There are 2 types of motivation:
- Intrinsic – this means your motivation comes from inside. For example, you prefer jogging, going to the gym, or shopping by yourself because you like how you feel afterwards.
- Extrinsic – you’re pushed forward by actions outside your personal scope. In other words, you prefer working out with your friends, and work harder when there’s a reward system in place.
Once you figure out your motivation type is, then all you have to do is put yourself in situations that make you more excited to accomplish even more.
If you prefer more intrinsic rewards, then you know that your prefer jogging vs. going to the gym, so don’t sign up for that gym membership, it will not help you reach your goal. On the other hand if you have an opportunity to join a running group, you will have to decide if that really what you want, but it may help you to reach your running goals, so it is a much better fit for your long term success.
If an extrinsic motivator works better for you, then you would probably do alright purchasing that gym membership and keeping your eyes open to find other individuals who may want to have some friendly competition to help you all reach your fitness goals. Now, I know that these examples or centered around fitness, but the idea is the same no matter what goal you’re trying to achieve, if you understand your motivation, you will better be able to reach your goals.
Step #2. Actions speak louder than results
Deciding on a goal for the New Year, and setting resolutions may be easier said than done. And in the long run, it’s the steps you take to reach that goal that’s will ultimately determine if you will find success. One great way to help you stay on track is to break each step down into smaller goals, allowing you to know what you “should” be working on at any given time.
As you complete each step, reward yourself and feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. Positive reinforcement is crucial to help guide you as you push toward your goal and commit to your responsibilities. All too often, we look ahead and think about how much more we still have to do, but if you stop and look back, you will find that you have done more than you think you have. And giving yourself the time to appreciate what you have accomplished will help to keep you going as you move forward.
Step #3. Be Honest and Realistic With Yourself
This may be the hardest step of all for some people. The more realistic your resolutions, the more likely you’ll see them through. If your goal for the New Year is to blog more frequently, then start small. Instead of planning a daily commitment, plan to blog 3-5 days a week, then once that becomes a habit, decide if daily is the proper next step or determine if your current schedule works for you.
If you say you’re going to blog daily and then you miss a day – suddenly you have failed, but if you set a more realistic expectation, you will be able to see accomplishments rather than failures. As you start seeing what you’ve accomplished, you’ll be pumped to do even more.
Don’t get caught in the “all-or-nothing” trap. Doing something, even if it’s a small piece of what you’d originally planned, is much better and more productive than doing nothing at all. Or, stop and take a look at what you have already accomplished to remind you that even if you are not where you want to be, you are still moving in a positive direction.
If you think that you can work on several goals at the same time, you may be disappointed. Make a list of your goals/resolutions, then prioritize them, and go from there. Once you feel the first one’s in the bag, go for the second, and so on. Focusing on one goal at a time will channel your energy and efforts there, helping you reach your target faster.
Step #4. Have a Positive Mindset
Having a positive mindset is key when progressing towards your goals, but let’s be honest; every plan is bound for failure if you’re not careful. Be smart and anticipate these obstacles so that when they do appear, you’ll be prepared. There will always be obstacles, some you can anticipate and be prepared for, others will take you by surprise and you will have to find a way to get around or through whatever obstacle shows up.
By thinking about possible problems and solutions, you will be better prepared for those unexpected obstacles. For example, if you get worry about running out of what to blog about, you can set up Google News, and Google Trends alerts about what is happening in your area of expertise, ensuring you not only have content, but you stay on the cutting edge for your audience. If you hate creating images for your blog posts, find someone you can outsource the job too – or sign up for a graphics subscription and use images that fit your topic.
The idea is to know that there will be hurdles, but know that you have the tools to help you get over those hurdles. Your willpower will only get you so far, a positive mindset will take you much further in helping you reach your goals.
Step #5. Be Accountable to Someone Else
Accountability means you’re taking responsibility for the choices you’re making. This is huge. And, when you have children, you have to be accountable, they don’t let you off the hook, but when you are working on your own goals, having an accountability partner is so helpful. You can decide if you want to check in daily or weekly, I don’t recommend going any longer than weekly if at all possible.
You can enlist the help of a friend or find someone who is in a Facebook Group you are already a part of, or join a Facebook group that offers accountability as part of the membership. One I can highly recommend is Laptop Lifestyle YOUniversity, this group offers accountability and so much more. You can try to be your own accountability partner, but often, we are too hard or too soft on ourselves to be truly effective.
Of course, keeping your New Year’s resolution can seem scary at first, but any attempt at change is often scary. Hopefully these 5 steps will help you reach your goals, and stay committed to your New Year’s resolutions all year long. You may even find that once you accomplish your first resolution, it’s not only beneficial to your life and business, it’s also empowering!