Ask anyone you know and they are quick to tell you the resolutions they have made for the New Year. For some it’s to quit smoking, for others it’s to lose weight, or get a new job, or start a retirement savings plan.
Even if you start off the year with a fierce commitment to working to your goal, the momentum generally drops a bit past January. Here are 4 strategies to help you stay on track.
Find a Buddy to Lean On
Whether it's a partner for a morning walk or a friend to call when you feel the urge to reach for a cigarette, having a pal to lean on is a way to stay on track. A quick text or phone call can help divert poor choices. If you are looking for a new job, for example, ask your friend if she can look over your updated resume or via help you practice your interviewing skills via Facetime. If you have a weight-loss goal, perhaps you and a friend can trade recipes, or discuss meal plans. This partnership can be a springboard for goal success.
Manage Your Expectations
It’s still early in the year; don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Losing weight takes time and so does finding the right romantic partner, job, or apartment. When you set small “mini-goals” for yourself, you have a more realistic chance at achieving them. For example, send out five resumes a week, email five contacts through networking bi-weekly, and try to set up one or two informational interviews a month. By managing your expectations, you will be less likely to fail and more likely to succeed.
Prioritize Your Resolutions
Don’t try to change or upgrade everything in your life at the same time. If you truly ask yourself what the most important goals to focus on is, you can set a plan in motion to succeed. To illustrate this point, if you have decided to unclutter your apartment, make a list of what you are saving, discarding and donating. It can be a large undertaking to organize your belongings. This is an achievable goal, and with a plan, it can be achieved.
Make calls to organizations that will accept donations. Then, make an inventory of clothes or shoes you never wear, or other items that are not being used. Donate what you can. If apparel, shoes, and other items are not wanted, or in usable condition, throw them away. For belongings you wish to keep, organize them. If there is too much to keep on hand in your home, make a plan to store your belongings. Your apartment may have a storage locker or room that you have access to. If not, rent a storage unit, and to save money, split it with a roommate or trusted friend.
Create An Action Plan
Putting your plan on paper, creating a spreadsheet, or discussing your goals with friends is a great start, but an action plan is what you truly need. When you create this agenda, make it month by month, and when you reach each benchmark it will keep your momentum going.
Decide how you’re going to find that dream job, and then work towards it so you can measure your success. Join trade associations, register for virtual webinars, download podcasts and network with people in the circles you want to be in. If you want to set a plan for getting in better physical shape, then document what you want to happen. Walk the streets in your neighborhood, watch fitness programming online, swim in the local community centers, or spend a Saturday riding your bike on a scenic route. Create an action plan for success, and stay motivated.
How Can You Stick to Your Resolutions the Entire Year?
It’s not an easy feat to stay focused and motivated to achieve goals, but it is possible. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Set incremental goals, reach those benchmarks and it will keep you going. Ask friends and family to support your resolutions and this will make you more accountable. If you keep expectations manageable, you can achieve your New Year’s resolutions, and your physical, emotional and mental health will thrive.