It’s well into the beginning of the New Year. Do you feel like a “new you?” Many who sat down and crafted New Year’s resolutions before January 1st might be feeling a little discouraged if they haven’t been making progress. According to recent research, fewer than 8% of people stick to their resolutions. Still, millions of people continue setting goals for themselves with a hope to change.
Don’t lose heart if you’re not where you want to be. With these seven tips, you can make headway in achieving your goals for 2023.
- Be Realistic
It might be a good idea to go back through your list of goals and make adjustments if needed. Some goals might be a little unrealistic for you to achieve at this time. For example, if you have never stepped foot in the gym and your goal is to exercise seven days a week for one hour at a time, you should start smaller. What about going to the gym three times a week for 30 minutes? Consider modifying any lofty and overwhelming goals into smaller, more measurable ones.
- Identify Your Obstacles
Don’t let shame keep you from giving proper attention to what’s standing in your way. Identify your obstacles clearly for yourself to understand what the hang-up is. Different goals bring different obstacles. If you want to wake up at 5 a.m. every day, some potential obstacles could be staying up too late, or not having a plan for what your mornings should look like. Make a plan for how you’ll overcome these obstacles to set yourself up well for success.
Utilize some kind of system where you can visually see your progress. You might keep a journal or a color-coded calendar. There are even specially designed goal-tracking apps that can beautifully display your hard work over a given period of time. Tracking your progress is helpful with keeping the big picture in mind, as well as looking back on how far you’ve come.
- Reward Yourself at Checkpoints
What’s wrong with a little extra motivation? You know what makes you tick. Sometimes the right carrot dangling in front of you can light the fire needed to get the job done. Next time you’re tempted to splurge on yourself, save it for when you can see progress on a goal. Set up checkpoints in your calendar to identify milestones worthy of a reward!
- Get a Buddy
Having a friend join you in the pursuit of your goal can elevate your motivation and increase accountability. Not to mention, your friend would benefit as well! If you are struggling with a goal, find a friend to join you. Discuss your goals together and make a plan for how you both will meet them and celebrate small victories together.
- Focus on Starting a Behavior
Sometimes, a mindset shift is needed to make our goal work for us. If your goals all start out with “don’t do this” or “stop doing that,” you might be setting yourself up for failure. Work smarter, not harder! Think about replacing a goal that seeks to terminate a behavior with a goal that starts a new behavior. For example, if one of your goals is to stop eating fast food every day, consider modifying that goal to, “cook dinner at home three nights a week.” It’s easier to start a new behavior instead of stopping an existing one.
- Don’t Give Up
Lasting change doesn’t come easy. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel like you’re not where you should be. However, you shouldn’t just ignore your struggles or you’ll never make any progress. Spend some time reflecting on your desires for each goal. Why did you create this goal in the first place? What is it that you’re hoping to achieve? Keep the end in mind. It’s not too late for you to meet your goals for 2023.