The new year is upon us, but if you’re like most people, your New Year’s resolutions will fail by the time February hits. According to Forbes, only eight percent of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. If you’re already falling behind this year, don’t fret. It’s never too late to reevaluate your fitness and health goals. Start with these four tips for setting New Year’s resolutions that stick.
One reason New Year’s resolutions fail is because people set large goals that quickly become overwhelming. If you’re already feeling overwhelmed with your New Year’s resolution, take a step back and consider ways to simplify your goals.
For example, instead of focusing on losing sixty pounds this year, start with the small goal of losing five pounds this month. It’s essentially the same goal, but focusing on the smaller, shorter term goal is more manageable. Plus, once you accomplish this goal once, it makes doing it again next month that much easier.
Another reason simplicity helps is because it keeps your focus from being pulled in too many different directions. If you resolutions list is long, consider cutting it down to one or two of your most important goals.
Another reason people fail with their New Year’s resolutions is because they aren’t specific with their goals. For example, you might decide to “exercise more.” The problem with this resolution is that it provides no direction. What exactly does this mean to you?
A more specific goal would be to do thirty minutes of cardio three days per week. By defining your goals like this, you can better track and measure them to ensure you’re on the track you want to be on.
It’s easy to give up on your goals when you’re not being held accountable for them. That’s why it’s a good idea to get other people involved in helping you achieve your goals. For example, you might hire a personal fitness trainer to help you reach your fitness goals. With someone besides yourself to answer to, they’ll be able to help you stay on track, keep your appointments, and push toward the goals you want to achieve. You might also:
- Document your journey on social media
- Share your successes and setbacks with a friend or family member
- Keep an accountability journal
- Join a group—such as a fitness class or online support group—of like-minded individuals with similar goals
Don’t Get Discouraged
A minor setback does not equate to failure. Unfortunately, many people will see it this way and give up far too early.
Let’s say your goal is to exercise three times per week. Due to unforeseen circumstances, you miss a workout session and only get in two workouts that week.
This does not mean you’ve failed. It does not mean you have to cancel all future workout sessions.
Don’t let one missed session discourage you. Simply pick up your regularly scheduled workout sessions next week, and continue pushing toward your goals.
Remember, you are in control of your success. Setting small, specific goals, staying accountable, and not giving up will help you achieve your dreams.