With 2019 coming at us full speed, it’s time to start planning those resolutions! But really, where do you start? It seems like each year you decide that this year will be the year that you become financially stable, get fit, loose those extra pounds, or organize your routine. Then, by the end of January, you slip right back into the old habits. I am just as guilty as the rest! My New Year’s Resolution last year was to start writing in a journal again. Which happened until January 5th. Why is it so hard to change our habits? Is there a secret formula to make your resolution stick?
Let’s start at the beginning. Resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something. According to the Urban Dictionary, a New Year’s resolution is defined as a reachable goal that you don’t bother to reach. Why not? Has bettering your life as part of a New Year’s Resolution become such a farce that we don’t even attempt?
Well, this year, I’m going to take it seriously. Before I tell you my goals, let’s look at the science behind building better habits and how to create your own personal goal.
Tip #1: Make your goal attainable! Don’t make your goal too big or you will be setting yourself up for failure. For example, don’t set your goal at I want to lose 200 pounds this year as that isn’t really attainable in a healthy manner.
Tip #2: Make your goal measurable. Instead of saying you want to lose some weight, say I want to lose 20 pounds. It is easier to hold yourself accountable to a goal that is explicitly defined.
Tip #3: Give yourself a timeline. Without a deadline, a goal is just a wish. Give yourself some accountability by adding a timeline to your goal.
Tip #4: Break your larger goal into many smaller targets. For example, if you would like to run a marathon, you can’t just jump off the couch and do it. One, you will pass out. Two, trying too much too soon will make you want to give up. Instead, start with a mini-goal of running 1 mile without a walking break by the end of January. Then maybe running 3 miles without a break by the end of February.
Tip #5: Reward yourself! Incentives at mini-milestones are an amazing way to keep your momentum going. Here’s the catch- be careful how you reward yourself. If you are trying to be healthier, don’t make the reward food-based. Your brain will associate tasty treats with doing good things, and you will want to eat things that aren’t good for you each time you accomplish something.
Now here are my goals for a little accountability of my own:
- Lose 22 pounds by Labor Day weekend. Mini goals to get me there:
- Limit eating out to 5 times per month (each successful month gets $20 toward clothing fund)
- Meal prep each week on Sunday (each successful month gets a new book)
- Exercise 4 times per week (each workout= $1 in the pot towards new tennis shoes)
- Keep track of progress and blog for accountability- (10lb reward is a mani/pedi. 15 lb loss reward is a new workout outfit. Goal reward is a massage.)
- Improve financial stability. Mini goals to get me there:
- Create auto-pay for as many monthly bills as possible to avoid late fees
- Cancel un-needed subscriptions (ex. Hulu)
- Put $100 into savings account each month
What are your goals this year? Let me know how you plan on making it happen! More goal-oriented ideas to be posted soon.