So, how are those New Year’s resolutions coming along?
In what seems like a blink of an eye, we’re already halfway through 2017! Crazy. Starting fresh in the new year is always exciting and somehow overnight we begin life with a clean slate, ready to take on the world with our new healthy, fitness-ready, and “say YES” mindset. Then January goes by and many of us find ourselves waving it off as a transition period, determined to make a real change starting February. The next thing you know, half a year has gone by!
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Take some time right now to reflect on the goals you set out to achieve this year. Have you achieved them, or have you been making progress toward reaching them?
If you’re shamefully blushing and shaking your head, it’s OK! There’s good news. In no way is there anything stopping you from redeeming yourself 🙂
Let’s be honest, we all begin fairly optimistic and motivated. So what’s happened since? Picturing the end goal is easy but finding a way to maintain that motivation and establishing a realistic plan to get there can often be the challenging part. At the end of the day, we are all human and life happens, so it’s not the be all end all if we don’t always succeed at what we set out to. However, if you currently feel like you’re stuck under a new-years-resolution shame cloud, here are some tips to get you back on track!
#1: Tips for STAYING MOTIVATED
Create a vision board
- These are so fun to make! You have the freedom to be as creative as you want with this, but a great starting point is to ask yourself: What do you want your life to look like? A few key themes may come to mind – aim to capture these and look for images that resonate with you and are consistent with the things with which you wish to fill your life.
Sources for inspiration: the interwebs (duh), magazines, past photos (e.g. moments you wish you could relive, activities you want to do more of, etc.), the outside world (go out, explore, and snap some photos!)
Types of vision boards: call it what you will, but it does not actually have to be a physical board.
- Pin board, whiteboard, mesh board
- Go digital – use Pinterest, create your own website or even just a tumblr site that you can add to and revisit any time
- Scrapbook, journal, display folder, or the traditional cut-and-glue collage on paper of your choice
- I have a little “zen” journal I keep and love to refer back to every now and then. Its main purpose is to inspire and remind me of the core things in life that bring me joy; and hence, highlighting where I need to be actively putting more effort towards to bring more of that happiness into my day.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
- If you’ve studied Marketing or Management, you probably have a good idea of what SMART goals are. This concept is applicable outside of the business world too. If you’re not sure what I’m going on about, here is a basic summary and what it stands for:
S: Specific – What exactly are you trying to achieve?
M: Measurable – How will you know how you are tracking?
A: Achievable – Can it be done?
R: Reasonable – Why do you want to achieve this and are you willing to put in the required effort?
T: Timely – Put a time frame on it to motivate yourself and avoid slacking off.
- When you are setting your goals, try and keep these five key attributes in mind. Doing so will get you started on the right track and help you structure your planning of how you’re going to get from point A to point B. For example, there’s no point in setting a goal to “save money” if you are unsure of how much you need to save, why you’re saving, and by when you need to save up a certain amount.
Don’t obsess over it
- As everyone knows, progress takes time and staring at your vision board and going over all of your plans every single day will not help. In fact, it may even be detrimental to your progress if you’re checking in too often and not seeing positive changes or outcomes come in at a rate you were expecting. It can drag you down and discourage you from continuing to put in the same amount of effort as you were at the start.
#2: Tips for PLANNING & ACHIEVING
Set milestones and make necessary adjustments along the way
- I’ve made an example timeline and checklist that some of you may find helpful. Once you know what goals you want to work towards, dividing up your plan within the time frame you give yourself can be a useful way to track how you are going, and provide some indication of how likely you are to reach your end goal by your desired time. Making progress toward a closer and more achievable goal whilst also being able to celebrate milestones along the way can also help to maintain motivation.
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- Think of little things that you can try and incorporate into your daily, weekly, or monthly routine to contribute to the overall progress you’re making. If you’re trying to make a long-term positive change to your lifestyle this can be a great way of creating and practising new habits.
#3: Tips for EXCUSES FOR WHY YOU CAN’T DO SOMETHING
Quite simply, don’t make them.
- If you have already put in the effort to set out S.M.A.R.T. goals, then there really is no valid reason for why it’s not feasible. Even when circumstances change, you have the liberty of making adjustments to your goal plan and if shifting your timeline out is something you need to do, it’s still better than giving up entirely. I find that when I’m in a rut and negative thoughts start to pop into my head, expressing those out loud tends to help. Why? Because usually someone else who isn’t in that same rut is able to provide a clearer outside view of my situation, slap that nonsense out of me (figuratively), and keep me in check.
I hope that someone out there finds this helpful, I know that I sometimes need to consciously make an effort to re-focus. Especially when things get busy, it’s quite normal to lose track.
What goals are you aiming to achieve this year? Let me know in the comments! 🙂