It’s a new year and with that comes the promise of many new year’s resolutions we hope to keep throughout the year. Most of the time this strong desire to make changes to our lifestyle can last a few weeks and sometimes a few days. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated throughout the year and achieve the goals you set out.
1. Start small and be realistic
Be ambitious but don’t be unrealistic. If you know you will never achieve it, rather store it on your list of dreams you would like to reach some day, maybe. Write down a smaller list of resolutions rather than a long list, you are more likely to succeed and ultimately stick to your resolutions for a longer period of time. Here is a classic example. If you want to start exercising more, aim to go to the gym at least three times a week rather than creating unrealistic goals like gyming seven days a week.
2. Ask for support and talk about it
If you are struggling to keep to your resolutions, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends, family or even a support group can provide a great way to stay inspired. If you can find people who are trying to achieve similar goals, you can drive each other. Is smoking something you have been trying to stop for years now? Why not join a support group where you can chat with people going through a similar situation and leave those sessions with much needed support and advice. If gyming is something you would really like to incorporate in your lifestyle, perhaps consider joining a class at the gym or a training community like CrossFit where you can make friends and motivate each other to attend classes.
3. Just do it
Procrastination is normal, but it often leads to unproductiveness. You may tell yourself tomorrow is another day. You will go to that gym class next week or start eating better after the weekend but the key to success is to just do it. Once you start, there is always some good that comes from it, even if you only eat vegetables once a week or gym for twenty minutes. The act of trying will slowly start changing your habits over time. Don’t beat yourself up about it… things take time. If you want to gym more, do it because you want to be healthy, don’t focus your energy on losing weight as it should become part of your lifestyle. If you want to save money, make it tougher to access your money. You can do this by putting funds in a fixed account.
4. Rewards and penalties
A great way to keep your resolutions in check is by adopting a rewards and penalties system. If you hit your target of three gym sessions a week, reward yourself with a chocolate for example. For every month that you have quit smoking, reward yourself with some retail therapy. The same goes for penalties; if you haven’t gone to gym all week you don’t reward yourself.
5. Use apps and charts
Another way to stay motivated is to download an app that can help you keep track of your progress and log in all your activities. There are several useful apps such as Nozbe, LifeTick and HabitList that you can consider. If you are more of a visual person, print out a calendar and set out your gym schedule or eating plan and stick it on your bedroom wall for a constant reminder. If you have gone to gym or have stuck to your eating plan, tick it off so that you can see your progress.
All the best for the year ahead!