New Year’s came and went and if you’re like 41% of the American population, you probably created a resolution, declaring with conviction “this is my year!” How are you doing now that it’s the end of January? Only 58.4% of resolution-makers even make it to this point.
This post isn’t meant to bum you out, but to give you some insight on how to pick up where you left off and re-calibrate your New Year’s goals to make them stick.
5 Ways to Recalibrate Your Goals for Success
Start with small, rational goals instead of complete life overhauls
You know yourself better than to think you were going to organize every room in your house, lose 50 lbs, and start a new career this month. This might be an over-exaggeration, but you get the point. Immediate life overhauls don’t work.
Life overhauls happen as the result of daily manageable steps. What are those steps for you? Plan out one small, actionable step you can take each day this week toward your goals. If you want to eat more fruits and vegetables, make time to sit down and find new recipes, map out your meals for the week, and slice all that produce.
Build in a reward system
Giving yourself a reward for finishing a successful week helps you stop and take notice of and give yourself credit for all the effort you’ve exerted toward your goal. Your rewards also supply your goals with extra incentive.
Take a moment to build some rewards of increasing entice into your schedule. For example, if you eat an extra serving of vegetables for one full week, maybe you buy yourself a new pair of wicking socks. Then, if you stick with your new habit for a full month, you might buy that new spiralizer you’ve been eyeing.
Build in a support system
Want to know how to make yourself 95% more likely to achieve your goals? Assign yourself an accountability partner and meet with them regularly. First, by publicizing your goal, you attach a little bit of your own integrity and follow-through to your goals. You’re more likely to follow through because you don’t want to be “that guy/gal” who never does what they say they’re going to do.
Second, a partner really takes accountability to a personal level. You might be able to hide your progress from your Facebook feed, but not your in-person partner.
Your weekly or monthly meetings with your personal trainer are a great time to recalibrate your original goals, to assess what’s working and what’s not so you can make adjustments.
Revive your motivation
The high-strung excitement of New Year’s goals fades faster than the crowd in Times Square Garden. It’s important to actively revive that excitement every time you start to feel it fade.
How do you do that? Think about what made you so excited in the first place. Was it the prospect of finally hitting your goal? Was it the newness and freshness of a new year? Was it all the new shiny gear you bought to enhance your experience? Was it the high energy all around you?
Recapture some of that freshness by taking a new class or buying a fresh notebook. Sit down on a Sunday and journal about all the reasons why you want to hit your goals. Join a new Facebook group related to your goal. With a little bit of nudging, you should start to feel that excitement rising up in you again.
Use the self-fulfilling prophecy to your advantage
The self-fulfilling prophecy is a psychological phenomenon that happens when you cause a prediction about yourself to come true. For example, if you continually tell a child they’re terrible at math, whether or not it’s even true, they’ll likely end up struggling with math. They start to identify with that.
Now, you can either believe the negative voice that tell you you’re not good enough, or you can start rewriting the script. If you want to be a runner, tell yourself you’re going to be a regular runner and you’ll start identifying with your role and taking action toward it.
What do you want your self-fulfilling prophecy to be? Sit down and write out your predictions and go back to them every single day, and just see what happens.