After the final pig in blanket has been eaten and the last of the Quality Streets have been finished off, we may turn our attention to the exciting prospect of goal setting for the new year. A brand new year offers 365 days worth of opportunity and the chance to live life to the fullest. Magazines promote a healthier version of you and new gym memberships are at an all time high. We feel positive and inspired and promise that 2018 will be our year.
However, despite the best of intentions, the reality is (according to one commonly cited statistic) that only 8% of people actually keep there New Years Resolutions. So, why not be part of the minority and actually set some long term healthy habits. Here are my six tips on how to set realistic and achievable goals for the New Year. (All images are from my Heidi Swapp Memory planner)
Before you set yourself impulsive goals, take a look back at the year gone by. Identify your strengths and what achievements you are most proud of. We should work with what we already have and build on that instead of picking on our weaknesses and flaws. Making goals which involve drastic and dramatic changes will only be setting yourself up to fail. Focus on your interests, passions and things you enjoy doing to stand a good chance of making your goal a habit.
For example, I know I already enjoy walking so I am going to make this a daily activity. I love reading, so am going to write a list of books I would like to read in 2018.
A goal needs to be specific so you know exactly what you need to do in order to achieve it. Specific resolutions can be measured so we can see how we are getting on as the months go by. Avoid vague goals such as I want to be healthier and replace it with something like I am going to exercise three times a week and eat balanced nutritious meals. This way you can assess how you are doing at the end of each week and feel motivated that you are on track with your resolution.
Your goals should challenge you but they shouldn’t be a daily struggle. Know your limitations and what would be practically impossible to achieve. A realistic goal should be something you know you are capable of, however you just need to stay focused and motivated in order to succeed. For example, don’t say you are going to run a marathon if you have never ran a mile. Instead, push yourself gently, one step at a time and see where it takes you.
Once we are ready to rock with our new goals, we need to remember that we are only human too. There will be days where we are not at our best for whatever reason and this is totally normal and expected. The trick is not to let one bad day knock you off track completely to the point you give up on your goal. Appreciate how far we have come and look at the bigger picture. Why did you set yourself this goal in the first place? A little progress each day adds up, so just do what you can and start each day a fresh.
Life is ever changing and your goal is no different. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – change can open up brand new opportunities and exciting experiences. We may need to slightly adjust our goals or perhaps make them bigger as time goes on. For example, you may resolve to go the gym three times a week, however, for some variety, you decide to try out a new fitness class and find you absolutely love it. Your new goal may now be go to the gym twice a week and go to say yoga on Fridays. Who knows where your goal may take you. Be open to the possibilities.
Keeping a positive attitude is so important when it comes to staying on track with your goal. By rewarding your milestones and achievements, no matter how small, we stay motivated and focused. We can look back at how far we have come and appreciate our hard work and effort. Whether your goal is fitness, blogging related or personal development every small step in the right direction takes us closer to our goal. Keep moving forward and celebrating your successes.
Have you set any goals for 2018? I would love to hear them! Whatever your New Years Resolutions are just remember – be reflective, specific, realistic, kind, flexible and positive. You can do this!