How are you doing on your New Year’s goals? If you have already slipped up (or have yet to make a New Year’s resolution), there is a simple and effective way to get back on track and stay there.
In the latest issue of Pulse, ISPA members provided their New Year’s resolutions, ideas ranging from having more “me time” to digital detoxing to acquiring a new skill, giving readers a total of 21 goal-oriented initiatives to making 2018 healthier, happier and more successful than years prior.
No matter how lofty or modest your New Year intentions, research from the University of Scranton suggests doing these five things to keeping those resolutions, resulting in both short and long-term benefits.
- Set Small Goals – Researchers say that setting small, attainable goals throughout the year is a better approach than the traditional mindset of setting and achieving one huge goal (like finding a way to double your salary) because the former strategy acts as a constant reminder of your resolution. A unique (and fun) way to do this is to set a different goal for every month of the year. For example, maybe January was dedicated to eating clean, healthy foods. After eating healthy became a habit, you set a different goal for the month of February, like working out four times per week. By continuing that pattern of one small goal per month, they will build up naturally because you aren’t taking on more than you can handle.
- Keep Record – Experts recommend charting your progress to keep yourself on the path to success. An example of this would be starting a blog to make your progress public. You could also track your victories by journaling every morning or night.
- Work Together – There is power in numbers. Pair up with a friend who has the same goals as you do so your morning spin class isn’t bearable; it’s enjoyable.
- Be Patient – When you slip up (which is inevitable), don’t get down on yourself. Recognize that you made a mistake, pick up where you left off and keep working toward your goal.
- Treat Yourself – When you do hit those small goals, whether that’s going an entire week without watching TV or sticking to your plan of not bringing work home with you, reward yourself with a treat or simply give yourself a pat on the back for a job well (deserved!) done.
Here is a bonus tip: Pursue these goals with the mindset that happiness and teamwork go hand in hand. Team up with a friend, significant other or colleague attend a yoga class or writing workshop with you. Having someone other than yourself holding you accountable will make a huge difference in carrying out your action plan and benefiting from the results.