This is the time of year when most of us feel highly motivated to turn over a new leaf—to embark on a new plan of action and achieve a goal that we’ve been dreaming of. Whether this means losing 20 pounds, building 10 pounds of muscle, or finally squatting three plates, you have your goals set and are ready to attack 2017.
Sadly, statistics show that most people do not stick with the resolutions they’ve set. Rather, they fall off the wagon and soon, their goal is just a distant memory. What can you do to ensure you’re still striving towards your goals in February and beyond?
Don’t be a statistic! There are strategies you can put in place to ensure you follow through on your resolutions this year. Here are five ways you can bulletproof your New Years resolution.
1. Get Support
Individuals who have support as they work towards their goals are far more likely to stick to their plan through thick and thin. With the proper support network in place, unforeseen challenges won’t become roadblocks.
This support can come in the form of family or close friends who are aware of your goal, a personal trainer you hire to help you reach your goal or other skilled professionals with practical knowledge such as a nutritionist.
You might also benefit from a mentor if you know someone who fits the bill. While you may not interact with them regularly, tapping into them for inspiration and guidance along your journey can make a big difference in how successful you are.
2. Break Down Your Goal
No matter how big or small your goal is, try and break it down into manageable steps. This can make the overall goal seem less daunting, help keep you on track, and provide satisfaction as you achieve the small steps.
Clearly lay out each of these steps by writing them down, including any strategies you’ll utilize. Having everything written down will allow you to physically check them off your list, so you can visually see how far you’ve progressed towards the final goal.
Without a clear road map to guide you from point A to point B, you’re more likely to fall off course. Breaking it down is a great way to map your way towards the final end point.
3. Assess Your Previous Attempts
If this isn’t your first attempt at this goal, it’s important to reflect back on previous experiences. Let previous problems or mistakes be a learning experience for the future. Ask yourself, why wasn’t I successful? What prevented me from reaching my desired outcome?
Once you identify any problems you encountered and figure out how you can overcome them this time, you will be one step ahead of where you were last year. If you don’t take the time to analyze what went wrong before, chances are high that you will follow the exact same path.
Clearly, this is not what you want as you continue setting the same goal. Devise strategies to side-step these obstacles so you can get the results you desire. Add these strategies to your small steps from the previous tip, creating a comprehensive master plan for your goal.
4. Keep A Journal
Along with your written game plan, consider keeping a journal. A journal is a great way to track what you are currently doing and to create a tool you can use to motivate you on tough days. Include struggles you’ve had and how you overcame them, giving you a resource to rely on when things seem impossible.
When it feels like you aren’t making progress, you can look back at your journal and see that steadily, you are reaching that end goal. It may be slow, but you are making progress.
A journal is also a great tool to keep you accountable. Write down what you’re eating, your workouts, and how you’re feeling during the day. Writing everything down may shine some light on patterns or behaviors that are holding you back, such as evening snacking or a lack of sleep.
5. Use An Accountability Buddy
Finally, consider getting yourself an accountability partner. This could be your gym buddy if you have one, or it could be a friend or family member you talk to on a regular basis.
The purpose of an accountability partner is to have someone who will check in on you and see how you are progressing towards your goal. When you have this outside person checking in, it builds an added layer of motivation to stay on track. Otherwise, you have to admit to them that you’re falling behind. It’s no longer just yourself you’re letting down, but them as well.
Your accountability partner should be someone who is not afraid to use tough love. If your friend is going to tell you it’s always ok when you fall off track, the purpose of enlisting their help is lost.
Keep these few tips in mind as you set your New Years resolutions and begin working towards them. If you can make sure that you have these in place, you should feel more confident that you’re on your way to achieving the success you want – and won’t be another person who drops off two weeks into the new year.