How’s that New Year’s Resolution going? 92% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions never keep them. If this is you, here are 10 ways to find your motivation.
1. Limit the Amount of Resolutions You Have to a Single Overarching Goal
If you have 25 different New Year’s Resolutions, it can be difficult to focus on just one. Instead, choose just one. This will increase your focus, and therefore you determination.
Once all of your efforts are streamlined into one main goal (which can be broken down into smaller, shorter-term goals; more on that later), it will be easier to achieve.
2. Talk to the Resistance
Ask it, “Why.” Find out why you haven’t started or haven’t continued. For example, if you made a resolution to go to the gym, but you haven’t yet made it there yet, try to figure out the reason. Is it because the gym is too far away? Or maybe because you’re evenings are full of preparing meals and getting the kids ready for school the next day?
Once you find the reason why, you can make small shifts in your routine to remove these obstacles and accomodate your goals.
3. Break the Resolution Up into Smaller, Manageable Goals
Losing weight is the Number 1 New Year’s Resolution. Yet, many folks are still struggling with this. Try breaking down your resolution into smaller, more manageable goals. This gives you “little wins” along the way, allowing you to recover and maintain your momentum. Those goals need to be concrete and measurable, which brings us to our next recommendation.
4. Make Your Smaller Goals Concrete
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, your smaller goals could be 1.) Walk for 20 minutes after dinner three times per week. 2.) Cook healthy meals at least three times per week.
Giving yourself something to measure makes it easier to be successful, and therefore stay motivated.
5. Give Yourself a Deadline
Give yourself a date and mark it on the calendar. If you tend to procrastinate, make it a “start by” date instead of a completion date. For example, “I’ll start writing my first book within the next month.” Often, just beginning a project brings enough momentum to keep you going.
If you find that deadlines work well for you, create the next one after you’ve met your initial due date.
6. Go Public With Your Goal
Use Facebook and other social media to your advantage. Post about your desire to change, or start something. Not only will you receive feedback on how to reach your goal, but your friends will hold you accountable. This goes well with the next tip.
7. Enlist a Friend’s Help
You’re more likely to go to the gym if your friend is meeting you there. If you’re trying to eat healthy, team up with a coworker where you take turns bringing healthy lunches into the office. This way, you both win.
8. Reduce the Negative Self-Talk
I see negative self-talk a lot when I teach yoga. In the a middle of a yoga class, a student will say something like, “I can’t get into that pose, I’m just not flexible…” You’re defeating yourself before you even begin! This can kill your motivation. Instead of being critical of yourself, talk to yourself with kindness. Pretend you are your own best friend.
9. Reduce the All or Nothing Attitude
Okay, so you didn’t make it to the gym yesterday (or for the past month). That doesn’t mean you can’t exercise today. Okay, so you had a slice of seven-layer chocolate cake when you were out with your coworkers. That doesn’t mean your entire diet is ruined. Or even the whole day. For dinner, eat something healthy.
I remember when I was trying to lose weight, I would say to myself, “aw man, I ate that cupcake for breakfast, now my whole day is ruined. Might as well pig out the rest of the day, because I’m going to start eating right first thing tomorrow.” You know what? Tomorrow never came.
The problem with this thinking is it’s all or nothingness. There is NEVER going to be a time when you’re going to give up ALL sweets (or some other food you love). It’s much better for you to accept what you ate, and decide to eat healthy for your very next meal. Stop beating yourself up for it.
10. Don’t Think So Hard
Often, folks look at their goals as one, huge, unsurmountable task. If you’ve broken up your goals into smaller, more manageable (as mentioned earlier), just take each task one at a time. Eat that elephant one bite at a time.
One Last Note: Pretend it’s the end of the current year. Looking back, what will you be proud you accomplished this year? Most likely, you’ll never say to yourself, I wish I had spent more time watching TV.
Do you guys have any more tips? What gets you motivated? Leave your comments below!