A new year. A new slate. A new you. We’ve heard it all before, but why do all the positive vibes die down by January 3rd? Fun fact- over 90% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions will never reach their goal. I bet you won’t see that as a meme on Facebook.
All of those motivation quotes featuring people running into the sunset or urging you to be more creative, organized or to save money should all come with a warning. Reaching goals are hard and humans are lazy. Why force yourself to make changes in your life when its so much easier to “Netflix & Chill?” I’ll be the first one to admit that I start racking my brain for every excuse under the sun to stop as soon as a workout becomes too challenging. However, I need to get in my daily fitness-related hashtags on Instagram so I keep going. We rarely see pictures posted of people forcing their hands out of the chip bag or peeling themselves off the couch in their ratty pajamas. Instead, we see buff bods in the latest trending fitness apparel all over social media. Don’t get me wrong these pics can be motivational, but they can also be intimidating and set up false expectations. My point is this if we rely on just inspiring quotes and #fitspo to reach our goals we most likely won’t make it to the finish line and will end up being disappointing in ourselves. Wait… There’s still hope!! Don’t give up just yet!!
Here are some tried & true ways to eliminate setting unrealistic expectations and for starting 2016 out on the right foot.
- What is your why? Think about the reason you chose to make that particular resolution. Health concerns? Children? Spouse? Bank account? Knowing what motivates Y O U is going to be the driving force behind your goal.
- Choose 1 or 2 goals at most. Make these goals SPECIFIC and set up a time line for what you want to achieve and when. Set up notifications on your phone, re-write your goal every week, stick post its in your car or on the fridge. Remind yourself of your goals daily.
- Practice Patience- Big changes or even small changes take time. Don’t expect results or habits to change over night. If you know ahead of time that your goals will take days, weeks or months to reach, then you are ready to commit for the results.
- Brace yourself for a set back- Like the Aaliyah song (Try Again)- “If at first you don’t succeed, Dust yourself off and try again, You can dust it off and try again.” Enough said.
- Celebrate small victories- Sometimes its best not to look at the big picture. Celebrate every single small step that it takes to get to where you want to be or the goals you set for yourself. It’s all part of the journey, embrace it.
- Phone a friend. Make yourself stay accountable by partnering with a friend, co-worker, spouse, dog (I’m not judging), or neighbor who shares generally the same goal as you. Research shows that we are more likely to stick with a plan if we are held responsible by another person or group. Plus, walking with someone is a great time to catch up on gossip.
So long 2015, hello 2016 you beautiful thing.