January is an interesting month. While people are really excited and motivated by new beginnings, it is also difficult to deal with the end of the holidays, an overwhelming workload, and cold weather for a lot of the globe. On top of that, you might feel pressured to be on top of whatever resolutions you set for yourself. In fact, according to U.S. News, 80% of resolutions fail by early February. Isn’t that a bummer? It doesn’t have to be this way.
As we head into February, here are a few simple tips for staying on track with your resolutions for the remainder of the year:
- Set small, realistic goals. Whether you’ve resolved to lose weight or save more money, it’s important to remember that patience is key. In a world where we’ve come to expect instant gratification, your [successful] resolution is going to be the result of small changes over time. For example, if your goal is to lose 50 pounds this year, try to break that up into smaller goals like going to the gym 2-3 times per week. Achieving a 50-pound weight loss is a lofty goal, but exercising 2-3 times a week is totally doable! Joining a challenge, like this one, can help.
- Cut yourself some slack. We live in a wild world. We’re digitally connected 24/7 which means there’s a higher expectation to stay on top of work emails, social media channels, texts, news headlines, the latest diet trends, just-released music…you get it. On top of that, we have friends, family, relationships, pets and kids to take care of. And, oh yeah, we have to find time to take care of ourselves, too. Life can get pretty overwhelming! So if you find yourself facing a week where it’s a tad harder to meet your goals, just take a step back and be kind to yourself. Let’s say it again: be kind to YOU. Don’t beat yourself up for it. Just do the best you can to stay on track. After all, if you can’t love yourself, how can you expect someone else to do it for you? On that note…
- Don’t neglect your mental health. Physical health is super important for a long, sustainable life. Eating right and getting regular exercise are vital to our overall wellbeing. But one thing that people tend to put on the back-burner may be the most important key of all: your mental health. Having a strong mind is absolutely the foundation we need to accomplish our goals. Whether that means daily meditation, going to therapy, or just taking an hour a day to be by yourself, YOU shouldn’t be at the end of your to-do list. Be sure to make your mental health a priority and we’re willing to bet that the rest will fall into place.
- Incentivize yourself. We already told you that 80% of resolutions fail by early February. What do you think happens as we get closer to the end of the year? It gets harder and harder to remember why you made these resolutions (if you can even remember the resolution you made in the first place!). So how can we stay motivated each month of the year? The key is to motivate and incentivize yourself. What we mean is that you should reward yourself for your positive behavior. But be smart about it! If your goal is to save a substantial amount of money this year, don’t reward yourself by buying an out-of-budget designer handbag. Instead, if you did really well this month, treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure, or go to a concert, or take a day off to go to the beach. These small rewards should be a treat that will make you feel good and keep you going until next month!
Keeping your resolutions shouldn’t feel like a burden. By making it fun, simple, and attainable, you’re setting yourself up for success. Don’t be afraid to join an accountability group to keep you responsible. And above all else, remember that you’re only human.
Think we missed something? What are your best tips for keeping your resolutions?