With a new year upon us, it is time to set our New Year’s resolutions and become the best version of ourselves in 2019. I believe New Year’s resolutions are great, but the hard truth about setting new goals for the year is that 80% of set goals have failed by February. I am sure you have seen it before: January 2nd you see all the newbies in the gym, but the truth is, 8 out of 10 of them are gone by February 1st. How can you be unlike the 80% of those who fail, and finally be successful with your “New Year, New Me” mindset?
Setting Goals: When it comes to a New Year’s resolution, you have to first set a goal. I see many flaws when people first set their goals for the new year:
Setting too big of a goal
The problem I see with most everyone’s goal setting is they have too many goals and set goals that set them up to fail. For example, if you do not work out, and on January 1st you set a goal to work out every day, you are bound to fail. Set a smaller goal, such as, “I will work out 3 days a week for 30 minutes.” Once you get the ball rolling then you can increase the number of days or the hours a day you train.
Setting too many goals
Often when people get excited about the new person they can become, they think of every single way they can improve. Take health for example. If someone wants to set some health goals for themselves they might say the following, “In 2019, I plan on cutting all carbs, working out 7 days a week, try intermittent fasting, and cut out all sugar.” Now imagine putting your focus towards all of these goals, it is nearly impossible to go from a normal lifestyle to all of these things overnight, you are setting yourself up to fail. I suggest setting one clear-cut obtainable goal, and from there scale upwards as you progress through the year.
Failing to research goals
When setting a new goal, it is important to research whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. People that want to try a new diet, such as Keto or Whole30, just jump into it, doing what their friend tells them to do or some YouTube video they saw. You must do your own research and decide for yourself if this is an attainable goal and if it is something you can be successful at, not just decide to do it on a whim. Also, the more time you spend researching your goals the more likely you will feel invested in actually achieving said goal.
So, remember when setting a goal, set a goal that is achievable, set only one goal at a time, and do your own research towards your goal.
Achieving Goals: Once we have our goal for the year set, what are some things we can do to achieve success? So many times, I see people set goals, and that’s where they stop. There is no plan of action or steps to take to progress, it is more like wishful thinking than setting goals. So, what small things can you do to help you reach your goals?
Make your goal a priority
When you have a goal in mind, it must be a priority. This means you may have to make sacrifices, that’s just a part of becoming better. Say your goal is to lose weight, you may have to sacrifice your Friday night pizza and beer out with your friends. “But that’s hard, I don’t want to miss out on a good time,” is what some people might say, but in reality, the sacrifice has to come from somewhere if you want to make progress. Your goal should come first over almost anything else, if what you are doing isn’t working towards your goal, it shouldn’t be a part of your life anymore. Put yourself first for once, and stop just going with the flow, make sacrifices, and get better.
Set up a plan
If your goal was to squat 400 lbs., you could not start at 300 and just say “in a year I want to squat 400 lbs.” and do it without a plan. You would have to start with 300 weeks 1, the next week 310, then 320, but the week after you only get 325, then 327.5. Everything is not always linear in progression when it comes to achievement. Sometimes you will plateau or slow progress, but it’s how you manage that progress that makes a big difference. Create a plan or smaller goals to set along the way to reach your main goal.
Tell people about your goal
It might sound weird to tell people about your goal, or you might feel like you’re bragging, but it is not. Telling people about your goals has a number of benefits. When you tell people about your goal, you are held accountable to it. The more people you tell the more you begin to believe your goal. If you can’t tell people about it and believe in it, how will you achieve it? When you tell people about your goals, they are more likely to support you if they care about you. If you tell your friends you are trying to lose weight if they are good friends they will support you and try everything they can to help you achieve it, and the same goes for family. So, tell people your goal, get the word out there, talk about it, and always keep it in your head.
Continued Success: Ok, now you have been working towards your goal for a couple of weeks or months, but you lose motivation or plateau. What are some ways you can have continued success throughout the entire year, not just January alone?
Remember why you started
Often when we have been working towards a goal for a while, we lose motivation and lose track of our goals. When this happens, it is important to remember why you started, or “what is your why?” Take time to recharge your motivation batteries by remembering why you started, why you wanted to lose weight, or become stronger or healthier, to begin with. Once you know your why and find motivation through that, it is almost impossible to stop you.
Set new goals
When you begin to plateau or have achieved your previous goal, it is crucial that you set new goals that continue to push you. If you end up achieving your goals and become stagnant, there is a good chance you will fall back into your old habits. To avoid regressing, set a new habit that will push you even further than before, but remember the strategies above, set obtainable clear-cut goals, one at a time. As you begin to tackle greater and greater goals you will look back and see how much you achieved over the previous year.
Turn new actions into habits
To truly reach your highest potential, it is crucial to turn the best possible actions you can take into habits, but what does that mean? For example, if you are starting to eat healthily, don’t think about it as a “diet”, or temporary means of eating, your new healthy eating has to become a lifestyle, it has to become part of you. If you begin to work out, you can’t just say,” I’m going get fit for beach season”, but rather “I want to get fit for the rest of my life then I can be fit for beach season.” Everything you do to reach a new goal should be looked at as being sustainable over the long run. If it isn’t, you are guaranteed to fail eventually. Create new healthy habits that become a part of you and your new lifestyle will take you further than any single goal ever could have.
Remember, to have continued success with your resolution in 2019, it is important to remember your “why”, set new goals as you progress, and create new healthy habits as you go along.
Make this the year that you will make a change for the better. Make this year different, instead of starting 2019 with disappointment and doubt in yourself, build your confidence, build yourself. Make a resolution for 2019 that you have always wanted to do, and make it happen no matter what. It is up to you, you have all the tips and all the strategies you could ever have.