How to get back on track this month, mindfully
Updated: Feb 7
January 1, 2020. A shiny new decade full of promise. You set your expectations and goals extra high, of course—now’s the time, society says! Lose ten pounds, ditch your boring day job, travel more, play more tennis, volunteer. The list is ambitious...but you’ve got it, right?
Fast forward to February 1. The gyms have returned to their regular crowd and resolutions start to shift toward an “I’ll get to it eventually,” mentality. Why is it so common that people turn back towards their old habits so quickly? We’ve got the lowdown. Plus, learn how to set goals that actually stick, the whole way through.
+ Keep it simple.
You unintentionally set yourself up for failure by having multiple goals. Instead of giving one goal 100%, you’re giving five goals 20% each. You won’t be emotionally invested in your one goal, but rather you’ll stretch yourself thin to make sure you’re covering all five. If you’ve already set multiple goals for yourself in 2020, try going forward with just one for the rest of the year and give it all your effort.
+ Plan ahead.
More often than not, the New Year sneaks up on us and we don’t put a lot of sincere thought into exactly what we want our goals to be, which means we don’t mentally prepare to get started on them. Instead, we think up the thing we want most on December 31 (usually a super vague and lofty goal) and jump right into it, cold turkey, on January 1. If you really want a resolution to stick, think up a good, achievable one a few weeks beforehand and prepare how you’re actually going to get started on it, so that when the day comes, you’re confident and ready.
+ Hold yourself accountable.
If you have a goal that you seriously want to achieve, shout it from the rooftops. Tell your friends, tell your family, write it down on sticky notes, journal about it. The more you talk about it, the more you’ll be reminded to actually stick with it. Unless your goals are entwined in your everyday life, you’ll most likely forget about them.
+ Accept setbacks.
We spend each day in our own routines, cycling through the same habits (be they good or bad) for years on end. Then, one day, we decide we want to break that habit. While it’s great to have the determination to break bad habits or make life changes, failure is inevitable. It takes 30 days to make a habit, and those first few weeks are going to be a challenge! Rather than getting discouraged about setbacks—embrace them. Sit down and enjoy that bowl of ice cream, then, get back on track. You’re far more likely to burn out if you try to be completely successful 100% of the time.
+ Set milestones.
Break your resolution up into reasonable milestones that you can strive towards—it makes the goal so much less intimidating and overwhelming. The people who see the most success with their New Years resolutions are the ones who are in it for the long haul. They know their goals aren’t going to happen overnight, and they’ve mapped out slow, steady ways to get there over time.
Oh, and know that it’s completely okay to restart. If you’ve completely dropped the ball on your resolutions, don’t wait for another year to pass you by. If you put just a little effort each day, you’ll be leaps ahead of everyone who begins again on January 1, 2021.