The year 2020 has begun and for many people this means coming up with new year’s resolutions. The beginning of a new year is a good moment to look back on the year before and think about what is going on in your life at the moment. What do you like about your life? What are you grateful for? Are there things you could improve? What unhealthy habits do you hope to quit this year? And what do you want to continue doing in the new year? By thinking about this, you can set goals for the new year and know what you can work on to make your life even better than before.
You can hardly ignore it, most people already forget or give up on their resolutions after a few weeks. We often joke about that. Still, it would be nice if this year you are able to stick to your resolutions. Simply stated, the fact that you do not keep your resolutions can be due to two things: the resolutions themselves or your perseverance. We will discuss both, so that from now on you can set better goals, which you can then achieve more easily.
People often think that their resolutions fail because they do not persevere or because they do not have enough motivation. This can certainly be the case. Still, the problems often lie within the resolutions themselves. To start with, you need to come up with resolutions that suit you. Every person can change, that is for sure, but some characteristics suit you, and you do not have to change them. So think about whether your goal is realistic for you. Next to that, you have to think about whether you really want to achieve a certain goal. Many people have the goal to workout more often, eat healthier food or get more hours of sleep. These are desirable goals of course, but only if you really want to. If you only set it as a goal because you should, then you lack the motivation you need to change your behavior and reach the goal in the end.
It is very difficult to learn new habits and to quit old habits. One way to make this easier is to divide the ultimate goal into multiple smaller goals, which are easier to achieve. You should write these goals down to remind yourself. If you have a big goal, try to see what steps you have to take to reach the end goal. You will be more easily motivated to do a small task, than something very big, which you are unable to oversee. It is also smart to think about what could make it easier for you. By making it easier for yourself and thinking about what you need to do to reach your goal, the chances are bigger than you can really persevere. We often have the illusion that we can reach our goal in one step, but there are all kinds of small steps that are just as important.
Many people notice that they get off to a very good start, but that the motivation decreases after a while. There are many pitfalls and it is not as easy to stick to your resolutions as you might think. How do you make sure you stay motivated for your goals throughout the year? First of all, you can always adjust your goals during the year. It does not have to be completely fixed, because sometimes there are situations you could not see coming or maybe it turns out that this is not what you wanted after all. In that case, it is better to adjust your goals a little, rather than giving up. In addition, it can help to write down your goals. It is especially important that you write down why you would like to achieve these goals and what this means for you. If, at a certain point, you lack the motivation to persevere, you can read this again and get a motivation boost right away! It also works well for some people to tell other people about their goals. Suppose you want to quit smoking this year. Social control can really help with that. If you tell your friends about this goal, they will address you about your behavior if they ever see you light a cigarette again. You can also try to quit smoking together with a friend or family member. This way you can motivate each other and you do not have to do it all by yourself.
The last tip is not to be too hard on yourself. You might come up with many goals for the new year, but it is very difficult to work on many goals at the same time. It is better to focus on three of your most important goals.