With the start of each year comes new hopes, dreams, goals, inspirations, and increased motivation to get after it and start the year off on the right foot. While many people create New Year resolutions, very few actually follow through on them. As the months go by we lose our motivation, focus, and energy that we had at the start of the year and we fall back into old habits.
According to the U.S. and News report, 80% of people in the country fail to meet their New Year Resolutions, with many giving up around mid-February.
Why does this seem to happen year after year to so many? I believe that one of the reasons is because we tend to set too big of goals for our New Year Resolutions that end up setting us up for failure. We have such high hopes to make the new year better than the last that we feel that we need to completely change who we are rather than embracing ourselves and instead focus on improving who we already are.
Think about it… If at the start of the New Year you want to completely reinvent yourself then it’s going to require A LOT of work. It might start off well though. Maybe you established a new morning routine where you get up early, enjoy your cup of joe slowly, watch the news, and then hit the gym well before most people are even awake. You have plenty of time to enjoy your morning and get ready for your job. On top of this, you also start eating healthier and more mindfully. You meal prep for the week and are mindful of portion control. You feel unstoppable and on top of the world.
That is until something you didn’t expect occurs.
Whether you endure an injury in a workout or have a workweek that is filled with extra paperwork and meetings where you are working way over your normal hours that you start to snooze your alarm, skip your workouts, and then hit the drive-through for lunch because you forgot to prep yours. After so many weeks of success, you feel like you have now failed. You did not live up to your expectations and are now behind on where you wanted to be.
So you give up.
You throw in the towel and say that next year instead will be the year that you continue the positive habits you were doing for a while. Then you fall back into old patterns. You sleep in, have rushed and stressful mornings, and lay on the couch watching TV eating McDonald’s outside of work.
What happened here?
Below are 5 tips for how to increase your game for 2020 in an effective and manageable way!
- Focus on what you ARE doing well instead of what ISN’T going well.
Rather than focusing on all the things that didn’t go well, give yourself credit for what did go well. If your goal is to work out 3x a week but you only went once focus on all the times that you did go 3 times instead of the one time that you didn’t. Or you can take that one workout that you were able to squeeze in and make that workout worth it! Tell yourself that you kicked your own butt with that one workout. Or maybe you ate well that week or got quality sleep despite not getting in your workout goals. These are still benefitting you! Focus on the good and let that outweigh the bad.
- PROGRESS over PERFECTION.
Were you not able to get to the gym this week? So what, go an extra day next week. Did life become hectic and stressful to the point where you made unhealthy eating choices? That’s ok! Realize this and make a promise to yourself that next week will be different. Black and white thinking is where you think that just because you missed “one thing” or didn’t manage what you wanted “one time” that it’s a hopeless cause. You either succeeded or failed. You either met your goals or you didn’t. Provide yourself some wiggle room and use the gray area to move away from this all or nothing mentality. It hurts you more than you think. As long as you are progressing from where you once were, you are succeeding.
- Accept that there will be setbacks.
There are 365 days in the year (unless it’s a leap year) and there will be days that we fall down. It may just be a stumble, a step backward, or we may fall flat on our face. HOW you failed isn’t important. What matters is what you do about it afterward. If the summer doesn’t go well for your goals, work harder at it in the fall. Things will not go perfectly. Expect setbacks to occur and instead establish a plan for how to keep moving forward despite the obstacle. If you fall, get back up. Dust yourself off and take what you learned from that experience into the next day. If you do this then by the end of the year in 2020 you will know that you worked your butt off and learned a lot along the way.
- Give yourself a break.
It is also important to give yourself some days, weeks, or a season to relax, unwind, and enjoy yourself rather than going towards your goals with guns a-blazing. If we are going full-speed all the time we will get burnt out and run out of gas. This is what happens often at the beginning of a New Year. We think we need to tackle our goals and resolutions as soon as possible. Recharge and refuel instead throughout the year. Think of the year as a marathon, not a sprint.
- Take one thing at a time.
Lastly, start the year off with only 1-2 goals for the year and once you complete those you can build off of them and add more goals. This will seem more manageable throughout the year rather than feeling like you have to accomplish them all at once. Prioritize your goals and work on achieving one thing at a time to avoid over-extending ourselves. We often expect too much from ourselves. Give yourself time and give yourself a chance to breathe by taking it one at a time. Remember: Quality is more important than Quantity. How well you meet your goals will beat out how many goals you achieved.
Remember, you are amazing the way you are! You do not need to completely change who you are throughout the year. Remind yourself all the good that also happened in 2019.
- What went well?
- What did you learn?
- What did you achieve?
Take all of that positivity and those experiences with you into 2020!
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2020.